Tommy Gillespie

Tommy Gillespie is an Arts & Living editor at the Tufts Daily. He is a senior majoring in English and Film & Media Studies. Tommy can be reached at

Ladj Ly’s ‘Les Misérables’ breathe new joy into French cinema

Director Ladj Ly’s feature debut “Les Misérables” (2019) borrows a title, heady themes of inequality and police corruption and even a setting (the Parisian suburb of Montfermeil) from Victor Hugo’s immortal novel. Yet, Ly’s Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize-winning and now Oscar-nominated film seamlessly infuses Instagram crime-solving and drone-filmed police violence into its high-octane, deeply […]

The Arts Section Presents: 2010s in film

The 2010s saw cultural milestones for film. Disney dominated big-box film — in 2015, Disney and Lucasfilm began the epic third trilogy of the “Star Wars” franchise (1977–), while Marvel dropped a whopping 21 films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including four “Avengers” movies that mark the beginning and end of an era of Marvel […]

‘Knives Out’ hits every murder mystery beat with aplomb

The greatest strength of “Knives Out” (2019) is its lack of originality. Director Rian Johnson, fresh off his “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (2017) glory, seems to have brought from that venerable series a certain “there are only seven stories” wisdom to his star-studded romp of a whodunnit. That awareness is critical to the success […]

Isabelle Huppert rises above ‘Frankie’

To paraphrase a supremely funny Saturday Night Live (SNL) sketch, “Frankie” (2019) is the type of film you can take a warm bath in. The Isabelle Huppert-headlined movie takes us on a leisurely jaunt up and down the steep inclines of Portugal’s breathtaking coastal forests as its familial web of characters jostle with their own […]

Chalamet cannot drag ‘The King’ to glory

“The King” (2019) never exactly takes a false step. Pinpointing where the Timothée Chalamet-led adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henriad plays, which depict the Hundred Years’ War, goes wrong is a futile exercise that only yields scratched heads and shrugged shoulders. A faithful enough adaptation of Shakespeare’s most famous historical plays? Check. A dutiful rendering of King […]

Weekender: Art, oppression, resilience converge at Boston Palestine Film Festival

Last Friday marked the premiere of the 13th annual Boston Palestine Film Festival, which opened with a screening of writer-director Elia Suleiman’s acclaimed dramedy “It Must Be Heaven” (2019) at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston. The festival, which is organized by an all-volunteer team in partnership with the MFA and numerous sponsors, […]

‘Drag Race UK’ gets off to a smashing start

Oi, kitty girls! Following Yvie Oddly’s well-deserved victory in the season 11 finale, the world received a welcome four-month break from the ongoing onslaught of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” (2009–) content. On Oct. 3, however, the reality TV behemoth finally hopped the pond. With its first two episodes, “RuPaul’s Drag Race UK” (2019–) has served up a crop of […]

‘The Room’ star Sestero visits Coolidge Corner Theatre

Brookline’s Coolidge Corner Theatre played host to a perplexing spectacle last Friday night: a storm of plastic spoons flew blindly in all directions above the seats of the darkened historic theater, shouts from the audience deafened the dialogue playing out onscreen and characters entering the frame were greeted with resounding demands to identify themselves and […]

Weekender: ‘Republic of Camberville’ brings area to podcast life

Local writer Danielle Monroe’s eight-part fictional podcast “Republic of Camberville” (2019–) made its official debut on Soundcloud, Apple Podcasts and Spotify on Wednesday, Sept. 25. Monroe, who dedicated the podcast to “the dancers, drug addicts and dreamers who call Camberville home,” sees “Republic of Camberville” as a chance to mine the rich spectrum of life […]

‘Ad Astra’ puts style before substance

“Retro” may seem like a misplaced descriptor for “Ad Astra” (2019), director James Gray’s effort in Hollywood’s recent surfeit of introspective, big-budget sci-fi. The future of the Brad Pitt-headlined picture takes on a distinctly contemporary grimness.  A man-made catastrophe threatens Earth’s survival. The moon, sporting a commercialized landing terminal complete with a Subway and a […]