Director: Greta Gerwig
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Beanie Feldstein, Timothee Chalamet, Odeya Rush, Jordan Rodrigues, Marielle Scott
It is always great when a potent new cinematic voice announces themselves, but as a female, millenial voice Greta Gerwig’s arrival is particularly timely. Then again, ‘arrival’ may be misleading. Over the last decade Gerwig has established herself as a significant figure in the American independent film scene as an actress and screenwriter, first through her involvement in the emerging Mumblecore movement, and more recently through her collaborations with writer-director Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha, Mistress America). However, the confidence and maturity of her first solo effort as writer-director, Lady Bird, has seen it transcend its indie status and capture a level of deserved attention that has previously alluded her.
Christine McPherson (Saoirse Ronan), who prefers to go by Lady Bird, is a senior at Immaculate Heart Catholic girls school in Sacramento who dreams of escaping the city for an east coast college, ”where culture is.” Continue reading
Director: Barry Jenkins
Starring: Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, Trevante Rhodes, Naomie Harris, Mahershala Ali, Janelle Monae, Jharrel Jerome, Andre Holland
Queer cinema has for a long time existed on the peripheries of the mainstream, in the independent and arthouse sectors, catering to what was seen as a niche audience. In recent times we have started to see this change and Barry Jenkin’s Moonlight is an important stepping stone in that process. While Jenkins is not himself gay, his film, which is based on Tarell Alvin McCraney’s unproduced short play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue, has a sense of authenticity to it. It feels true to itself and its protagonist, and this year became the first LGBTQI themed film to be awarded Best Picture by the Academy. Attempting to describe Moonlight requires lots of in- words. It is intimate. It is internal. It is introspective. It is introverted. It is also extraordinary. Continue reading
Director: Kelly Fremon Craig
Starring: Hailee Steinfeld, Haley Lu Richardson, Blake Jenner, Kyra Sedgwick, Hayden Szeto, Woody Harrelson
The 1980s was the golden era of the teen movie. It was the era of The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, of Pretty in Pink and Say Anything. It was the time when John Hughes was king. The market for teen movies has remained but the offerings since have been more hit than miss. The Edge of Seventeen, the new film from first time writer-director Kelly Fremon Craig, under the watchful eye of producer James L. Brooks, won’t take its place among the classics of the genre but is one of the better ones.
In the mind of seventeen-year-old Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) there are two types of people: those who radiate confidence and naturally excel at life, and those who wish the first lot would die in a big explosion. She is very much one of the latter. Continue reading