If you have finished watching the film Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974) and are looking for other movies like it, here is a list of options to consider.
Adam Driver does insightful, searching work as auto legend Enzo Ferrari in the filmmaker's study of a pivotal year in his life.
Michael Mann’s 21st-century work is, first and foremost, a cinema of feeling. When it comes to the details, he remains as much of a nerd as he was when he choreographed the thrilling terror of Heat’s climactic blowout. But Collateral, Miami Vice, and Blackhat pay special mind to the senses, to connection. It’s Colin Farrell and Gong Li finding a rare moment of joy as they dance to live music in Havana. It’s Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Tom Cruise taking in the stillness of daybreak on an L.A. train. It’s Chris Hemsworth and Tang Wei clinging to each other on a near-empty subway as they try and fail to block out grief for survival’s sake. In Ferrari, it’s Adam Driver and Penélope Cruz sitting across from each other, laying out what they need from each other in their business partnership and estranged marriage.
But while Ferrari is unmistakably in conversation with Mann and his creative collaborators’ earlier work, it’s more emotionally reserved than much of his 21st-century filmography. While his John Dillinger picture Public Enemies is certainly a cousin (a period piece built on a specific period in the life of an iconic man), it’s as much about the time and place and the ensemble. Ferrari is, first and foremost, a character study. Continue Reading →
Bradley Cooper pays respectful homage to Leonard Bernstein in this lavish passion project.
The problem inherent to most biopics is one of balance. Err too far on the side of worshipful and you get nonsense like Oliver Stone’s The Doors. Or you could swing in the other direction and you end up with an “oops, all warts” camp disaster like Mommie Dearest. Most linger somewhere in the middle, at a respectful distance, so that they’re ultimately kind of boring, and offer nothing new or particularly insightful about its subject matter.
Bradley Cooper’s Maestro, about the life of legendary composer Leonard Bernstein, isn’t boring. It’s too visually dazzling for that. It does not, however, leave one feeling like they’ve really gotten to know more about Bernstein other than he was a complicated, workaholic genius who struggled with his sexuality, which is all information that could be gleaned from his Wikipedia page. But it sure is lovely spending time in his world for a little while. Continue Reading →
In such films as Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, Velvet Goldmine and I’m Not There, filmmaker Todd Haynes has taken the stories of famous people and utilized what we know—or think we know—about them to explore ideas about celebrity and our all-consuming need to render their often-complex stories into straightforward narratives. That strange compulsion to explain, understand, and commodify the lives of real people is at the heart of his latest work, May December, and it certainly seems to have sparked something in him because the end result is the strongest work that he has done in quite some time. Continue Reading →
Breakfast at Tiffany's
John Carney's new drama is just one of a diverse collection of features at this year's Toronto International Film Festival.
This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the works being covered here wouldn't exist.
Irish filmmaker John Carney made his big breakthrough in 2007 with Once, a film focused on the redemptive power of music and its ability to bring people, whether they are strangers or family, together in the pursuit of creating something that allows them to give voice to their once-buried hopes and desires. This was followed by Begin Again (2013), a film focused on the redemptive power of music and its ability to bring people, whether they are strangers or family, together in the pursuit of creating something that allows them to give voice to their once-buried hopes and desires. After that came Sing Street (2016), a film focused on the redemptive power of music and its ability to bring people, whether they are strangers or family, together in the pursuit of creating something that allows them to give voice to their once-buried hopes and desires. Continue Reading →
A little over 24 hours after seeing it, there are two sequences in Steven Spielberg's The Fabelmans that I've run on repeat back and forth. One dramatic, the other comedic—both illustrate the strengths of Spielberg's semi-autobiography. Continue Reading →
Speak No Evil
(This review is part of our coverage of the 2022 Sundance Festival) Continue Reading →
If repression is the ultimate aphrodisiac, there are few films that make such a case for it than Wong Kar-wai’s sumptuous 2000 masterpiece In the Mood for Love, one of the most passionate, delicately rendered on-screen odes to yearning cinema has ever produced. Continue Reading →