Reel Critic: “The Florida Project”

Reel Critic: “The Florida Project”

By DEVIN McGRATH-CONWELL

January 24, 2018


Filed under Arts & Academics

“The Florida Project” (2017) follows six-year old Moonee (Brooklynn Prince) and her friends Scooty (Christopher Riviera) and Jancey (Valeria Cotto) through their summertime adventures among the string of motels in Kissimmee, Florida, just outside Disney World, where they all live. Moone...

Reel Critic: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Reel Critic: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

By DEVIN McGRATH-CONWELL

January 17, 2018


Filed under Arts & Academics

Irish playwright Martin McDonagh made his directorial debut with “In Bruges” (2008). That movie told the story of two affable hit men hiding out in Bruges after a killing gone wrong. Four years later, he followed it up with “Seven Psychopaths” (2012) about a screenwriter roped into an odyssey of malic...

The Reel Critic: “Hidden Figures”

By Will DiGravio, News Editor

April 13, 2017


Filed under Arts & Academics

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RK8xHq6dfAo "Hidden Figures" takes place in 1961, in the midst of the Space Race and at the outset of the Kennedy Administration's plan to land a man on the moon by the end of the decade. Directed by Theodore Melfi (who wrote the script with Allison Schroeder), the...

The Reel Critic: “I Am Not Your Negro”

By Will DiGravio, News Editor

March 15, 2017


Filed under Arts & Academics

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNUYdgIyaPM In writing about the leaders of the 1960s, James Baldwin remembered just how young they all were. Medgar Evers and Robert F. Kennedy were 37 in 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. was 34, Malcolm X, 38, John F. Kennedy, 46. Baldwin was 39, the only one to survive the decade, and the only one not named Kennedy to reach ...

The Reel Critic: “La La Land”

By Will DiGravio, News Editor

March 8, 2017


Filed under Arts & Academics

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pdqf4P9MB8 Written and directed by Damien Chazelle, "La La Land" tells the story of Sebastian Wilder (Ryan Gosling) and Mia Dolan (Emma Stone), two struggling artists who fall in love after they repeatedly run into each other on the streets, restaurants, and parties of the Los Angeles social scene.  Wilder is a jazz mu...

The Reel Critic: Leviathan

By Oakley Haight

May 6, 2015


Filed under Arts & Academics

In a general way, I think that the saddest stories are the ones that depict injustice against decent people. Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Leviathan does more than this, processing an archetypal Russian film protagonist named Kolya through an almost-comically horrible downfall at the hands of political evil. Ko...

The Reel Critic: Ida

By Oakley Haight

February 25, 2015


Filed under Arts & Academics

The two primary characters of Ida, the most recent Polish language film from director Paweł Pawlikowski, appear to perfectly contradict each other. “The slut and the saint,” says one of the two. On the eve of pledging her life to a Catholic monastery, Ida, an orphan approaching adulthood, is told ...

Reel Critic: Inside Llewyn Davis

By Oakley Haight

January 22, 2014


Filed under Arts & Academics

Llewyn Davis says that a folk song is never new and never gets old. If true, the same must be said for the whole of the Coen brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis, a movie both about the life of a folk singer and itself structured as a folk song. The basic plot points feel like verses in a strange folk odysse...

The Reel Critic: Captain Phillips

By Oakley Haight

November 6, 2013


Filed under Arts & Academics

Captain Phillips is at its core a story about leadership – the weight that any captain or leader must bear to do their job. It is first about the titular Captain Phillips (Tom Hanks) and his responsibilities on an American cargo ship: breaking in a new crew and then getting them to follow his lead...

The Reel Critic: Gravity

By Ben Anderson

October 16, 2013


Filed under Arts & Academics

“How can you possibly tell a movie-length story about Sandra Bullock floating in space?” That was the response I most commonly heard after showing someone the trailer for “Gravity.” And the short answer to that question turned out to be, “you can’t.” The long story, however, is “it...

The Reel Critic: The World’s End

By Oakley Haight

October 2, 2013


Filed under Arts & Academics

It feels like The World’s End was made using some kind of miraculous alchemy. This is the third movie by director/writer team Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg which is spastically, ridiculously funny while somehow remaining sincere and even poignant. The basic structure sees the once cool, now-alcoholic Gary (Si...

The Reel Critic: Blue Jasmine

By Oakley Haight

September 18, 2013


Filed under Arts & Academics

Blue Jasmine is a distortion and finally an erosion of the familiar Woody Allen character study, a film that is smart and unrelenting, but flawed. This is still a movie inseparably tied to Woody Allen – the jazz soundtrack and the basic Allen idiosyncrasies remain. The titular Jasmine (Cate Blanch...

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