The first clue that What If, the
new film from Michael Dowse, might be a subtle veering off course from
the typical journey can be found in the performance of Daniel Radcliffe
as Wallace, the lovelorn chap at the center of things.
Karpov (Grigoriy Dobrygin), a Chechen Muslim, enters Hamburg, Germany
illegally, weaving his way through sewers, stowing away on a cargo ship, hiding
in plain sight beneath a dirty hooded sweatshirt and a scraggly beard.
Throughout his circuitous journey, though, Issa makes time to pray.
Boyhood, as you've probably already heard, is a
different kind movie. Shot over the course of 12 years with the same
cast, filmmaker Richard Linklater's perceptive ode to family and the
life of one specific boy (played by newcomer Ellar Coltrane) from age 6
to 18 is also about the simple passage of time...
For fans of the current wave of independent filmmaking,
there’s a certain romantic curiosity surrounding the power-trio of Brit
Marling, Zal Batmanglij and Mike Cahill. Marling holds the center,
anchoring and serving as the face of the trio’s projects together.
There’s something fitting in the work of Zach Braff — the star of successful television comedy series Scrubs,
which sang, danced, and laughed its way through the madcap years of med
school residency for its hapless trio of would-be doctors — because
Braff, settling in at the helm of his second feature film, has a
not-exactly morbid curiosity with life and death.
Instead of starting off with questions
about what I learned about international film culture from attending the
Munich Film Festival, it would be far more instructive to kick off with
a discussion about what the experience made me think about in terms of
what it means to be modern.
The line of dialogue is whispered during a couple of key sequences in Third Person, the new film from Paul Haggis, the Academy Award-winning director of Crash
(Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay). As you might imagine, the
phrase insinuates itself dramatically into the hearts of the characters
who hear it, as they attempt to heed the call.
Earth to Echo wastes no time
setting up its premise. Three young teens — Alex (Teo Halm), Tuck
(Astro) and Munch (Reese Hartwig) — as awkwardly nerdy as can be, land
themselves in the middle of quite an adventure when they begin
investigating cell phone disturbances in their soon-to-be redeveloped
community in Nevada.
I love Donna Stern (Jenny Slate), the protagonist of Obvious Child,
the new indie dramedy from co-writer and director Gillian Robespierre
(working from her 2009 short of the same name), because Donna is
wickedly smart and engaging, a cute Jewish woman we rarely get to see in
mainstream romantic comedies.
Based on his work as a filmmaker, David
Michôd, Australian partner of the brothers Edgerton (Joel and Nash),
channels into the darkest corners of his heart to investigate the
primal, animalistic urges that take mankind far away from the civilized
façade we’ve constructed for ourselves.
Back in the early aughts, Clive Owen starred in a series of promotional online shorts created by BMW called The Hire,
where he played a mysterious driver with no name enlisted by powerful
people to tackle jobs that required a certain skill set, particularly
behind the wheel, that only he had.
At one time, the title for Doug Liman’s new release was All You Need is Kill
and it featured a raw 18-year-old military recruit sucked into a
time-fractured narrative that had him reliving the same day on what
seemed like an endless loop — a D-Day style attack on an alien outpost
on the Normandy beachhead that concluded with great losses to the human
Last year’s Toronto International Film Festival offered big ticket selections like Gravity and 12 Years a Slave that would go on to claim the lion’s share of the attention during the awards season; advance previews of titles like Don Jon, Prisoners and Rush seeking to grab some last minute buzz before their opening weekends...