January 23, 2019
The Man Who Fell To EarthJanuary 24, 2019
Drama / 1976 / 138 minutes
It takes a director of great vision to translate David Bowie's iconic, otherworldly charisma effectively to screen, and it could be argued that it was never done better than in Nicholas Roeg's The Man Who Fell to Earth. A surreal sci fi epic that is every bit as enigmatic as its lead, Roeg's adaptation of the Walter Tevis novel follows the exploits of an extraterrestrial (Bowie, in his first onscreen role) who has crash-landed on Earth in a quest to find water for his dying world. Having recently portrayed an alien during his Ziggy Stardust album cycle, Bowie is an ideal fit for the material, casting a striking figure against Roeg's beautifully captured New Mexico locales and riveting the viewer to the screen in a way few performers ever could. Not to short-thrift Roeg's contribution; only in the hands of a great artistic intelligence does work so trippy and unconventional achieve such heights of sublime beauty, a finely-crafted tone poem about spiritual longing that feels as much a beautiful, ancient artifact as it does a piece of star-fallen ephemera. With Rip Torn and Candy Clark.
EggJanuary 24, 2019
Comedy / 2019 / 90 minutes
The long awaited feature follow-up to her indie debut Good Dick, director Marianna Palka – known primarily as a memorable side character on the hit Netflix show Glow – tackles the sticky subjects of motherhood, female friendship and marriage with her sharply astute and wickedly funny Egg. Working from a cracking script by Risa Mickenberg, Palka's second feature centers on a pair of old friends – one of whom is 8 months pregnant (Christina Hendricks) – and the increasingly tense evening they share when the other (Alysia Reiner) reveals her plan to get pregnant via surrogate (Anna Camp) as an art project. Hendricks and Reiner play off each other brilliantly, trading wonderfully calibrated passive hostilities until the inevitable eruption, illustrating through their impeccable dramatic and comedic chops how the looming threat of parenthood brings out personality flaws both hilarious and heartbreaking. With David Alan Basche and Gbenga Akinnagbe.
Vox LuxJanuary 25, 2019
Drama / 2018 / 110 minutes
Coming out of the 2018 festival circuit with a well-deserved buzz, Brady Corbet's audacious Vox Lux sees the young actor transition to the director's chair with promising results. The unconventional story (narrated by Willem Dafoe) follows a pair of songwriter sisters who are thrust into fame’s spotlight following a terrible act of violence, then picks up 18 years later when another violent act finds its way into their volatile, fame-tainted relationship. As the pop icon that drives the narrative thrust Natalie Portman is both committed and convincing, matched in her performance by young co-lead Raffey Cassidy, who impressively shoulders complex dual roles. Corbet does a skillful job covering a lot of emotional ground, keeping the small moments naturalistic and intimate, then swinging for the fences visually when the film careens, inevitably, into big spectacle arena pop. With Jennifer Ehle, Stacy Martin, and Jude Law as a wonderfully gruff and ethically questionable manager.
WidowsJanuary 25, 2019
Drama / 2018 / 129 minutes
Following up his 12 Years A Slave Oscar win with a longstanding passion-project, Steve McQueen's Widows moves the writer-director into new genre territory but with the same critically spectacular results. Teaming with Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn, McQueen's adapted take on the 1983 British TV series is set in modern day Chicago and centers on a heist planned by four women (led by the always commanding Viola Davis) that will settle the debts of their criminal husbands, and how the complex landscape of crime and political corruption factors into their increasingly dire situation. McQueen proves yet again why he is a masterful visual storyteller, using the crime thriller structure to make astute observations on the bigger societal picture, and armed with an embarrassment of great actors delivers big on real-world drama, social commentary and action cinema thrills. With Michelle Rodriguez, Liam Neeson, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo, Collin Farrell, Robert DuVall and Daniel Kaluuyla.