Congratulations! You have successfully installed your theme. However, it may look incomplete at this moment. Do NOT panic as you simply need to configure your Theme Options. Please go through the Theme Options completely and select an option for each setting. After that, you're site will be ready for the world!


FYC 2018: Netflix

This post includes mini-reviews of some of Netflix’s 2018 releases with an eye on films they’re targeting for the 2019 Oscars and other end-of-year awards (including the OFCS awards which I’ll be voting on). If a film also has a full-length review, a link will be included. This will be updated through the end of 2018.

Private Life Movie


Private Life
RATING:
(3 STARS)

The decision to bring life into the world is as personal as it gets for a couple, and those who have trouble doing so tend to be even more private about this process. Unfortunately, this also tends to force men and women up to share their physical, emotional, and sometimes financial problems to the attention of doctors, nurses, family, friends, receptionists, therapists, strangers.

This is the case with Richard (Paul Giamatti) and Rachel Grimes (Kathryn Hahn) in Tamara Jenkins exquisite film Private Life. Her follow-up to The Savages, almost 11 years later, finds some humor in their characters’ struggle to conceive, but more than anything, it’s empathetic. Neither character is especially cuddly, but we understand everything about why they are the way they are. Their history with trying different methods of conception is a never-ending series of crushing disappointments, so they opt for something relatively familiar with their latest attempt, IVF through an egg donor in the form of Richard’s brother’s step-daugher, Sadie (Kayli Carter).

The way they nurture Sadie, the complications with their extended family, and the actual steps toward a successful donation all add up to a pretty crazy emotional roller coaster that’s both difficult and very satisfying to ride on, and it makes you hope Jenkins doesn’t wait so long between films again.

*****

22 July Movie Netflix


22 July
RATING:
(2.5 STARS)

In 2011, this day represented one of the worst—if not THE worst—in the history of Norway. One man, Anders Behring Breivik (Anders Danielsen Lie), detonated a car bomb outside a government building in Oslo before leaving the city, taking a ferry to the island of Utoya, and shooting up a camp full of children, killing 77.

It’s a difficult story to tell in a narrative way without it coming across as exploitative. Paul Greengrass does a mostly good job, though it’s not as flawless as his direction on United 93. Here, he takes a three-pronged approach to telling the story. After depicting the events of the day (in horrifyingly visceral fashion), we follow one of the victims (Jonas Strand Gravli), the lawyer of the perpetrator, and prime minister dealing with political fallout. The first piece of this pie is very powerful, the second is kind of flat, and the third is perplexingly uninteresting.

*****

Bleeding Edge Documentary


The Bleeding Edge
RATING:
(3 STARS)

The last two documentaries from Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering explored sexual assault in the military (The Invisible War) and on college campuses (The Hunting Ground). With their latest, they shift their focus in a fairly dramatic way to tackle the medical device industry and the way it puts profits ahead of the best interest of patients. There’s a throughline, however, about women, and the ways men fail them. In The Bleeding Edge, it’s less explicitly about men, but when we see doctors and other experts laugh off their concerns about the ways devices like Essure have devastated their bodies in irreversible ways, it’s clear what’s being said: Women don’t really know. Women aren’t really experts.

The film is graphic in some instances about the damage done by some of these devices, but The Bleeding Edge, a conventional doc in terms of style and production, puts patients first and tells a story that could change minds and appears to have already had an impact.

*****

Reversing Roe Documentary


Reversing Roe
RATING:
(2.5 STARS)

There hasn’t been a better time to tell this story, which chronicles the history of the anti-choice movement in America since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973. Unfortunately, the way this history is explored is thoroughly uninspired, right down to the ever-shifting graphics of Supreme Court alliances. There’s really nothing here for anyone to grab on to unless they’re introducing themselves to this world for the very first time. If that’s you, Reversing Roe is something worth watching after the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation, as we wait for the Court to limit choice in perhaps its most dramatic step to date. If you’re more up to date with the treachery of the religious right and the GOP, there are probably better things to do to progress the cause of choice, and there are even better documentaries on the subject.

Share This Post

Google1DeliciousDiggGoogleStumbleuponRedditTechnoratiYahooBloggerMyspaceRSS

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *