MARTIN EDEN – Review by Sarah Ward

Luca Marinelli’s expression changes many, many times in Pietro Marcello’s bold and bewitching version of Martin Eden. You don’t receive acting awards for emotion-filed eyes alone, but Marinelli certainly earned his 2019 Venice Film Festival Best Actor award several times over. His is a performance that a filmmaker can build a feature around, as Marcello has.

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MS WHITE LIGHT – Review by Sarah Ward

Ms. White Light focuses on a woman whose life revolves around the death of others. Ruminatively penned by writer/director Paul Shoulberg, the narrative presents a few basic truths about humanity that are rarely admitted in such a frank fashion: that death is hard and messy, that most people don’t want to deal with it, and that many opt out when confronted by serious and terminal illnesses suffered by even their nearest and dearest.

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ETERNAL BEAUTY – Review by Sarah Ward

Sally Hawkins is one of the finest and most compelling talents currently gracing our screens. And, as demonstrated in Maudie and now Eternal Beauty as well, she’s one of the most quietly, touchingly expressive performers that audiences presently have the pleasure of watching — especially when it comes to characters who aren’t being afforded a voice, a path or their own sense of agency by the world around them.

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ONCE UPON A RIVER – Review by Sarah Ward

Once Upon a River is set in 1977, but feels timeless. Fashions and decor fit the period; however highlighting the era isn’t first-time feature filmmaker Haroula Rose’s main objective as she navigates the tale of Native American teenager Margo Crane (Kenadi DelaCerna) and the traumas that plague her during her male-dominated coming-of-age journey.

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SNO BABIES – Review by Sarah Ward

The best thing that can be said about Sno Babies is that it knows what kind of film it wants to be. An anti-drug drama intent on detailing all of the ways that illicit substances are harmful, and all of the unpleasant — and stereotypical — outcomes they can lead to, it’s basically an amped-up after-school special that’s trying to scare its viewers with relentless bleakness,

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LOST GIRLS & LOVE HOTELS – Review by Sarah Ward

Lost Girls & Love Hotels isn’t a traditional romance, but it relies upon a well-worn romantic idea. While the notion that you can both lose and find yourself through travel, and via relocating to a busy big city far away from your usual troubles, may be based in truth, it’s so frequently trotted out as a piece of profound wisdom and as the foundation for contemplative stories about yearning, searching souls that it often plays as a cliché.

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I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS – Review by Sarah Ward

Its title is a statement of uncertainty, so it should come as no surprise that much is far from firm within I’m Thinking of Ending Things, Charlie Kaufman’s latest feature. Adapting the novel of the same name by Iain Reid, I’m Thing of Ending Things makes good on its moniker by letting its audience into the protagonist’s head — though not as literally as Being John Malkovich, nor as creatively as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

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JIMMY CARTER: ROCK & ROLL PRESIDENT – Review by Sarah Ward

In friendly, thoughtful and candid chats filmed in his Plains home, Jimmy Carter shares his fondness for gospel music, his respect of jazz, and his love of Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and The Allman Brothers. Also fueling the feature: his memories of his childhood, political career and the friendships forged with the aforementioned performers that have lasted decades.

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