The Handmaiden (Ah-gah-ssi)

Ah, I recently watched the Korean film The Handmaiden (Ah-gah-ssi), and I’ve been tentative to do a write-up because of how complicated my feelings were towards the movie. But I decided to break up my thoughts into smaller sections so that I could explore each aspect more thoroughly without the pressure of a cohesive statement […]

A Wrinkle in Time

A Wrinkle in Time reminded me of a kid-friendly absurdist David Lynch project with less fragile female characters. Lauded for directing 13th and Selma, Ava DuVernay is truly a visionary in the world of contemporary cinema. She illuminates the issue of racial inequality with nuance and panache. It comes as a surprise then, that her debut […]

On Saoirse Ronan: Brooklyn and Lady Bird

Ever since I watched her host Saturday Night Live, Saoirse Ronan has caught my attention. I recognized her from her early work in The Lovely Bones but hadn’t explored her most recent works yet. Two of my favorite performances from her so far include John Crowley’s Brooklyn and Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird. Both received positive […]

The Shape of Water

In aqua-toned splendor, Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water emerges as an eccentric, sci-fi fairy tale that amplifies the voices of those who are seldom heard. Sally Hawkins stars as Elisa Esposito, a mute cleaning woman who lives a humdrum life. Her best friends are Giles (Richard Jenkins), a struggling advertisement artist, and Zelda, an […]

Girls Trip

I’ve watched Girls Trip twice already, so there’s no hiding how I feel about it. Tiffany Haddish makes me incredibly happy whenever I see her. I’m convinced that any movie that features Chaka Khan’s “I’m Every Woman” will instantly become a favorite of mine (re: Bridget Jones’s Diary). Some critics might take a reductive approach and deem […]

Mudbound

Dee Ree’s Mudbound consists of nuanced ambiguities that make it a force of moral clarity. It confronts the ugly truths of racism—lynchings, heinous verbal abuse, forced poverty—while also gesturing at the precarious, but very possible nature of hope. I can think of so many examples in pop culture where ostensibly progressive works serve to uphold the […]

Marshall

Reginald Hudlin’s Marshall is a stylish biopic about a specific slice in late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall’s law career. The jazzy courtroom drama follows the case of The State of Connecticut versus Joseph Spell.  The all-star cast includes Chadwick Boseman, Josh Gad, Kate Hudson, Sterling K. Brown, and Dan Stevens. These actors hail from typical box office crowd […]

The Big Sick

I somehow always end up enjoying Judd Apatow stuff, whether or not I intend to (PopStar: Never Stop Never Stopping, Love, Girls). His work possesses this addictive quality of sincerity embedded deep within the ostensible superficiality of modern relationships. What always makes me iffy about his previous work is its lack of diversity in terms […]

Wind River

Taylor Sheridan’s true crime film Wind River is poetic, quiet, and intense. Every shot felt deliberate, every line carefully crafted and sincerely delivered. Wind River might be one of my favorite films this year. It knocked me out of the park. Sheridan’s film begins with Cory, Jeremy Renner’s character, hunting in the desolate snow-covered hills […]

Marvel’s The Defenders

Like most Marvel nerds, I spent the previous weekend watching The Defenders, breaking the new Netflix series into two contained binge-fests. It’s probably not accurate to call the show a money-grab, but my intuition going into was knowing that it probably won’t have the same depth as each of the original series that it jumps […]