Film Category

Gifted is a heartwarming, if somewhat formulaic movie, that follows the story of a spirited young math prodigy Mary (McKenna Grace) and her hunky slacker uncle turned-father-figure Frank (Chris Evans). Frank stepped in as Mary’s guardian when his sister, Mary’s mom, committed suicide. They were eking out their somewhat unconventional life in a beachside town and happily living under the radar, until Frank decides it is time for Mary to start school. It is at school where her precociousness is noticed by the school administration and trouble soon follows. TheRead More
First things first – don’t let the title of this movie fool you on this one, dear readers. This is not a kid-friendly period piece remake of Dr. Doolittle or a real-life action version of Zootopia. Instead, this cinematic gem offers a new perspective on the extremes of World War II. Based on a combination of both Diane Ackerman’s non-fiction book of the same name and the diaries of Antonina Żabińska (published in Poland as Ludzie i zwierzęta, translated as: People and Animals in 1968), The Zookeeper’s Wife starts inRead More
I’ll admit I was excited to hear about the brouhaha that was the announcement of the Best Picture Award at this year’s Academy Awards. I mean, if a live broadcast of a multi-million-dollar production with Hollywood’s best and brightest can’t nail the delivery of their grand finale, doesn’t that give us all permission to embrace our own imperfections? I saw La La Land in the theatre last month with the intention to write a review for this column… but the whole thing was just plain ‘blah blah land’ for me.Read More
Grab your tissues, folks, because even though you know what to expect from the main plot points of Lion, you’ll be caught off guard by this beautiful and evocative film. Based on the real-life story (and adapted from the book A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley), Lion tells the dramatic and heart-wrenching tale of five-year-old Saroo. Born into a poor but happy family in rural India, Saroo gets separated from his older brother at a train station and accidentally ends up trapped and alone on a decommissioned passenger trainRead More
Hidden Figures is a delight from beginning to end. I just got home from watching it in a packed theatre on a Friday night (which ended with the viewers applauding, myself included) and I can barely type out my praises fast enough. The ‘based on a true story’ movie features three African-American women who were ‘computers’ for NASA during the great race to space era. Before IBM mainframes, PCs, and iPads, there were humans sitting in rooms with pencils and papers cranking out calculation after calculation to determine how toRead More
Let’s face it… not everyone is a huge Star Wars fan. However, with media headlines and Facebook posts touting Rogue One as “The Best Star Wars Film Ever”, my curiosity was piqued. For the Star Wars super fans out there, the truth is that you don’t need a review to help you decide if it’s worth spending your hard-earned money on. But what about, well, the rest of us? Those of us who didn’t grow up watching the original trilogy every weekend with their friends at sleepovers? Could the movieRead More
I was initially hesitant to watch Arrival because I’m not typically a big fan of sci-fi or alien invasion movies. Those closest to me know how easily I scare and on this day, I didn’t have any friends who could offer their arm for me to squeeze for protection in the dark theatre. However, upon the recommendation of a trusted friend (who promised me more than I expected from the trailers) I set off on a cold and snowy Sunday afternoon to escape into another world. I am so thankfulRead More
It was tricky for me to choose a movie to review this month. I wanted to mix it up a bit for you, the reader, but I also wanted to watch something I would enjoy as a viewer. So, I pored over IMDB and Rotten Tomato ratings and a number of reviews before ultimately selecting The Accountant. The basic premise of the movie is that the accountant, Christian Wolff, played by the stoic Ben Affleck, is an autistic savant. He’s brilliant at math and puzzles, but has trouble socializing andRead More
The Hunt for the Wilderpeople is a delightfully adventurous, witty, and poignant story with equal parts of beautiful cinematography, clever lines, touching characters, and hijinks. Written and directed by Taika Waititi (based on the book Wild Pork and Watercress by Barry Crump), the film has a delightful lineup including Julian Dennison as Ricky Baker, Sam Neill as his “Uncle” Hector (Hec) and Rima Te Wiata as “Aunt” Bella. The film opens with foster-child and delinquent Ricky being dropped off with a new foster family in the New Zealand wilderness. TheRead More
Kubo and the Two Strings is an animated masterpiece that is visually mesmerizing from beginning to end. The most recent passion project of studio Laika (Coraline, ParaNorman, and The Boxtrolls), Kubo is a stop-motion animation (with computer generated enhancements) that truly dazzles. In the words of director and CEO Travis Knight, “At its core, Kubo is a stop-motion samurai film.” And then it piles all sorts of layers on top of that. It is an ambitious project to say the least and I admire the studio for taking risks andRead More