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  • The Rider

    The Rider

    ★★★★½

    An unconventional film that uses the raw performances of its non-actors to underscore a potent spiritual core. The Rider is not afraid to dig into the human experience without the glamour and the polish, and what surfaces are some deeply rooted questions about what makes life worth living.

    There are a few ways in which The Rider could compare to another recently released and well received indie film with untested performances and an unconventional narrative style- Eighth Grade. I bring…

  • If Beale Street Could Talk

    If Beale Street Could Talk

    ★★★★½

    “It’s a miracle to realize that somebody loves you.” 
    ― James Baldwin, If Beale Street Could Talk

    Poetry.
    Poetry in motion.

    If I could narrow it down to three simple words, this is how I would describe If Beale Street Could Talk. One could argue that the cries for acceptance, healing and freedom run deeper in Jenkin’s previous, Oscar winning Moonlight, but the dance of these same longings colors the surface of If Beale Street Could Talk in a way that leaves…

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  • Sparrows Dance

    Sparrows Dance

    ★★★½

    Structure- 7/10
    Performance- 7/10
    Cinematography- 6/10
    Memorability- 6/10
    Story- 7/10

    Final Resonance Rating- 3.5/5

    Full points to this film for making me really want to love it. The film's structural issues and performances couldnt quite win me over to its effectual and charming premise, but I did find myself falling for the idea of its quiet love story. Its hard to resist.

    The issue I had with the structure comes down to the emotional arc. The film establishes that our…

  • The Curse of La Llorona

    The Curse of La Llorona

    ★★½

    Structure- 4/10
    Performance- 5/10
    Cinematography- 7/10
    Memorability- 4/10
    Story- 5/10

    Final Resonance Rating- 2.5/5

    A familiar and ancient story from Latin American tradition, the ball was dropped when it came to giving this film a representational voice. Leaning away from its cultural footprint detracts from what otherwise could have held great potential. I wanted this to be a window into culturally formed storytelling. Instead it ends up feeling far too familiar for it's own good.

    Technically speaking the film does…

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  • Joker

    Joker

    ★★★★½

    Simply brilliant.

    This is an origins story that feels familiar on the surface but defies convention in the subtext. Taking a story that we think we know, Todd Phillips leads us into an intimate portrait of a man being pushed over the edge, a story that is made all the more real by a truly captivating performance by Phoenix, an incredible and haunting score, and an absolutely breathtaking display of cinematography and editing. This is a film that manages to…

  • Ad Astra

    Ad Astra

    ★★★★½

    I knew that Ad Astra was science fiction, and that it was said to have some amazing visuals. I had also heard this might be one of Pitt's best performances to date. All very much true.

    What I didn't expect was such an intimate and powerful dramatic representation of emotion and humanity.

    The film is structured like a gradual world building exercise. Beginning with earth, it slowly pushes further and further towards a more cosmic viewpoint in gradual steps. And…