RSS feed for Melissa

Favorite films

Recent activity


Recent reviews

  • Leave No Trace

    Leave No Trace


    Wrote about Leave No Trace for the 2018 Muriel Awards:

    In her 2015 Dissolve interview with film critic Tasha Robinson, Debra Granik, commenting on her documentary Stray Dog (2014) about a Vietnam veteran, notes the richness of the things she wished her documentary had time to cover: "There could have have been a whole film that could have gone much more in-depth on therapeutic discussion, on what it takes to manage PTSD, or to face ghosts, and figure out how…

  • Vertigo



    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Re-watching Vertigo today with my students (honestly, the film gets better every time I see it - every beat, every edit, every movement of the camera, every line, every musical note - it’s ever more resonant) I was particularly struck by the fact that Gavin Elster's plans would never have worked without the underlying patriarchal assumption that “women are crazy.”

    I’m sure others have noted this and written about it more eloquently than I, but just to tease it out…

Popular reviews

  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

    Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Random (very spoilery) notes:

    -The title/place name is oddly specific for such a nondescript town/place. Why the title? Is the town name important? Is it a small town? Large town? Small enough for one character to know about another character’s illness, but too big for hospital staff to know they shouldn’t put the perpetrator of violence in the same room with the victim of his violence? (But also, the hospital is so small-town they don’t have a separate burn unit?)…

  • Eighth Grade

    Eighth Grade


    Rather nervously sat down to watch this with our two teen daughters. I thought it might be traumatizing, too close to home, especially for our oldest, who has severe social anxiety and depression. But we stayed up til 2 AM afterwards talking. There were tears and hugs. They told us stuff they feel now and stuff they’d felt in middle school that they couldn’t say before. They saw themselves onscreen and saw someone knew and someone cared. 

    So grateful to  Bo Burnham and the medium of film — my girls felt seen.