Top 10 TV Series of 2017

Top 10 TV Series of 2017 10. I Love Dick Jill Soloway’s brilliant micro-series about art, desire, and aging simply scorches: from the dusty desert setting to the searing sexual chemistry, you can practically feel heat emanate from your screen. Failed filmmaker Chris (Kathryn Hahn, indispensable) follows her older academic husband from Brooklyn to Texas…

Top 10 Films of 2017

Top 10 films released in 2017 10. Battle of the Sexes Can we just pretend Emma Stone won her Oscar for this one instead of Blah-Blah Bland? Stone is warm and understated as feminist tennis legend Billie Jean King, who faces off against Steve Carrell’s frustrating/charming Bobby Riggs in the famed 1970s tennis match of…

“Toni Erdmann” and the Burdens of Womanhood

You were lied to. Toni Erdmann is not a comedy. Sure, German director Maren Ade’s Oscar-nominated ode to fatherhood (and daughterhood) is hilarious. I laughed my heart out at its quotidian absurdity. The log line primes us for funny: “Goofy older music teacher plays pranks on his upright, workaholic kid to spark a little life…

Final Oscar Predictions 2017

I’ll be honest – 2016 was not my favorite year for film. While movies like American Honey, The Edge of Seventeen, Moonlight, and Manchester by the Sea astonished me (and Lion made me cry uncontrollably from the first five minutes until the end of the credits), I find myself less impressed with most of this year’s Oscar…

Top 10 Nontraditional Horror Films

Is it possible to be a horror fan and not really enjoy most capital-h “Horror” movies? Well, let me back up for a second. I actually do love the body horror/splatterpunk genres (think the visceral, frenetic, transformational, oozing nastiness of The Fly, Dead Alive, or even Rosemary’s Baby). I long to be shocked and disgusted,…

“Antibirth” Review: Something is Rotten in the State of Michigan

Hallucinogenic body horror flick Antibirth is a stomach-roiling kaleidoscope of mindfuck terrors and shock-induced howls, an experience so bizarre, so brain-frying, you’ll stumble off the ride and immediately want to go again. Danny Perez’s feature film debut is a triumph of disgust and primal feminist rage, a dream fever that questions what a drug-fueled threesome…

“Left on Pearl” Review: Searing Documentary Reads Like a Heist Film

On March 8, 1971, at the burgeoning of the women’s liberation movement, several hundred young activists marched from an International Women’s Day rally at Boston Common into the city of Cambridge and ended up seizing a Harvard University building in the name of feminism. They called it “The Women’s Center.” The activists were young, spirited, and savvy, drawn…

“Only Yesterday” Review: This Coming-of-Age Captivates

If you have the opportunity to see Japanese animated drama film Only Yesterday this week, I implore you to do so, as it is a triumph of both visual storytelling and emotional resonance. Hailing from Hiyao Miyazaki’s famed Studio Ghibli and acclaimed director Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya),…

Final Oscar Predictions 2016

Another year, another Oscars. The 88th Academy Awards are just a day away and it’s a wide open race this spring for Best Picture. The guild awards have spoken… and they all disagree. With the PGAs going to The Big Short, the DGAs to The Revenant, and the SAGs to Spotlight, there’s a good chance many prognosticators this…

“The Witch” Review: A Creeping Tale of Terrorism

In what circumstances is evil created? It’s a question many terrorism films attempt to answer, but few horror stories work to understand the underpinnings of malevolence as much as they often merely present it as fact. Not so in “The Witch,” Robert Eggers’ absorbing new horror thriller that is indeed also a terrorism story –…