Subscribe By RSS or Email

Recent Posts in ‘The Film Stage’

Cannes Review: Terrence Malick’s ‘A Hidden Life’ is a Wrenching Ode to Faith

When Austrian farmer Franz Jägerstätter (August Diehl) glances skyward and calls for God to show him a sign, to guide him, what does he hear? The rumbling of a thunderstorm hovering atop the Alps surrounding his bucolic hometown of St Radegund; the sound of the wind caressing the wheat fields around the village; the voice […]

Cannes Review: Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe Astonish in the Boozy, Brilliant ‘The Lighthouse’

For all the finely considered dread of Robert Eggers’ ungulate deifying debut The Witch, the reason that film made such a cultural mark had far more to do with its sense of mischief. Sure, puritan religious life is fine, Eggers seemed to say, but have you ever tried living deliciously? His second feature The Lighthouse brilliantly confirms that taste for devilry […]

Montclair Review: ‘Yesterday’ Plays the Greatest Hits with Little Insight Into What Made Them Great

There’s perhaps no genre Danny Boyle can’t work within. On the opposite spectrum from his darker works, Yesterday is a flawed yet mostly effective light and fluffy departure, examining stardom in a post-Beatles world in which fledging alt-rocker Jack Malik (Hamish Patel) become the vessel for spreading love, joy, and sonic harmony. While the film […]

Review: ‘August at Akiko’s’ is a Whimsical, Hawaii-Set Tale of Belonging

Akiko’s Buddhist hostel has a message for its visitors, a laminated card sitting on a window sill: “Leave no trace, no face. In fact, leave only a presence, a feeling that for a moment you loved a place so deeply that both you and the place were transformed, and both became more beautiful, more natural […]

Cannes Review: ‘Les Misérables’ is an Ambitious, Sobering Debut Feature

The new film Les Misérables may take only passing glances to Victor Hugo’s text but it does boast a synopsis worthy of the sheer exuberance of that title. Hugo wrote his classic novel in the early-to-mid 19th century, but this film couldn’t be more wired-in to contemporary Paris if it tried. In it, we see the fuse […]

Cannes Review: ‘First Love’ is a Deliriously Violent Mob Film from Takashi Miike

The last film legendary Japanese ultra-violence auteur Takashi Miike brought to Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight (Yakuza Apocalypse, 2015) featured a character that was essentially a person in a felt frog costume that looked like it’d gone through the wash a few too many times. The being had a knack for martial arts and, like some acid-trip […]

Cannes Review: ‘Pain and Glory’ is One of Pedro Almodóvar’s Most Personal, Exceptional Works

Pedro Almodóvar, the punk chronicler of post-Francoist Spain, turns inwards for his 21st feature Pain and Glory, which arrives in competition at Cannes as a summation of his storied career, a quasi-self-portrait of an artist as an older man. Even for Almodóvar, this is an especially personal work, anchored by the director’s on-off muse Antonio […]

Cannes Review: ‘The Dead Don’t Die,’ and Neither Do Old Zombie Tropes

The zombies hobbling around the streets of the fictional, bucolic US city of Centerville have been awakened by global warming (specifically, from the ruthless fracking of the Earth’s polar caps), and that’s possibly the single most inventive spin in Jim Jarmusch’s latest, the Cannes opener The Dead Don’t Die. Ghouls can’t be killed, and neither […]

First Trailer for Woody Allen’s ‘A Rainy Day in New York’ Starring Timothée Chalamet, Elle Fanning & Selena Gomez

Understandably, Amazon Studios doesn’t want to touch Woody Allen’s next film with a ten-foot pole, but that’s not stopping international distributors from setting a release. It was recently announced that A Rainy Day in New York (a film we thought might have been locked in a vault forever, next to Louis C.K.’s I Love You, […]

‘The Command’ Trailer: Matthias Schoenaerts, Colin Firth, and Léa Seydoux Encounter Disaster

Now with a new title for U.S. audiences, a new trailer has just arrived for The Command (originally called Kursk), which features a talented ensemble including Matthias Schoenaerts, Colin Firth, and Léa Seydoux in the lead roles. Directed by Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt and Far from the Madding Crowd), the thriller follows the devastating true story of 23 sailors […]