From Boyhood and Birdman to Legos and a one-actor film.
Author Archive for Tricia Olszewski
Noah Wiseman’s turn as a young boy struggling with emotions he can’t understand goes beyond the horror requirement that a child be pale and say unwittingly chilly things.
It’s the dystopi-est installment of this dystopian series, all concrete, gray jumpsuits, and rain.
The Better Angels portrays a young Abraham Lincoln and aims to unveil the factors that shaped the president in his formative years. At the end of its 95 minutes, the answer is clear: trees.
So, so many trees. Always towering, with the camera aimed skyward. To set the scene of 1817 Indiana? Trees. Abe’s mother gets sick? Trees. [...]
As in Venus in Fur, Mathieu Amalric plays a successful, sly man who is nonetheless easily played by a woman cunningly using her sexuality.
The DC Shorts Film Festival features 17 collections of shorts, each showing several times over the event’s 11 days. Here: a few reviews of full programs.
The Cold Heart, the first film of the first DC Shorts showcase, kicks off the fest in spectacular fashion. An animated adaptation of a German fable, it tells the story [...]
Teenage, the second feature film from Matt Wolf, is a documentary about...war? Civil rights? Or is it swing dancing? One thing’s for sure: While you’re watching this 78-minute film salad, you’ll wonder how exactly its title applies.
The technical answer is easy: Wolf and co-writer Jon Savage adapted the doc from Savage’s book, Teenage: The Creation [...]
Wrestling with someone who has a gun. Trusting anyone in prison. Becoming a snitch—or, worse, trying to play both sides. All bad ideas, and all of which are present in Omar, Palestinian director Hany Abu-Assad’s Oscar-nominated drama about three lifelong friends who decide to become freedom fighters in the West Bank. Or are they terrorists? [...]
The subjects of director Lotfy Nathan’s debut documentary, 12 O’Clock Boys, do not identify as a gang. These Baltimore dirt-bike riders are a group, or even a team. Pug, a 13-year-old whose perspective Nathan shaped his doc around after three years of filming, says that riding makes his peers feel "powerful" and serves as an [...]
In writer-director Ron Krauss’ soapy drama, Gimme Shelter, Vanessa Hudgens is so fucking street. In the opening scene, Hudgens' Apple, a 16-year-old who lives with her mother (Rosario Dawson, her teeth yellowed) in a crack motel, hacks off her long dark curls into a choppy mess reminiscent of the old Bieber. She repeatedly whispers, "I [...]