BOTTOMS – Review by Sherin Nicole

Now is a good moment for absurdist satire, and I like Bottoms a lot. Why? First of all, Marshawn Lynch is in it. So, it’s already cooking. Speaking of cooking, it stars the versatile and fabulous Ayo Edebiri alongside the movie’s co-writer Rachel Sennott. Imagine a pair of lusty lesbians who dream of getting girls and being ‘qweens’ at their high school. Now imagine the story takes place in a similar world as Heathers.

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SUSIE SEARCHES – Review by Sherin Nicole

Everyone—no matter how nefarious or nice—is the hero of their story. This gives antagonists and anti-heroes their pull. It also draws us into Susie Searches. But there’s something else. Those of us who stand behind the curtain of influencer-based entertainment are often like The Wizard, wearing a grand mask to hide fragilities or darker things.

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JE’VIDA (Tribeca 2023) – Review by Sherin Nicole

Filmed in black & white, with dialogue in the Skolt Sámi dialect (a global first), director Katja Gauriloff, alongside co-writer Niillas Holmberg, explores the destruction of original cultures at the feet of forced assimilation. The Sámi are an indiginous people who are native to Finland, Norway, Sweden, and the Kola Peninsula of Russia. Today roughly 300 people still speak the Skolt Sámi dialect and hold fast to their traditions. Je’vida may be fiction but it is their story

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THE PERFECT FIND (Tribeca 2023) – Review by Sherin Nicole

I am in love with love. And romantic comedies are candy. Devouring them is what I do. Yet, lately, they haven’t been as tasty as they once were. Outside of K-dramas, it’s been a long time since a rom-com has delighted me. So, I have good news: The Perfect Find is what its title suggests. Based on the novel of the same name by Tia Williams (who also makes a cameo appearace), director Numa Perrier and writer Leigh Davenport kept me giggling but also delivered a couple I could cheer for.

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CYPHER (Tribeca 2023) – Review by Sherin Nicole

Cypher is a high-concept docudrama that transmutes into an occult-tinged thriller. It has no genre. Instead, Cypher culminates in a sort of filmic mix-media, a mélange of documentaries, music biopics, and paranormal thrillers, that blends but keeps its flavors distinct. In discussing its multiplicity, we’re going to need a new portmanteau. Let’s go with ‘docu-thriller’ or ‘metamentary’ and hope they are articulate enough.

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ÖTE (Tribeca 2023) – Review by Sherin Nicole

Lela (Iman Artwell-Freeman) disembarks from a train in Denizli, Turkey. She is outfitted similarly to college backpackers, ready to hike across the continent. This is and isn’t true. Lela has something different in mind, but we’re never quite sure what it is. Does she need space? Is she running from or to something? Is this trip a checkmark on a bucket list? What we do know is, much like the title Öte, meaning beyond, this story is likely to push Lela past her boundaries.

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HAPPY CLOTHES: A FILM ABOUT PATRICIA FIELD (Tribeca 2023) – Review by Sherin Nicole

Building a great character is done in layers. Who they are and what they say on the page comes first. The actor who embodies them. The director who gives them a world to inhabit. And the costumer who makes it all instantly recognizable. The better the squad, the better the character. Legendary costume designer Patricia Field is someone you want on your team. The looks she delivered for The Devil Wears Prada and Sex and the City, Ugly Betty and Emily in Paris, are pop-culture pillars—memorable and imitated. The life she leads is the same.

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BOCA CHICA (Tribeca 2023) – Review by Sherin Nicole

There is something about cinematic weddings that causes things to fall apart. Perhaps jealousies and failures, secrets and lies, cannot exist under pressure. Whatever the catalyst is, it incites engaging crescendos on film. Sparked by the light of Scarlet Camilo’s performance, alongside daily life in the Caribbean, Boca Chica is a quiet film that finds impact in bitter truth and hopes unbound.

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YOU HURT MY FEELINGS – Review by Sherin Nicole

A good piece of storytelling relates to us in multiple ways. You Hurt My Feelings, written and directed by Nicole Holofcener, found its way to me. At first, the nostalgia of movies like You Hurt My Feelings drew me in. Soft giggly indies that revolve around people who are comfortable enough to sweat the small stuff. Funny stories of neuroses and self-examination within the microcosms of families or intimate friend groups. This movie—about an author (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), her therapist husband (Tobias Menzies), their cannabis-selling son (Owen Teague), the author’s interior designer sister (Michaela Watkins), and her actor husband (Arian Moayed)—brought me back to the movies I watched while I was growing up; where the stakes were low but the relationships meant everything (and you could laugh at trouble).

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PALM TREES AND POWER LINES – Review by Sherin Nicole

You’ll hear “disturbing” or “cautionary tale” and I do not deny those things are true. Palm Trees and Power Lines does not caution so much as scream to be shared with young women, so they might recognize the trap of a hunter before falling prey. The presentation is often yellowed or at times cast in greyed darkness, with an almost dingy grain that suggests what lies within is tainted. That is another truth. Equally undeniable, the ending is as ominous as a razor blade across the carotid.

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