‘Booksmart’ screening and Q&A: Olivia Wilde’s generational anthem

The Harvard College Film Festival hosted an advance screening of Olivia Wilde’s feature film directorial debut, “Booksmart” (2019), at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge on Thursday, April 11.  The hilarious and heartfelt coming-of-age story follows Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) and Molly (Beanie Feldstein), two best friends who’ve tackled their high school careers with a no-nonsense attitude. […]


‘Unicorn Store’ is a quirky, glittery directorial debut for Larson

Nearly two years after its Toronto International Film Festival premiere, Brie Larson’s directorial debut “Unicorn Store” (2017) officially hit Netflix for everyone to see and enjoy. It’s a colorful debut, full of bright paint and plenty of shiny spectacle. And those sparkles aren’t just for show. At its heart, “Unicorn Store” is a flawed story […]


October box office roundup: Frighteningly good

The October box office has a history of under-performing releases, often mired by overdone horror movies in honor of Halloween. Prior to this year’s record-breaking “Venom” release, “Gravity” (2013) held October’s highest opening weekend, followed by a line of horror films, including most of the “Saw” saga and some random outliers, like “High School Musical […]


‘A Star is Born’ is an absolutely authentic, rich remake

Content warning: This article discusses alcohol abuse, drug abuse and suicide. In a scene from “A Star Is Born,” Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) invites love interest and up-and-coming singer-songwriter Ally Campana (Lady Gaga) on stage at a concert to perform “Shallow,” a song Ally had just begun writing. It is at this moment that both Cooper […]


‘Kusama: Infinity’ narrows in on Yayoi Kusama’s life, artistic legacy

Content Warning: This article mentions self-harm. Visionary contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama’s work may be instantly recognizable. Her rise to international fame, however, was not a linear or easy path, as depicted in Magnolia Pictures’ biopic “Kusama: Infinity” (2018). Kusama’s “White No. 28” (1960) became the most expensive work by a living female artist when it was sold […]


Despite pretty good intentions, ‘I Feel Pretty’ pretty much fails

Amy Schumer’s “I Feel Pretty” (2018) poses an interesting question: What would happen if women simply decided to find themselves beautiful? What kind of confidence would they be able to awaken with such an attitude? Unfortunately, “I Feel Pretty’s” premise and intentions are its only strong characteristics. The film follows physically insecure Renee Bennett (Schumer), who […]


Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Phantom Thread’ is a ghost in disguise

On its surface, Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Phantom Thread” (2017) is an elegant, sumptuous period piece, one that promises to envelop you in the distant world of a high-society designer in post-War London. From Mark Bridges’ couture costume design to Jonny Greenwood’s lush orchestral score, the film’s basic elements add up to something that looks familiar: a […]


‘The Divine Order’ is a familial power struggle writ large

From the opening of “The Divine Order,” the rollicking German-language Swiss drama from writer and director Petra Volpe, the family is painted as manufactured. Theresa (Rachel Braunschweig) asks her sister Nora (Marie Leuenberger) to talk some sense into Theresa’s daughter, Hanna (Ella Rumpf). Theresa frames her daughter’s behavior by the gaze, remarking on her daughter’s new nickname: “The Village Bike.” From the outset, the women are […]


With ‘Lady Bird,’ Greta Gerwig soars as a storyteller

Greta Gerwig knows there are no new stories. The actress, writer and now director has made roughly the same movie many times over in her decade-young career, about an educated and white 20-something feeling lost in the world and trying their best to find a way forward. But from starring in 2000s mumblecore films like […]


Pixar’s latest film ‘Coco’ makes for pleasant family viewing

The concept of life beyond death draws much fascination from storytellers. Pixar’s newest film, “Coco” (2017), does not necessarily stage it as a central point, but rather uses it to emphasize the coexistence of family and ambition. This idea develops through the actions of an eager boy from Mexico who breaks from tradition on Día […]


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