Honey Boy Review

Alma Har’el’s Honey Boy is a true masterpiece.

Whether you go into this film blindly, or go into it knowing Shia LaBeouf, the tale of a child, who deals with the abuse from a parent is universal.

The emotional gravitas stems from the anger and pain felt from the beginning of the film, where Alma first introduces Otis (Lucas Hedges) at 22. He’s in the middle of another action film and he’s not quite emotionally stable. He’s drinking excessively and is angry majority of the time. The fast paced lifestyle of Otis ends abruptly when he gets into a car accident and is arrested.

The quick editing doesn’t stop there but it powers through the rest of the piece, symbolizing that anything can change in the matter of a second. People can change in the matter of a second, any emotion can rush to the surface in the matter of a second and change your perception. The direction from Alma was so masterful, she took the time to let these characters grow. The dialogue shared between them filled the screen because there was always heavy tension that was resting beneath the surface.

Yes, it was a very personal film from Shia LaBeouf, who penned the most heart wrenching and cathartic journey for his character Otis to go on with his father James. There were moments where I’d be watching the film and they were just fictional characters on screen telling this story with urgency, but then I would be reminded that Shia had to go through this as a child and it brought me to tears. Due to the fact that it was very meta, I kept going in and out of reality and fictitious waves but the emotional impact was still the same.

Noah Jupe, Lucas Hedges and Shia LaBeouf were extraordinary in this film. Shia LaBeouf emptied his soul on those pages and they were all able to bring this harrowing tale to life in this piece.

I’m truly left speechless with this film and I will definitely need a rewatch.

The Two Popes Review

Fernando Meirelles gave Netflix a masterpiece about the human condition, politics and Catholicism in the most beautifully shot film of the year. 

Jonathan Pryce and Anthony Hopkins put on an acting clinic and had wonderful chemistry w each other. They embodied their characters and made sure to dive into their backstories. The world has only seen their persona, in this film Meirelles gives audiences a chance to take a deeper look into the psychology of the Catholic Church and the policies of the Cardinals. 

This screenplay was written so well and the pieces of dialogue exchanged between Pope Francis (Jonathan Pryce) and Pope Benedict (Anthony Hopkins) was rich in history, theology and spiritual dialogue. The most important thing about this piece, is the humanity that is shown by these Holy members of the world. They both had lives before they joined the clergy. 

It was great to see the backstory of Pope Francis and the hardships that he went through, the decisions he made in order to reach the highest level of the church. Pope Francis challenged the ideologies of the Catholic Church and addressed his issues directly to Pope Benedict. There was so much banter between the two of them and it was lovely to see the humour and the humility of friendship befall two people with two different positions. 

It’s such excellent work from this team and a powerhouse masterpiece from Netflix.


Endings, Beginnings Review

This was my first Drake Doremus film and I fell in love with the way he explored the human condition with the flaws they have. This film is really special because it deals with the honesty of how complicated love and relationships can be.

Everyone believes that there is this one perfect person out there, who checks off every item, on this imaginary list we all have. However, the perfect person doesn’t exist. That’s why being logical about love and relationships will always trump how a person feels.

Doremus displays two very different relationships on screen and I understood why he chose to construct something in this way. One relationship was very natural, comfortable and safe. The other relationship was wild, passionate and all consuming. Everyone wants to find that perfect balance but our protagonist, Daphne (Shailene Woodley) has found this balance in two different people, Jack (Jamie Dornan) and Frank (Sebastian Stan)

I truly loved Jamie Dornan in this. He seemed so relaxed. He was definitely in his element and was in his most natural state, which was lovely to see. Sebastian Stan played the same wounded jerk character, but he plays it so well! Shailene Woodley also carried this film and I could feel her processing her feelings for both of these men, so that was really intriguing.

Love is difficult and it can definitely be messy if you’re not in control of it. I have definitely experienced being torn between two different ideas of people and it’s extremely hard to logically make a decision, when your heart is clouding that judgement. It’s a great screenplay and Doremus knows how to bring out the flaws of the human race, I loved this!

Seberg Review

Jean Seberg was a very intriguing person. She was determined, empathetic and strong-willed. She wanted to be remembered for a piece of activism, rather than having her name in lights, as an actress. Jean Seberg was a well-rounded human being and wanted to do more for the world because she witnessed the corruption.

Jean Seberg went to America and saw the segregation between the country. She saw the blatant racism and was quickly introduced to the Black Panthers. She was instantly intrigued by Hakim Jamal, who she encountered on her plane ride to LA. She wanted to know about his cause and even more about him.

Her life sounds interesting, right? Well, it’s more effective if you read about her life than to watch this film. Seberg, does not do Jean justice whatsoever. If it weren’t for Kristen Stewart’s brilliant portrayal of the iconic actress, then this film wouldn’t have been discussed at all.

The film was NOT about the Black Panther Party, the politics got lost in the story because it was centred around Jean, BUT there still wasn’t enough content for Kristen to play with. Benedict Andrews really didn’t have a clear direction for this film and that was evident in the way he delivered certain scenes. The cinematography was very well done and the Andrews definitely knows how to frame his subjects, but the film fell flat.

I feel as if he focused too much on the surveillance aspect of the Jean Seberg case, rather than have it be a character study on this icon. This also proves that Kristen Stewart can tackle anything because this was her BEST performance, all she needs is a great script and she will eventually get the recognition she deserves.