Marya E. has written 49 reviews for films rated ★★★★ during 2021.

  • The Many Saints of Newark

    The Many Saints of Newark

    ★★★★

    He discovered that "in all these father son relationships, there seems to be this paradox." Many sons raised by fathers working in crime families were caught between idolizing their father's power and despising their penchant towards physical abuse. Caught up in this same tension with his own father, Dickie attempts to put an end to this cycle of abuse through his relationship with Tony. Of course, we all know what they say about best laid plans.

    [Read my profile of star Alessandro Nivola at InStyle]

  • 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]

  • 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]

  • Baraka

    Baraka

    ★★★★

    I liked this film, but I think it was a little too reliant on its musical score.

  • Dementia 13

    Dementia 13

    ★★★★

    "The mood around this place isn't good for her. Especially for an American girl. You can tell she was raised on promises."

    Brilliant.

  • The Spanish Prisoner

    The Spanish Prisoner

    ★★★★

    Campbell Scott looks so much like his father its ridiculous!

  • The Help

    The Help

    ★★★★

    Viola Davis for all the awards.

  • The Gentle Sex

    The Gentle Sex

    ★★★★

    great slice-of-wartime-life/propaganda film.

  • Battle Beyond the Stars

    Battle Beyond the Stars

    ★★★★

    there's no such thing as guilt when it comes to films; this is just a pleasure.

  • Fort Massacre

    Fort Massacre

    ★★★★

    basically Moby-Dick as a cavalry western

  • Cosmopolis

    Cosmopolis

    ★★★★

    works if you view it as a black comedy