Marya E. has written 190 reviews for films during 2021.

  • Medusa

    Medusa

    ★★★★½

    "The whole church part of the film, for me, is the most realistic. The boys were inspired by a real army from a very evangelical church in Brazil that put together male youth groups that look like armies. All the speeches of the minister were inspired by real speeches from famous ministers I watched on YouTube. In the church aspect, I tried to be more close to reality because their reality is already a lot like a horror film." - Anita Rocha Da Silveira


    [Full interview with Anita Rocha Da Silveira at Moviefone]

  • Violet

    Violet

    ★★★★½

    "For me, it’s a revenge film for me in a way. I feel like those fear based decisions or those critical thoughts stole time from me. So it’s my figuring out there’s other ways to cross that chasm, but I figured out a particular way to do it, and I’m going to take this recipe and tell everybody else how to do it. I wish I had seen this at nineteen because I would have gotten to that point earlier than I did." - Justine Bateman

    [Full interview with Justine Bateman at Moviefone]

  • To Kill the Beast

    To Kill the Beast

    ★★★½

    "The first idea was to put a sexually ambiguous girl (at least for the audience) at a frontier. Second: to have a mostly female cast with a mostly female crew. These were the first things that we decided. Later, it developed onto a magical universe where we would connect sexuality and local myths. I wrote the film 9 years ago, so, as I like to say, the main character and I were both coming of age at the same time.…

  • Last Night in Soho

    Last Night in Soho

    ★★

    ". . for me and Krysty, who have spent a lot of time there, we find it impossible not to think about that. Impossible not to think about the past when you're looking at buildings that are 400 years old. To think about what have these walls seen? Who used to live here? Both of us at different times we have lived in Soho, so it's kind of something that's just like, it's sort of the whole place is just inescapable." - Edgar Wright

    [Full interview with Edgar Wright and Krysty Wilson-Cairns at Moviefone]

  • Silent Night

    Silent Night

    ★★★

    Writer-director Camille Griffin’s debut feature film “Silent Night” effectively blends two seemingly disparate genres — holiday films and impending apocalyptic cinema. Both high-pressure situations that get you thinking about what really matters, Griffin’s film navigates difficult family and friend dynamics with mordant humor as they face the end of the world together on Christmas Eve. While the film works best when it’s satirizing ensemble holiday films a la “Love Actually,” it’s not afraid to go bleak as impending doom creeps…

  • Saloum

    Saloum

    ★★★★★

    Yann Gael sizzles as the trio’s lead Chaka. Oozing charisma and pathos, Gael has the swagger of a born leader, but as the film progresses we get a glimpse of the past that haunts him. There's a real lived-in feeling to Bangui’s Hyenas, Gael’s chemistry with his partners Rafa (Roger Sallah) and Minuit (Mentor Ba) made me wish we had a whole prequel series so I could keep watching their adventures.

    [Full review at RogerEbert.com]

  • The Gravedigger’s Wife

    The Gravedigger’s Wife

    ★★★★

    Ibrahim gives a complex performance as their son who resents their poverty and illiteracy, but whose love runs deeper than maybe he even realized. Ahmed wisely allows his actors the room to be playful amongst the film’s dramatic plot, bringing a true sense of familial bonds. Charming and wistful without ever feeling maudlin, “The Gravedigger’s Wife” is a beautiful love letter to the power of family.

    [Full review at RogerEbert.com]

  • ASTEL

    ASTEL

    ★★★★

    Amine Berrada’s lush cinematography captures the beauty of both the gorgeous purple dawn and washed out browns of the field, with Fatimata Sow’s vibrant costuming adding pops of color and distinct personality to each of Sy’s carefully crafted characters. Amine Bouhafa’s playful guitar and violin score blends seamlessly with the natural sounds of birds and cows, adding depth and sense of place to this world. “Astel” is an incisive and delicate debut short, and I cannot wait to see what Sy creates next.

    [Full review at RogerEbert.com]

  • The Mad Women's Ball

    The Mad Women's Ball

    ★★★★½

    For generations, women who pushed against their expected roles in life were written off as mad, and in extreme cases, locked away. For equally as long, these women were fodder for art that depicted their madness as evil. In this last century, we’ve seen contemporary women take back their sister’s agency. Like Antoinette Cosway, the madwoman in the attic from Charlotte Brontë‘s 1847 novel “Jane Eyre”, given agency by Jean Rhys in her 1966 feminist revisioning “Wide Sargasso Sea.” The…

  • The Starling

    The Starling

    ★★½

    Reuniting with “St. Vincent,” director Theodore Melfi, Melissa McCarthy, and Chris O’Dowd play a married couple on the rocks after the unexpected loss of their baby tears them apart. Calibrated as a crowd-pleaser like their previous collaboration, which had its world premiere at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival where it was runner-up for the audience award, “The Starling” is the kind of cloying, overly sentimental treacle that often gets labeled uplifting, but whose seams show like a mass-produced discount t-shirt.

    [Full review at The Playlist]

  • Lakewood

    Lakewood

    ★★

    Philip Noyce is a natural choice for this kind of film. He’s great with actresses in peril and at keeping tension ramped up to eleven. But using the collective trauma of a generation of parents and children as the backdrop for a real-time thriller, whose lives have proven time and again to matter less than the right to own an AK-47, remains unconscionably distasteful. A post-credits sequence in “Lakewood” — surely a nod to survivors like David Hogg, who have…

  • You Are Not My Mother

    You Are Not My Mother

    ★★★★

    "Having grown up just outside the city, I found that my family were all really superstitious and always told these stories, but we’d be in a housing estate with a lot of houses around us. I wanted to see a story in that setting. So a lot of the locations were places where I used to walk home from school or where my friend’s house was growing up. It was nice to be in such a familiar setting." - Kate Dolan

    [ Full interview with Kate Dolan at Moviefone]