THE GOOD INTENTIONS – TIFF19 Review by Pam Grady

Filmmaker Ana García Blaya looks to her own childhood for inspiration for this semi-autobiographical family drama defined by its title. The divorced couple at its center—ne’er-do-well, middle-aged punk rocker Gustavo (Javier Drolas) and ex Ceci (Jazmin Stuart)—mean well. Their relationship is amicable enough, but an economic downturn in Argentina has Ceci and her new husband looking toward greener pastures in Uruguay.

Read more

THREE SUMMERS – TIFF19 Review by Pam Grady

Acclaimed Brazilian actress Regina Casé—a Special Grand Jury prize winner at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival for her work in The Second Mother—delivers a richly empathetic and immensely likeable portrait of a striver whose heart is as big as her ambition in Sandra Kogut’s diverting drama.

Read more

CHARLIE SAYS – Review by Pam Grady

Director Mary Harron, who previously found the humanity in would-be assassin Valeria Solanas with I Shot Andy Warhol and Bret Easton Ellis’ twisted master of the universe in American Psycho tries to the same with Charles Manson acolytes and murderers Leslie Van Houten, Patricia Krenwinkle, and Susan Atkins with her latest, Charlie Says. It is a mixed bag, but intriguing enough to make it a worthy addition to Harron’s oeuvre despite some glaring weaknesses.

Read more

THE SEER AND THE UNSEEN – Review by Pam Grady

A grandmother takes on the powers that be in The Seer and the Unseen, Sara Dosa’s sophomore feature that made its debut at the SFFILM Festival. The documentary’s depiction of efforts to stop development across one of Iceland’s magnificent lava fields is enchanting—and not just because Iceland’s legendary elves are the titular “unseen.”

Read more

TIFF18 Review: THE FRONT RUNNER – Pam Grady

Welcome to the worst episode of West Wing, ever, as directed by Jason Reitman trying to channel Robert Altman. Never has Altman’s signature overlapping dialogue and large, panoramic casts been so ill-used than in this pallid distillation of what went wrong with Colorado Senator Gary Hart’s 1988 presidential campaign.

Read more

TIFF18 Review: ROMA – Pam Grady

Roma unreels like memory, blending quotidian scenes of family life with dramatic historical moments (an earthquake, student unrest), and leavening bits of absurdity. Exquisite sound design and director Alfonso Cuaron’s own shimmering black-and-white cinematography add to the pleasure of this warm, evocative drama,’s own shimmering black-and-white cinematography add to the pleasure of this warm, evocative drama,

Read more