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  • A Hidden Life

    A Hidden Life

    ★★★★★

    For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light... everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light."
    - Ephesians 5:8-14

    What is the meaning of the darkness?
    At the core of this question in A Hidden Life, Terrence Malick’s latest film, is that familiar visual sense that has come to define his style. Here he weaves darkness and light as both literal cinematic functions and metaphorical…

  • The Rider

    The Rider

    ★★★★½

    An unconventional film that uses the raw performances of its non-actors to underscore a potent spiritual core. The Rider is not afraid to dig into the human experience without the glamour and the polish, and what surfaces are some deeply rooted questions about what makes life worth living.

    There are a few ways in which The Rider could compare to another recently released and well received indie film with untested performances and an unconventional narrative style- Eighth Grade. I bring…

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  • Breathing

    Breathing

    ★★★

    What might be most noted about Breathing, a film that gains its title from the idea of meditative practice (the picture on the cover is of our main character removing himself from the overwhelming chaos of outside noise and slowing his breathing under water), is how restrained the drama is. Given the subject matter, which follows a young man committed of a crime and sentenced to prison with the option of community service, a service he fulfills by working at…

  • She Remembers, He Forgets

    She Remembers, He Forgets

    ★★★½

    This is about as sentimental as it comes. Sometimes that works against a film. In this case I think it is actually one of its strengths. It is, at its heart, a bittersweet narrative about high school, childhood dreams, and the world that we come to inhabit in adulthood that threatens to reveal these dreams as false and mere allusions.

    One of the most essential questions that we find here is that of the childhood imagination. This imagination is realized…

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  • The Frame

    The Frame

    ★★★★

    This is a film for anyone who has ever felt abandoned by God or angry at God, stuck in the endless cycle of struggle in this life and this world. This is a film for anyone who has ever wondered why this is the script we've been given.

    It is also a picture of what it is to surrender all of this to a God who loves us unconditionally, in the anguish and in the tears.

  • Joker

    Joker

    ★★★★½

    Simply brilliant.

    This is an origins story that feels familiar on the surface but defies convention in the subtext. Taking a story that we think we know, Todd Phillips leads us into an intimate portrait of a man being pushed over the edge, a story that is made all the more real by a truly captivating performance by Phoenix, an incredible and haunting score, and an absolutely breathtaking display of cinematography and editing. This is a film that manages to…