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Review: The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2012: Animated

One film stands out among the Animated Shorts, Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby's Wild Life .
By: GERALD PEARY  |  February 08, 2012


Review: The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2012: Live Action

The Oscar nominees for Live Action Shorts come down to five conventional narratives.
The Oscar nominees for Live Action Shorts come down to five conventional narratives.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  February 07, 2012

Short Take - Albert Nobbs

Review: Albert Nobbs

Gender identity crisis
Lesbianism doesn't exist as a cogent category in 19th century Ireland, which could explain why Albert Nobbs (Glenn Close), a woman disguised for years as a man and employed as a Dublin waiter, has no personal understanding of who she is, her identity, or what she feels.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  January 26, 2012

Silent Souls 3

Review: Silent Souls

Magic realism and Chekhovian melancholy
This is probably the only film we'll encounter about the Merja culture of West Central Russia, a Finno-Ugric tribe in which even the most modernized people pay allegiance to ancient customs.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  January 17, 2012

Review: Hell and Back Again

Review: Hell and Back Again

The real-life story of a young marine
Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, Hell and Back Again offers a potent documentary correlative to the narrative of The Hurt Locker .
By: GERALD PEARY  |  January 05, 2012

Short Take: War Horse

Review: War Horse

A veritable, old-fashioned story
War Horse is corny, sentimental, overlong, but also spectacular at times, even stirring.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  December 20, 2011


Review: The Conquest

Xavier Durringer's recreation of the rise of Sarkozy
Xavier Durringer's dramatized recreation of the rise of France's Nicolas Sarkozy to the presidency is generally fair-minded and ambiguous.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  December 13, 2011

Weekend: Review

Review: Weekend

Jean-Luc Godard's 1967 opus
Among the world's masterpieces of misanthropy, Jean-Luc Godard's 1967 opus follows a loathsome, greedy, sexually perverse bourgeois married couple on a weekend jaunt into the French countryside during which they plan to murder the wife's dying father, and then, perhaps, turn viciously on each other.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  December 06, 2011

Burke & Hare: Review

Review: Burke & Hare

Mediocre black comedy
Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis are only faintly humorous as the titular team of assassins, Burke and Hare .
By: GERALD PEARY  |  November 29, 2011

Review: Tomboy

Review: Tomboy

Céline Sciamma's lovely feature
In this lovely feature from the French filmmaker Céline Sciamma, Laure, a 10-year-old tomboy decides after moving into a new neighborhood, to pretend that she's a boy, Mikael, as a way to fit in with the local kids.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  November 29, 2011

Tales from the Golden Age: Review

Review: Tales from the Golden Age

Panorama of black-humor stories
The ironically titled film refers to the dreadful Alice-in-Wonderland years when Nicolae Ceausescu was the Communist strongman of Romania.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  November 29, 2011


Review: Passione

John Turturro tours his beloved city for this documentary
Charles Aznavour and Édith Piaf, move over!
By: GERALD PEARY  |  November 22, 2011

The Man Nobody Knew: Short Take

Review: The Man Nobody Knew: In Search of My Father, CIA Spymaster William Colby

Carl Colby documents his father's life
"My father lived in shadows," says filmmaker Carl Colby in voiceover. "He liked being invisible." His documentary is a valiant but ultimately futile attempt to understand William Colby, the ex-CIA head who died in 1996.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  November 15, 2011


Review: The Other F Word

The original devil-may-care rebels enforce bedtime
Filmmaker Andrea Blaugrund Nevins spent intimate time on the road and at home with some prominent male punk rockers.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  November 08, 2011

Short Take: J. Edgar

Review: J. Edgar

DiCaprio as right-wing hero J. Edgar Hoover
Filmmaker Clint Eastwood, famously Republican, portrays right-wing hero J. Edgar Hoover, the late FBI head, as a self-aggrandizing, conniving bully and mama's boy who broke the law whenever he wanted to bring anyone down.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  November 08, 2011

oranges and sunshine short take

Review: Oranges and Sunshine

Completely predictable
Those sent to Australia were promised "oranges and sunshine," but were victimized, often sexually, in dreadful orphanages.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  November 01, 2011

the mill and the cross 2

Review: The Mill and the Cross

Conceptually confusing
Clever CGI allows the effective recreation of a 16th century Flanders.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  October 18, 2011

Weekend short take 3

Review: Weekend

Gay-themed drama
This appealing gay-themed drama, written and directed with intelligence by Andrew Haigh, is a British cousin to the American mumblecore movement, as two twentysomething guys meet, have sex, talk, have more sex, have much more chat, and get closer and closer over a long weekend.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  October 11, 2011


Documentary films get some love at a great Maine festival

Hello, Camden!
We've all had that irritating waitress who, asked what she'd suggest on the menu, answers cheerily, "Everything is great!" Thanks for the help — and what credibility!
By: GERALD PEARY  |  October 07, 2011

short takes black power mixtape

Review: The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975

A collage of privileged documentary moments
In the era when the Black Panther Party was its most powerful and off-the-pig-threatening and separatist, there was little interest in even conversing with whitey, unless whitey was from somewhere other than the ultra-racist USA.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  September 27, 2011

Happy, Happy...

Review: Happy, Happy

A familiar tale of adultery
First time filmmaker Anne Sewitsky finds a compassionate way to tell a familiar tale of adultery, and she's helped immeasurably by a first-rate acting ensemble, especially the two superlative actresses, whom you could imagine cast in films of the late Ingmar Bergman.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  September 20, 2011

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