Indiefest: Moonlight (2016) Told in three acts, this timeless story of human connection and self-discovery follows the life of a young black man, Chiron, from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world. A tender and breathtaking film about a young man who grows up before our eyes in a rough and tumble world. Right from the start, we sense that Chiron knows he is different from the rest of the children in his school. He becomes isolated, and a drug dealer is the only one who reaches out to take care of him, something even his own mother isn’t willing to do. This is a film about how the choices you make when you are growing up have far-reaching consequences. It’s a brilliant film filled with small moments that continue to build until the exquisite ending is reached. All three actors (Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, and Trevante Rhode) who portray Chiron are dazzling in the film, but Rhode as the adult Chiron, especially stands out. Writer/director Barry Jenkins is a talent to watch if this film foretells his future. My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again Moonlight Website
Indiefest: Certain Women (2016) The lives of four women (Michelle Williams, Kristen Stewart, Laura Dern, Lily Gladstone) from Montana intersect and change all of their lives. Kelly Reichardt, who wrote the script based on the short stories of Maile Meloy, brings us a story that is low-key and often slow-moving, but that allows you to get under the skin of each character. What we see are slices of four lives. Those lives are real and powerful. This is a film that, while not a whole lot happens, it will linger with you for days because the performances of the four actresses are so powerful and real. I especially savored the performance of Lily Gladstone, who plays a soft-spoken woman who befriends the teacher, played by Stewart. She rarely speaks in the film but is so expressive in her features and body language. Her character is lonely, alone on a big ranch and is searching for someone to connect with, even if it means going to a class that she never intended to attend. Her performance is heartbreaking, especially the scenes of her standing in the parking lot, watching Beth seemingly forever driving off. “Certain Women” is a superb film full of small moments, most of which are poignant and distressing. It’s a look into the lives of four very lonely women hoping they will eventually find happiness, even if it is short-lived. My Rating: I Would Pay to See It Again Certain Women Website
In Case You Missed It (A Film Just Released on DVD / Blu-ray): Bad Moms (2016) R Three moms (Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn, Kristen Bell) have been pushed to their limit by the PTA, making lunches and managing after-school activities for their kids. It's time for the moms to hit back and have some fun. I had a great time watching this movie. While it takes a little while to take off, once Kathryn Hahn’s raunchy mom shows up, the film is a blast to watch. The three women play off each other effortlessly and they all have great comedic timing. Christina Applegate is perfect as the mom who runs the PTA with an iron hand. Go have a glass of wine and enjoy your time with some “Bad Moms.” My Rating: Full Price Bad Moms Website
Forgotten Film: The Beat That My Heart Skipped (2005) Will Thomas (Romain Duris) is destined to follow in his father, the mobster, footsteps. He has a chance encounter with a Chinese piano teacher and becomes so enchanted, he decides to take up the piano. It seems Will just might be talented enough to go into music, that is until the day that his past comes back to haunt him. This is an entertaining Film Noir gangster movie that takes a couple of unexpected turns. Duris gives a skillful multi-layered performance that makes this film so interesting to watch. My Rating: Full Price The Beat That My Hear Skipped Info
Weird Credits: From the credits of Moonlight: Immigration Legal
Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You: Hacksaw Ridge (2016) WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss (Andrew Garfield) becomes the first Conscientious Objector in American History to be awarded the Medal of Honor. The trailer makes this look like one of the ‘do not miss” films of the Oscar season. Hacksaw Ridge Website
Until Next Time!