Michelle Yeoh (c) Thomas Laisné courtesy Richard Mille
Tuesday, February 28, 2023
Thursday, February 23, 2023
GALECA Names "Everything Everywhere All at Once" Best Film; Michelle Yeoh & Ke Huy Quan Win Performance Awards
Everything Everywhere All at Once (c) A24
The Critics Group that I am a part of has announced our film winners for 2022.
GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics has named A24’s fantastical and affecting family relationship drama Everything Everywhere All at Once 2022’s Film of the Year—and then some—in its 14th Dorian Film Awards. Everything creative duo Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert co-won both director and best screenplay honors, star Michelle Yeoh seized best performance, Ke Huy Quan edged out two of his costars for supporting performance, while the time-and-reality-warping box office champ also nabbed LGBTQ Film and Visually Striking Film wins.
Friday, February 17, 2023
Film Review: Indies Go International, Traveling to South Korea (“Return to Seoul”), Ireland (“The Quiet Girl”) and Australia (“Of an Age”) With Varying Degrees of Difficulty
Return to Seoul (c) Sony Pictures Classics
Film: Return to Seoul
Freddie Benoît, a 25-year old French woman, has taken a short, impulsive detour from her vacation to South Korea. As we follow Freddie’s journey, we realize her life is filled with impulsive acts like this. Her mother is concerned when Freddie tells her what she has done, saying she had wanted to be with her when she returned to Seoul for the first time. Freddie is played by Park Ji-Min, and she was adopted by a French family from Korea when she was a baby. Freddie barely speaks Korean, and luckily at the hotel where she’s staying is a Korean woman (Guka Han) who speaks French. From there, Freddie’s journey takes many unexpected turns, including talking to the adoption agency and all the red tape involved in finding her birth parents, as well as her interaction with the Korean people she randomly meets, mostly communicating in their common language of broken English. Writer-director Davy Chou is a Cambodian-French filmmaker, and “Return to Seoul,” which was Cambodia’s entry for the International Film Oscars (it was shortlisted, but not one of the final five), is his second feature after his 2016 “Diamond Island.” Freddie is not a very sympathetic character, but Chou keeps us on her side as her plight is so relatable, even when she is rude, insolent and unsympathetic with most every stranger she meets. Chou emphasizes the culture shock Freddie has to deal with, especially when she finally does meet some family members. The film, which premiered at Cannes, was originally titled “All the People I’ll Never Be,” which is the sense of dislocation destiny that Freddie and the audience feel throughout, knowing that any slight change in one’s trajectory would have severe consequences on one’s life. Park Ji-Min is excellent as Freddie, who is both curious and repelled by what she discovers about her birth country she knows nothing about. It’s heartbreaking, but never sentimental, and a couple of late plot turns the film takes might feel arbitrary, but they’re in keeping with its themes of home, family and fate.
Wednesday, February 8, 2023
Film: This Year’s Oscar-Nominated Films, Part 1: “To Leslie,” “All Quiet on the Western Front,” “Living” and Deserving Non-Nominee “Bad Axe”
To Leslie (c) Momentum Films
For the next couple of weeks, I will be looking at movies nominated for Oscars that I saw but didn’t review on this site, either because I didn’t have time or I any great takes. I don’t think I will get to all the films – there are some shorts I won’t be able to see and I think I’ll skip the one with the Diane Warren song in it. But I will try to get to most. I will also try (like I will in this column) to point out a film that was shortlisted for a category but didn’t make the final five that I feel are worth your time. Enjoy.
Friday, February 3, 2023
Theater Review: “Memorial” Tells the Compelling Story of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial; Anthony Rapp Gets Deeply Personal in “Without You” and Irish Rep Delivers a First Class “Endgame”
Memorial (c) Russ Rowland