Identity is something that defines you when you are part of the LGBTQ+ community. It’s a question that you wrestle with most of your life and sometimes it takes forever to answer it, sometimes you can never truly become yourself. Maybe that is why Man Made is so touching, so powerful. Because it’s about men finally being themselves, putting themselves out there and being true to themselves. It’s admirable, to say the least, and it’s a subject we don’t talk enough about and is not seen enough in film, fiction or not.
Fantasy films are some of my favourites but too often they focus on characters that I can’t connect to or even identify with. Too often the characters feel the same and never feel like I could be one of them. It’s not to say that I can’t enjoy fantasy or film of that genre but it’s not the same. That is why Alice Waddington’s Paradise Hills is such a breath of fresh air, a film that creates such a universe that you can forgive the flaws and story problem. In her directorial debut, Waddington creates a universe that feels complete, bringing a breath of fresh air in this genre that is too often dominated by men and their stories.
Movies that deal with the notion of time travel are either a success or a complete miss. Too often the story gets lost in the explanation of how it is possible. Luckily, James vs His Future Self is able to avoid this by playing smart and actually taking the time of making the time travel a device that drives not only the story forward but also the characters that the world is filled with. By mixing different genres, the film becomes more than just a time-travel film, it is able to create a story that might not be new but it has so much heart that it brings something fresh to the table.
After what seems to be forever, The Crown is finally coming back to us. With season two having dropped in December 2017, it has been almost two years since the critically acclaimed series was on our screens. But fear not because it is coming back and Netflix just released the first trailer for the upcoming season which arrives on November 17, 2019.
I should’ve known what we were going to watch after the great (and funny) short film that played before our screening of Extra Ordinary. But nothing could have prepared me for the non-stop jokes and the total bunker film that it was. Coming from Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman, in their directorial feature debut, Extra Ordinary benefits from an all-star cast that makes the film what it is.
Netflix has had a monopoly on streaming originals for a while but now that the streaming war has started, their next batch of original will be their make or break moment. It will become a major factor if people will stay or migrate to other services. Raising Dion is part of the next wave of original content that Netflix hopes will keep its customers around. Produced by Michael B. Jordan (Creed, Black Panther) and based on the comic of the same name, Raising Dion tells the story of a widow trying her best to raise her child only to find out he has superpowers. While banking on it’s superhero nature to attract people, Raising Dion is much more than what it looks at first glance.
I grew up with DC comics, I wasn’t a Marvel girl, I was a DC girl. I just loved it and I know it so well. So imagine how sad I was when I never found myself super excited for the DCEU. That has changed a bit over the years with the great Wonder Woman, Shazam and Aquaman. But now, it seems that the DCEU has found its stride and it looks to keep it going with their newest addition, Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn).
There’s something fascinating about Ryan Murphy and how he is able to create or produce, shows that are socially relevant and made at the right time. The timely arrival of Glee, the phenomenon that is American Horror Story, the true-crime obsession of American Crime Story and the wonderfully important Pose are just a few examples of how Murphy seem to just know what the audience wants and when. His latest creation, his first one under his new overall deal with Netflix, The Politician reunites him with his frequent contributors Brad Falchuck and Ian Brennan. But if The Politician tries to be a commentary on today’s world, it’s packaging into a funny and witty dramedy more often the none fails to hit the mark. The show ends up getting lost in its own narrative and tries way too hard to be too many things.
Noah Baumbach has created some amazing films, films that have cemented him as one of the great directors of his generation. I remember watching Frances Ha and thinking that this was his best film and that it would take a while for him to do better. Well, Marriage Story did that for me. It’s Baumbach at his best, his strongest. His steady hand is felt throughout and he never falters, navigating the film expertly and creating a devastating look at divorce and how it breaks everyone, even those with the best intention. Baumbach’s craft has never been this tight and it showcases how much he has grown as a filmmaker since his debut. Marriage Story is, in my opinion, his best work to date.
I didn’t grow up watching Mr. Rogers, he wasn’t someone we watched in Quebec. So I didn’t know anything about it, or barely anything until I sat down last year to watch the incredible documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbour? By the end, I left the theatre in tears and nothing but love for a man that I didn’t grow up watching. And then, Marielle Heller, who directed the great Can You Ever Forgive Me? from last year, was announced to be directing a film about Mr. Rogers with Tom Hanks attached and I was in. Well, let me tell you something, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is a beautiful love letter to the man himself. In Heller’s hands, the film becomes so much more then it could.