MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 15, 2019: ATLANTICS

Dreamy and full of unexpected twists, Mati Diop’s narrative debut Atlantics — Grand Jury Prize winner at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival — is simultaneously a tender tale of star-crossed lovers, an eerie ghost story, and a gritty procedural. That unusual combination keeps it surprising and engaging throughout and underlines writer/director Diop’s notable talent.

Read more

Filmmaker Alma Har’el on Shia LeBeouf and the Truth of HONEY BOY – Sarah Knight Adams interviews

Honey Boy, her first narrative feature film, premiered in the dramatic competition at Sundance 2019, where Alma Har’el won the Special Jury Award for Vision and Craft. Honey Boy is based on the volatile upbringing of actor Shia LeBeouf, who wrote the script during his ordered re-hab stay. He reached out to Har’el and asked her to direct the feature film about his life, with him playing the character based on his father, a rodeo-clown, haunted with regrets.

Read more

ATLANTICS – Review by Loren King

What a stunning, original, visually striking feature debut from Mati Diop. Senegal’s entry for Best International Film Oscar consideration,Atlantics made history and generated wide interest when it won the Grand Prix at Cannes. Not just that, but Diop, who is of African and French heritage, became the first black woman to direct a film featured in the Festival’s Competition section.

Read more

ATLANTICS – Review by Sheila Roberts

Mati Diop’s highly original film is a magical and mysterious tale told from the female-centric perspective of those left behind. It’s filled with ghostly apparitions that capture both the plight of the migrant crisis and the life altering impact of genuine love. Ada’s dreams, nightmares and memories are central to her African identity. They are omens that remind her of who she is, what she can become, and how the future belongs to her.

Read more

MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 8, 2019 – HONEY BOY

Part coming-of-age drama, part father-son story, and part therapy, “Honey Boy” is a compelling take on actor Shia LaBeouf’s troubled childhood and controversial behavior as a Hollywood star. Working from LaBeouf’s own script, director Alma Har’el builds sympathy for both LaBeouf and his father without excusing either for their actions.

Read more

HONEY BOY – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

In Honey Boy, Shia LeBeouf takes ownership of his own screwed-up childhood back when he starred on a Disney Channel series and splashes it on the big screen in a form of performance therapy. This biographical shrink session, based on a script he wrote as part of his rehab, is a far cry from his Transformers sci-fi blockbusters that get a skewering in the opening moments. On top of that, he makes matters even more interesting by playing his own shiftless, unstable and self-absorbed abusive father – probably the most honest acting he will ever achieve as he attempts to shoo away the demons that haunt him.

Read more

HONEY BOY – Review by Sheila Roberts

Shia LaBeouf delves into the darkest recesses of his soul in Amazon’s riveting Honey Boy based on his autobiographical screenplay about a young actor’s tumultuous childhood and early adult years as he attempts to reconcile his love for his alcoholic father with his pain. Honey Boy is one of the best movies I’ve seen this year. It’s transcendent cinema told with authenticity and brutal honesty. This is a beautifully crafted film, and the impressive work by director Alma Har’el, the ensemble and DP Natasha Braier make them worthy contenders for consideration this awards season.

Read more

MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 1, 2019: PARADISE HILLS

Alice Waddington’s lush, imaginative directorial debut builds such a convincing dystopian world that you’d be forgiven for assuming it must be based on some intricate, “Hunger Games”-like series of YA novels. But Brian DeLeeuw and Nacho Vigalondo’s tale of privileged young women at a very unusual “finishing school” called Paradise Hills is a true original.

Read more

PARADISE HILLS -Review by Shiela Roberts

Paradise Hills, Spanish filmmaker Alice Waddington’s feature debut, is a stylish fantasy sci-fi thriller and a visual delight that does not disappoint. Set in a futuristic environment, the film’s ensemble cast includes Emma Roberts, Milla Jovovich, Danielle Macdonald, Awkwafina and Eiza Gonzalez. When Uma’s (Roberts) socially ambitious family forces her into an arranged marriage to a wealthy young man she has no affection for, the outspoken young teenager decides to defy social conventions in order to marry the man she truly loves.

Read more

SERENDIPITY – Review by Loren King

If you don’t know French artist Prune Nourry — and I didn’t before watching her documentary If you don’t know French artist Prune Nourry — and I didn’t before watching her documentary Serendipity — this personal and profound film is a great introduction to a singular creative force and fascinating person.

Read more