I’m thinking of ending things — and yes, it’s written this way, with no real capitalization — is a very difficult film to review. It’s one of those divisive movies that has devoted, passionate fans; those who detested it, for some reason or another; and those in-between, who feel as though it’s an expertly-made film featuring great performances that is too niche, too esoteric to be be praise-worthy.
It’s possible that the indie film Never Rarely Sometimes Always slipped your radar last year. It had the unfortunate timing of being released at the beginning of the pandemic-related shutdown, and played in limited theatres before being available on VOD (and now, on HBO) — as is common with films these days.
I was looking forward to seeing another performance from George Clooney, who has been busy the last few years having (and raising) his now three-year-old twins with his humanitarian lawyer wife, Amal. I was curious to see him direct himself, and to see him to do so with a sci-fi story; The Midnight Sky is based on a book, which I haven’t read, but I can imagine it’s better than the movie.
We’re very fortunate to be living at a time when Regina King is acting and making movies, and with her debut directorial debut, One Night in Miami, she has proven to be as adept at filmmaking as she is with acting (she won an Oscar for her terrific work in If Beale Street Could Talk).
Ammonite was one of the most anticipated films of 2020, and managed to play in limited theatres last fall shortly before being available on demand. It’s one of the few movies not really impacted by the pandemic, but was high on my never-ending movie queue due to featuring two of my favorite actresses, Saoirse Ronan and Kate Winslet, as lovers in a period drama.
Pieces of a Woman has been on every film critic’s radar since people started lauding Vanessa Kirby’s lead performance. It’s also one of those awards-bait-y movies that unfortunately only played in limited theatres for about a week before becoming available on Netflix.
The Way I See It is aimed at being a bi-partisan film that could appeal to everyone on the political spectrum, from hardcore conservatives to a so-called liberal snowflake like myself. Sure, the subject of the film, former presidential photographer Pete Souza, photographed both Democratic (Obama) and Republican (Regan) presidents, but Souza is himself a staunch liberal and far more time is spent on Souza’s time with Obama than on his time with Regan.
This awards season has been thrown out of whack thanks to the pandemic, which caused many high-profile films to be delay their releases and/or to be released primarily (and, in some cases, solely) on streaming services/VOD. It’s easy to see that Mank, the latest film from David Fincher, the lauded director of The Social Network, Rooney Mara’s Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, etc.
I was interested in seeing Steven Soderbergh’s latest, Let Them All Talk, and not just because it features three legendary actresses, but also because I’m a fan of some of Soderbergh’s previous work, such as Erin Brockovich. Also, I was curious to see how the cast handled the mostly-improvised script; screenwriter Deborah Eisenberg provided brief outlines and biographies for the actors, in addition to a few scripted scenes.
I knew very little about the Ireland-set animated film Wolfwalkers prior to viewing it; I’d heard great reviews, with some people even saying that this film is better than Pixar’s latest, Soul, and could potentially beat it for the Best Animated Feature Film Oscar this year. And, while I found Wolfwalkers to be highly entertaining, heartwarming, and inventive, I’m not sure it has enough originality to surpass Soul.