• Loveless

    Loveless

    ★★★

    awkwardly marries sleek cinematography to a bleak reality

  • Je, tu, il, elle

    Je, tu, il, elle

    ★★★★

    the film meanders through the life of a young, sexually open and curious woman with fervor and a total disregard for mainstream filmmaking

  • Hand Rolled Cigarette

    Hand Rolled Cigarette

    ★★★

    Draws you in with great world-building, but pulls you out of emotional beats.

    Gritty texture created by the lighting and production design.

    The script is alright, gripping in the beginning but loosens up in the third act. The motif of the hand-rolled cigarette fails to carry any thematic weight.

    Amongst many things, the film aims at creating a genuine bromance between two outsiders who are trapped, which is ruined by cheesy writing and direction.

  • Letters Home

    Letters Home

    ★★★★½

    This heartbreaking piece's power lies in its exhilarating performances and editing scheme, jolting us in and out of utter passion and crippling depression.

    The interplay of mother and daughter, as embodied by the two actors on stage, crosses barriers of space and time to imagine a loving and tragic mother-daughter relationship.

  • Stand by Me

    Stand by Me

    ★★★★

    Did not expect to tear up watching this one but I did, when Gordie finally broke down after seeing the body.

    There's something about a child who feels unloved by his parents, even though it might just be a feeling, that always touches me. The film arrives at this vulnerable moment through the guise of a coming-of-age adventure of four teenagers, which is full of wonder, togetherness and thrill.

    It's totally sincere to the point of corniness, though the power of it still stands.

    It's a kind of movie of nostalgia that nobody makes anymore. What a treasure.

  • News from Home

    News from Home

    ★★★★

    I walked out of the theater seeing and hearing the world in front of me through Akerman's eyes and ears. I became so aware of the movement of people in the neighborhood, cars whizzing by on the roads, and just the overall passing of time.

    Very special feeling after watching a film.

    I'd say it's not as groundbreaking as some of her other films, but it's so personal and poignant.

  • Raya and the Last Dragon

    Raya and the Last Dragon

    ★★

    HERO'S JOURNEY mixed with video-game level-up narrative structure that amount to a big LESSON in the end --> happy ending

    Not a fan of Awkwafina's over-the-top 'quirky' voice acting.

  • Nomadland

    Nomadland

    ★★★

    A movie that milks documentary-realism for sentimentality 

    Its strongest moments are when the nomads, who are played by real-life versions of themselves, tell us the painful stories in their lives. However, these stories are only touched on superficially, exploited for sentimental points. 

    A loose story structure carries the film, but nothing revealing amounts.

  • Faces

    Faces

    ★★★★½

    shreds the screen with a sense of visual rawness and frenetic editing; bombastic performances

    reminds me of Antonioni's high-society characters, psychologically trapped in their own bourgeois cocoon

    needs a rewatch to understand the content better

  • The Break-Up

    The Break-Up

    ★★★½

    jennifer aniston at her best; a masterclass of the dialogue-heavy, performance-driven kind of Hollywood directing.

    Solid writing and overall execution, just lacks a bit of originality.

  • Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

    Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

    ★★★★

    finding humor and solace in the absurd coincidences in life

  • Septet: The Story of Hong Kong

    Septet: The Story of Hong Kong

    ★★½

    Only jonnie to and tsui hark’s pieces work well as shorts