“Brigsby Bear” – A Quirky Sci-Fi Coming of Age Story (Cannes 2017)

“What would you do if you discovered that your life as you know it is a lie?” Brigsby Bear is not the first film with this ponderous question as it’s premise. However, the tale spun by writers Kyle Mooney and Kevin Costello asks a follow-up that adds a…quirky twist: “What if the life you knew was a children’s show about a space-traveling bear that teaches you math – created by your kidnappers… Read More

From Cannes 2017: “Good Time” by Josh and Benny Safdie

A robbery gone wrong. It’s a good start. An ink pack explodes in a cab, sending the thieves – brothers Connie and Nick Nikas – scrambling to clean themselves (and the money) in a Domino’s bathroom. When the police finally catch up to them, Nick panics, running his way right through a glass door – and into handcuffs. With Nick’s mental handicap, Connie is dead scared to leave him alone in jail…. Read More

“Loveless,” a New Film by Andrey Zvyagintsev – Cannes 2017

The absence of love. The absence of a child. The absence of concern for anyone but oneself. “Selfish” would have been an equally fitting title for Andrey Zvyagintsev’s “Loveless,” which recounts the hapless search two careless parents make for their missing son against the backdrop of a Russia in political mayhem. As the radio and TV news blares on unheard, Zhenya and Boris – parents of 12-year-old Alyosha – can only think… Read More

Another Write Teacher(s) Review for Manchester by the Sea

  Too often, films are hasty to wrap up neat and nice with a happy ending. While this may satiate audiences, it does very little to replicate a reality in which people don’t always get what they want, life takes unexpected and tragic turns, and some wounds just don’t heal. Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea does little to leave the viewer feeling warm and satisfied. With the backdrop of a quiet New England winter, one… Read More

A Write Teacher(s) Review: Lion

Write Readers, we’re about halfway there! The next film on the list is absolutely my favorite, and the one I’m rooting for to win the Academy Award for Best Picture: Lion. Lion is the true story about an Indian boy named Saroo who gets lost from home at the age of five, and it takes him twenty years to get back home. It was written by Luke Davies and directed by Garth… Read More

A Write Teacher(s) Review: Arrival

The next film on our list is as different as different could be, both within its genre and this category. And it’s a space movie, which all avid Write Readers know I actively avoid. (Please see the Gravity post for further explanation.) Arrival, starring Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Forest Whitaker, is a science fiction film adapted from the 1998 short story “Story of your Life” by Ted Chiang. It was directed… Read More

A Writer Teacher(s) Review: Hell or High Water

Dear Write Readers, Another year has passed! Another year older, perhaps another year wiser, and another Oscar season is upon us! How time flies! Let’s start our journey in the Wild West. The wild, new West, we could call it. Opening on wide open spaces and vast emptiness, “Closed” signs and motionless trains, this Texas is reminiscent of the Texas we’ve seen in old westerns with John Wayne. I’m ready for typical… Read More

A Writer Teacher(s) Review: Manchester By The Sea

Keep on keeping on, Write Readers. We’re trucking through our list. Let us discuss the Amazon original film, Manchester by the Sea. Manchester by the Sea was written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan, and starring Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler, and Lucas Hedges. The film was first premiered at Sundance, at which point it was picked up by Amazon Studios. The critics raved about Manchester, especially Affleck, and the film was… Read More

A Write Teacher(s) Review: La La Land

Ah yes, the City of Angels. In our next film, it has been confirmed that Hollywood is the most vapid place anyone has ever been, or will ever be again. I spent two hours in La La Land, and really couldn’t wait to get back. Here it is, folks, the darling of the Golden Globes and the favorite to sweep the Academy Awards, La La Land. Otherwise known as, Actors Feeling Martyred… Read More

A Write Teacher(s) Review: Moonlight

“In the moonlight, black boys look blue.” Moonlight, directed by Barry Jenkins, is perhaps the most beautiful film I’ve seen all season. While I have doubts about it’s ability to beat La La Land, mostly because the Academy likes pretentious films, it’s the film most worthy of the title of Best Picture in 2017. I think I’m ahead of myself. Let me back up. Spoiler alert ahead. Moonlight is the story of… Read More