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  • Words on Bathroom Walls

    Words on Bathroom Walls


    Free virtual advanced screening courtesy of Gofobo Screenings and the DC Film Society. 

    A bit too precious about mental illness, with both the darkness and the light heightened in transparently theatrical ways. The finale is entirely too upbeat from what has gone before, to the point that I can almost believe it is a wish fulfilling delusion of a drugged and institutionalized mental patient (though I’m not suggesting that is the intent). The lead performances are serviceable but otherwise unnoteworthy,…

  • Radioactive



    Free virtual advanced screening courtesy of Amazon Screenings and the DC Film Society. 

    Very odd film with a very odd central character. I can’t speak to the accuracy of the portrayal of Marie Curie, but Pike has made a career of portraying odd, caustic, infuriating and brilliant women, so her presence here is no surprise. But the dreamlike and metaphysical approach to the story, with numerous fantasy and flash-forward elements, is too archly artful, the period production design is artificial looking and off-putting, the largely electronic score is distractingly out-of-place, and the film can’t seem to decide if Curie’s discoveries should be praised or condemned.

Recent reviews

  • Le Chocolat de H

    Le Chocolat de H


    J-FILM GOURMET: Free virtual screening hosted online by the Japan Information & Culture Center sponsored by the Embassy of Japan, Washington DC.

    Chocolate is not usually associated with Japan, being generally thought of as a European confection, so it is unexpected to learn that the world’s premiere chocolatier is Japanese. This reverential doc follows the standard pattern of many recent portraits of chefs and food artisans, covering their early lives and family struggles and highlighting their culinary skills and achievements with…

  • The Way I See It

    The Way I See It


    Free virtual advanced screening courtesy of Gofobo Screenings and the DC Film Society. 

    Lovely reminder of a time when the President was someone to admire and not a subject of shame. Unabashedly pro-Obama and anti-Trump, but backed up with imagery and narrative that demonstrates how important empathy and compassion are in a President in a way that transcends politics and party affiliation. You can criticize Obama’s job performance and accomplishments with some justification, but as a moral leader and compassionate…

Popular reviews

  • The Short History of the Long Road

    The Short History of the Long Road


    Chicago Critics Film Festival 2019 - Film #16.

    A lovely and warm film featuring a standout performance from (the apparently famous but new to me) Sabrina Carpenter as Nola. Rather than being a cautionary tale of the many hazards of living homeless and on the road, the film is instead hopeful and optimistic about the general decency of strangers. You can call that naive, but there is also a certain naivety in assuming there is violence and ruin around every…

  • The Philadelphia Story

    The Philadelphia Story


    This fusion of a comedy of manners with a screwball comedy is truly the best of both worlds. Hepburn, Grant and Stewart have never been better. But what I'd missed in prior viewings is the pain that Tracy feels and Hepburn so expertly displays when she realizes the life and persona she's built for herself isn't working anymore. Every time she is referred to as an idealization (a "statue on a pedestal") you see a little jolt to Hepburn's frame.…