Sam Van Hallgren

Producer, co-founder of Filmspotting.

Favorite films

  • The Young Girls of Rochefort
  • Meet Me in St. Louis
  • Little Women
  • The Impostors

Recent activity

All
  • The Fallout

    ★★★½

  • Imitation of Life

    ★★★★½

  • Better Nate Than Ever

    ★★½

  • C'mon C'mon

    ★★★★★

Recent reviews

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  • The Fallout

    The Fallout

    ★★★½

    Very tricky stuff that writer/director Megan Park mostly navigates with admirable attention to emotional detail, especially when it comes to the inner life of star Jenna Ortega. The depiction of the friendship that comes in the wake of film's inciting tragedy is the film's great achievement. Convincingly dramatizing a new friendship is no easy task, and Park does it with great patience and a light touch. Also impressive was her confidence in bringing comic moments into a film with such…

  • Imitation of Life

    Imitation of Life

    ★★★★½

    That thing with Sirk where you’re not sure if you’re watching a great film or just an exceptionally great soap opera. Doesn’t really matter because the high you get when you get on board a Sirk movie’s wavelength is like no other high, exposing reservoirs of feeling you didn’t know existed.

    I did love this film on an emotional/craft level, but appreciated it that much more after (re)listening to the recent episode that the Next Picture Show devoted to it, paring it with Rebecca Hall’s “Passing.” Guest critic Odie Henderson, talking about one of his favorite films, was particularly enlightening about the movie’s sneaky power.

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