NOT OKAY – Review by Carol Cling

Even when you know where Not Okay’s going, the journey remains engaging, thanks to writer-director Quinn Shephard’s sharp depiction of such hot topics as white privilege and online cancel culture. They’re often easy targets, and Shephard occasionally overshoots them, exaggerating the satire and, as a result, undercutting its impact. Ultimately, however, Not Okay manages to display some undeniable insight as it takes a deep dive into a world of deeply shallow people.

Read more

HANNAH MARKS on Shooting DON’T MAKE ME GO in New Zealand – Nell Minow interviews

It is too late to call Hannah Marks a “promising” young director. She has more than delivered on the promise and quality of her first two films, After Everything and Banana Split with Don’t Make Me Go, starring Mia Isaac and John Cho as a teenage daughter and father on a car trip. Marks again demonstrates her exceptional skill in working with actors and in cinematic storytelling. In an interview, she talked about making New Zealand stand in for Southwestern USA, why road trip stories are an enduring theme, and telling a story about characters who are not talking to each other about what concerns them most.

Read more

Hannah Marks and Mia Isaacs on DON’T MAKE ME GO – Pamela Powell interviews

Don’t Make Me Go is an extraordinarily smart, uplifting and heartfelt movie that combines coming of age tropes with unusual roadtrip elements as it revolves around a truly loving father and daughter relationship that’s put under severe pressure because of health issues. Mia Isaacs plays the teenage daughter of single parent Jon Cho, and their family chemistry shimmers on the screen as they drive across the US. racing to forge a plan for the future. AWFJ’s Pam Powell, who cheers this film as her favorite of the year, claimed the absolute pleasure of sitting down with Marks and Isaacs to discuss the film and the highlights of making it.

Read more

DON’T MAKE ME GO – Review by April Neale

Don’t Make Me Go is an emotionally charged example of a conflicted “buddy film” between a father (John Cho) and his teenage daughter (Mia Isaac). Their poignantly packed road trip brings unshared truths, undiagnosed medical calamity, and feelings of abandonment hemmed by moments of fun, life lessons, and a shared love of Iggy Pop’s The Passenger, a portentous upbeat song that serves as the running theme of this film.

Read more