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  • Umberto D.

    Umberto D.

    ★★★★★

    One of my grandmothers turned 90 years old in January. We took her on a trip to the Philippines for Christmas so that she can celebrate her family back on her homeland, and although it almost seemed nice to see her happy to be back home for probably one last time, a thought of sadness hit me as I came to remember something she once told me. I've lived inside of a pessimistic shadow and the thought that she might…

  • Frances Ha

    Frances Ha

    ★★★★★

    I remember the first viewing of Frances Ha well enough and how it treated me then. At the time, I was unfamiliar with Greta Gerwig and my first impression only had me thinking that what I was watching was cute and funny. The more I watch Greta Gerwig, I slowly realize what it is about the way she writes her characters that keeps me watching them as their stories are being told for us on the screen, and what I…

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  • A Simple Favor

    A Simple Favor

    ★★★½

    I was never entirely sure how to feel about the idea of Paul Feig directing a thriller, let alone have it be written by Jessica Sharzer - who had written the screenplay for Nerve. That having been said, A Simple Favor quickly had proven itself to be a rather fun time for what it is, because of how well Feig's sensibilities seem to work with the director moving into the thriller genre - even heading out for borderline Hitchcockian territory.…

  • Shadow

    Shadow

    ★★★

    TIFF viewing #22 (Gala Presentations)

    The third act of this is the Zhang Yimou that I've loved over the years. I want one of those umbrellas. The cinematography and the action are among the best that you'll get all year. It's a shame that most of what happens beforehand is a total slog to get through and even gets downright unpleasant. More to come.

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  • Ikiru

    Ikiru

    ★★★★★

    Before I begin, I would like to say that this is not going to be a proper review and I want you to keep the one person behind it in mind.

    My name is Jaime Rebanal, and I am a hopeless individual who has suffered through depression and extreme anxiety. I think saying that can already get a load off my chest for the time being.

    But why say this in front of an entry about Ikiru, you say? I…

  • La La Land

    La La Land

    ★★★½

    Damien Chazelle's ode to the classical era of Hollywood's musicals in La La Land takes his viewers on a nostalgic trip for a good two hours - and while it runs, the pleasantness can be felt all the way through as if there were anything much more to ask. Where it needs to succeed, La La Land certainly manages to achieve its goal for Damien Chazelle's aspiration to bring his own viewers back to such an era for Hollywood comes…