• Cinephilia

    Review: Someone, Somewhere

    French filmmaker Cédric Klapisch's latest film is a clever, original romance wherein the two leads, clearly meant to be together, are too busy living their lives as neighbors who never cross paths to ever find time to actually fall in love. Edited with a witty sense of humor that keeps us rooting for these two—will they ever realize how intertwined their lives really are?—Someone, Somewhere sees Klapisch excelling in a space he's more than comfortable in: exploring the way our choices shape our relationships and, in the end, our overall happiness.

  • Cinephilia

    Review: Selah and the Spades

    It could be that Selah and the Spades, the dark teen drama about cliques at a posh boarding school written and directed by Tayarisha Poe, comes to mean to teens today what the likes of Cruel Intentions or Heathers mean to earlier generations. But honestly, and despite the film’s best efforts, it’s unlikely. For everything it tries to be—rebellious, edgy, intellectual and sharp—it only manages to match the style of the superior films that’ve come before it while lacking their substance. An opening voice-over introduces us to the five “factions” that run Haldwell Boarding School and the leaders at the top of each; one does all the cheating for students eager to…

  • Cinephilia

    Review: Incitement

    When tragedy strikes, attention understandably goes to those impacted by it; in the case of a political assassination, it’s an entire nation that grieves. On the night of November 4, 1995, Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin spoke to a massive crowd gathered at what was then known as Kings of Israel Square (it’s since been renamed in his honor); as he left the rally, an extremist emerged from the shadows and fired three shots at short range. Rabin died less than an hour later, and Israel mourned not only the loss of their leader but the progress towards peace he stood for. Yigal Amir, the assassin, had adopted extremist views…

  • Cinephilia

    What to Watch When You’re New to Netflix

    I recently got a request for Netflix recommendations, which isn’t in itself unusual. Turns out, she’d just signed up for an account for the first time in years (the last time she was a subscriber, it was to receive DVDs), and she needed a little guidance on what to queue up first. To likely no one’s surprise, I went a little overboard. As the list got longer and longer, organizing it by what someone might be in the mood to watch seemed like a good way to bring order to the chaos. And because we could all use something new to watch these days, I thought I’d share the list…

  • Cinephilia

    Review: Sorry We Missed You

    The title of Ken Loach’s latest working-class drama, Sorry We Missed You, is a reference to the notes Ricky (Kris Hitchen) leaves when he can’t complete the package deliveries on his route. But it could also refer to what Ricky and his family have missed, how despite doing everything they’re supposed to do—work hard, pay their debts, educate their children, all the things society expects—they just can’t seem to catch a break. It’s as if they missed some off-ramp on life’s road to prosperity, and now that they’re on this detour they can’t seem to find their way back. Working with a cast of newcomers and assuming a role nearly…

  • Cinephilia

    Review: Love. Wedding. Repeat

    Netflix’s latest rom-com, Love. Wedding. Repeat, is an adaptation of a 2012 French film called Plan de table, a film that as far as I can gather never had much of a release outside of France and Italy and even then was not terribly well received. Writer/director Dean Craig adapts the story of a wedding reception and all its possible (and missed) connections, probably aiming for something akin to his 2007 ensemble hit Death at a Funeral, a gut-busting comedy of errors about a family burying their elderly father and unearthing some very scandalous secrets along the way. Sadly, the success of that dark comedy proves to be something of lightning in…