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I’ve been a sucker for soul band creation tales ever since The Commitments wailed its way into my heart, so I was already predisposed to love The Sapphires. The film, by director Wayne Blair, tells the very-close-to-true story of four young Australian Aboriginal women with killer pipes and big dreams. Sisters Gail (Deborah Mailman), Julie (Jessica Mauboy), and Cynthia (Miranda Tapsell) were raised on a reserve, and grew up singing country hits together. When ... Read More
Rebecca Thomas’s debut feature Electrick Children is a crackling, captivating film that’s equal parts allegory and acid trip. At the center of the story is Rachel (Julia Garner), an inquisitive and rebellious teenager living in the mid-nineties. Julia has been raised by a fundamentalist Mormon family, living on a compound in Utah. On the occasion of her fifteenth birthday, Rachel is asked by her father and church leader (Billy Zane) to begin recording ... Read More
It’s the perfect time for Jack Kerouac’s iconic autobio- graphical novel On the Road to come to the big screen, despite skepticism that this singular staple of beat liter- ature has finally been sold out. Today we find ourselves in an era of uncertain futures populated by emasculated, cigarette-smoking young men with thick-framed glasses and the women who love them—not unlike the late ’40s. Screenwriter Jose Rivera’s script is still ... Read More
From the opening sequence of cutesy doodles set to Wilco’s “Heavy Metal Drummer,” it’s clear that Save the Date is a certain genre of rom com: the indie rom-com dramedy. Think 500 Days of Summer, Juno, Garden State, or anything Michael Cera has been in. I usually love these movies, but I didn't love Save the Date. Despite its indie soundtrack, likeable stars, and an adorable cat, Save the Date is never anything more than mediocre. Most of ... Read More
Things are not good for Sweetness O’Hara. A shy, studious girl in a rough neighborhood, Sweetness (the captivating Zöe Kravitz) is bullied at school and alternately abused and ignored by her alcoholic father and mentally ill mother. When she finally hits her breaking point, things get even worse—if you can believe it. Director Victoria Mahoney has cast a talented ensemble, featuring Precious star Gabourey Sidibe, Tim Blake Nelson (O Brother, Where ... Read More
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