Oklahoma City – An interesting look at what led Timothy McVeigh to do what he did and the aftermath. The documentary is well put together and will most likely play on PBS. While interesting, one to watch at home if/when interested. Not quite date night worthy but it can lead to some interesting discussions.
Joshua: Teenager vs Superpower – At 14 years old this young man shows signs of greatness! In 2014 he organized kids to go against the Hong Kong government and stop nationalization of education. Won’t tell you how it ends but then he moves on to a bigger broader challenge. He and his group are fearless at such a young age and offer inspiration to all that a handful can make a difference. Interesting to see this the day after the Women’s March. Wonderful to meet this now 17 year old who when he goes back to Hong Kong will be arrested along with his friend who also came out for the festival and was arrested just after getting his visa to attend the festival. I wonder, how many of you actually know about what’s going on in Hong Kong. This documentary is very well done and highly recommended. Yes, date night worthy! #Sundance
Shorts 5 – Interesting mix of short films at the #SundanceFilmFestival . The first was Mare Nostrum, in almost complete silence until the end. Really well done, gets you thinking about Syrians, and others who are desperate to change their children’s lives and the strength of a fathers love. This was followed by a fun short – The Geneva Convention. Through the eyes of kids we watch how negotiation through kids (countries) of differing views can take place. Next was Heat – yeah, I wasn’t a huge fan of this one. Sweet film about a grandmothers memory but the ending was a bit disjointed for me. Perhaps it was a shorthand for a feature? Lucia, Before and After – sorry, didn’t get this one so won’t review it. New Neighbors – meant to build on black lives matters the overall message was a good one. Meant to spark conversation it worked. Fish Story as a fun Irish flick where a boy discovers the fun story behind his name. Well done but a bit repetitive visuals. Cute story. Dadyaa – The Woodpeckers of Rotha – interesting story about a haunted village with what I think were indigenous people. Not really my cup of tea.
Novitiate – What a great way to start the #SundanceFilmFestival. This inside look at a convent just prior to Vatican 2 showcases what it took to become a nun in a coming of age type movie. Very strong performances included an old favorite I haven’t seen in a long time – Julianne Nicholson. Direction, Cinematography and writing all collide nicely to produce what might be one of the breakout films. Not sure it’s meant for mainstream but should do very well streaming and indie circuit. Date night, probably more for the girls!
Lion – I was swept away with the story of the child – Sunny Pawar is remarkable. But as soon as the story matures it becomes a bit lost leaving you eager for the brief moments of childhood memories to return. Dev Patel is adequate but the adult story is just, well, not as interesting, almost as if they tried to make more of it than was there or they weren’t sure how to write it. Based on a true story, you’ll enjoy going through it, bring a tissue. Date night worthy but you can wait to stream it, might even be more cozy that way.
Fences – Turning a play into a movie isn’t always easy and this one straddled the fence. Denzel was in a play while others were in a movie – there is a cadence to a play which he brought to the film, unmatched. It may be that as director, he would have been better served by having a his own director. Thankfully he was surrounded by a good cast and cinematographer. Viola deserves the accolades she is receiving. Not really date night material given the story line but a nice one to cozy up to at home.
The Girl on the Train – I liked that if felt like reading a book which is why I assume it was popular and all were looking forward to seeing it. Emily Blunt puts in a good performance although not her best, depending on her standardly bewildered yet intelligent look. Cinematography steals the spotlight. Good late night movie to watch with your significant other, so yes for date night and streaming with wine.