• Ninjababy

    Ninjababy

    ★★★★½

    Ninjababy is wonderfully inventive and frequently funny. That should be enough but it's also an important contribution to the ongoing busting of norms around the expectation of woman and motherhood. There was a far darker portrayal of that in Maggie Gyllenhaal's The Lost Daughter earlier this year but Ninjababy is dealing in the same neighbourhood, even if its tone and style is vastly different. I don't think any of this works without Kristine Kujath Thorp. She is wonderful here, ably…

  • The Power of the Dog

    The Power of the Dog

    ★★★★

    Figured I should watch this before it potentially wins Oscar. Dog's certainly powerful. May form thoughts at some stage. Going to percolate for now.

    52 Films by Women #2

  • Candyman

    Candyman

    ★★★½

    I generally don't complain when movies clock in at around 90 minutes but I feel Nia da Costa's Candyman ends abruptly, a little undercooked. This is frustrating because the first half an hour of this film is excellent and it is visually spectacular throughout. In the end, I feel it tries to do too much. Some heavyweight acting talent though.

    52 Films by Women #1

  • The Lost Daughter

    The Lost Daughter

    ★★★★

    Casting Jessie Buckley as Olivia Colman's younger self? Masterstroke. Both are exceptional here, humanizing a character that, in less accomplished hands, would be hard to empathize with. It's fascinating to see a character like Leda portrayed on screen, not to speak of tackling a subject as heavy as motherhood. For a first-time director, Maggie Gyllenhaal does an impressive job although it's not all there yet. Some of that is perhaps the fault of how she adapts Ferrante's book. Flashbacks rarely…

  • She's Missing

    She's Missing

    ★★

    Lucy Fry is very impressive in this.

    52 Films by Women #51

  • Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time

    Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time

    ★★★½

    Does a good job of building mystery and suspense. There are a couple of odd character and narrative choices towards the end that I felt were unnecessary. Generally, though, it's an impressive film by Hungarian director Lili Horvát and a fine first performance by Natasa Stork. And it's great to see Budapest in all its complexity. And Márta is right: The Pest side of the Liberty Bridge is really something.

    52 Films by Women #50

  • Kajillionaire

    Kajillionaire

    ★★★★★

    This film starts off kinda like how I expect a Miranda July film to begin: oddball characters doing quirky shit. Case in point: Evan Rachel Wood's magnificently named Old Dolio approaches her frequent post office incursion by carrying out some wholly unnecessary gymnastics. It's engaging and it's intriguing. Old Dolio is the daughter of a pair of grifters, treated as an equal down to earning a third of each job they undertake. All she's seemingly known is grifting. The grifter…

  • Fear Street: 1666

    Fear Street: 1666

    ★★★½

    Strong beginning and a strong ending, sandwiching a bit of a weak middle. The 1666 setting is good but I wanted more dynamism. If anything, their forest party could have been straight out of 1994 or 2021. Sadie Sink has like two lines! Filth. Ties everything together a little too neatly maybe? Ultimately, didn't enjoy it quite as much as part 2.

    52 Films by Women #48

  • Braid

    Braid

    ★★★½

    This movie certainly was a trip. It's in parts gorgeous to look at, entertaining, and gory. It also doesn't follow any pattern in terms of cinematography or filming style with a mishmash of different styles often intersecting. Not all of it works. But there are excellent performances. Madeline Brewer is gloriously unhinged. Pink-haired Imogen Waterhouse against a backdrop of bright greens and pinks was certainly a vibe. Can't say I fully comprehend the plot beyond the obvious bisecting of fantasy and reality. Anyway, will be curious to see what Mitzi Peirone comes up with next. Promising debut.

    52 Films by Women #47

  • Night Drive

    Night Drive

    ★★★½

    Mostly came down on enjoying this. It's low-key, it's fairly simplistic (for most of its runtime), it spins its wheels for a bit at times, but ultimately, I do enjoy a good rug-pull. And I certainly enjoy a good 'thought it was going to be this thing but it's another thing entirely'. That all said, that another thing entirely isn't maximized enough, taking up barely the last 20 minutes. Moreover, Russell (AJ Bowen) isn't particularly interesting - as a character…

  • Delicious

    Delicious

    ★★★

    An odd movie, not at all what I expected. I had this down as a food movie in my head. It's not really that. It does tackle a serious issue but it surrounds it with a generic storyline that isn't all that interesting (I suppose that's implied in my use of generic). The underrated and underused Louise Brealey is very good here, particularly in a couple of intense scenes. But everything else is a little undercooked, if you pardon the pun.

    52 Films by Women #45

  • Whale Rider

    Whale Rider

    ★★★

    I think this is all about Keisha Castle-Hughes' performance which helps elevate what could otherwise be a fairly generic 'overcoming the odds' tale. It's also helped by being set in a genuinely interesting setting, in New Zealand and among the Maori community. Lots of familiar Kiwi faces show up too.

    52 Films by Women #44