Babadook Christmas

We’ve praised The Babadook since Sundance. It landed on Angie’s “Best Performances of 2014” list and our “50 Great Movies From 2014” list, and (spoiler) it’ll be on my ranked top ten of 2014, too. In short: see it! (Even Stephen King and The Exorcist director William Friedkin would tell you that.)

The film is on VOD now and in some theaters, too, so you can see it for yourself. If you haven’t seen it yet and are still on the fence, however, maybe a little friendly greeting will get you to give it a shot. This is just like the Charlie Brown Christmas special, only a lot darker. (OK, maybe not quite like that, but it’s still fun.)  Read More »

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Duke of Burgundy trailer

As I’ve worked on a “Top Ten Films of 2014″ list I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not to include movies I saw at festivals, but which aren’t yet in general release. If I decide to go the festival route, The Duke of Burgundy will be in my top three for this year. If not, it is likely to be in the top few spots of next year’s list. This ravishing movie is a gorgeous visual experience, as the trailer below will indicate. But the film is also a wonderfully nuanced portrait of a relationship — one which is made seemingly more exotic by its daily particulars, but which, in the end, fraught with the same issues everyone faces. Check out The Duke of Burgundy trailer below.

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boyhood making-of

2014 has been the year of Boyhood, Richard Linklater‘s 12-years in the making chronicle of a Texas family. The film debuted to great praise at Sundance back in January, and twelve months later it is causing a stir as critics groups in Boston and Los Angeles hand it several awards. (Including a well-deserved Best Actress win for Patricia Arquette from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.) The film hits digital HD today, and will be on DVD and Blu in January. To help promote that digital release, IFC has offered up a great ten-minute video that looks at the twelve-year process of creating the movie. Read More »

Two Days One Night trailer

The Dardenne Brothers (The Kid With a Bike) aren’t known for working with actors who might also be found in a Christopher Nolan tentpole, but Marion Cotillard is that rare talent who can seem at ease in both environments. And she seems perfectly cast in Two Days, One Night, the new film from the Dardennes, in which Cotillard plays a woman who must rely upon a certain sort of generosity from her co-workers in order to keep her job. It doesn’t sound like much, but that setup is all the Dardennes need to create a stirring film. See the new Two Days, One Night trailer below.

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Hungry Hearts trailer

We all know that Adam Driver co-stars on Girls and that he’ll be in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. (And that he was so great in a small role in Inside Llewyn Davis last year, too.) But there’s a Driver performance most of us haven’t had a chance to see yet, and it is one for which he and his co-star are winning accolades. In Hungry Hearts, Driver and Alba Rohrwacher play a young couple who “engage in a fateful struggle over the life of their newborn child.” If that sounds like some Roman Polanski sorta-atmosphere, that’s what we got out of the Hungry Hearts trailer, too. Check it out below.  Read More »

Goodbye to All That trailer

One indie film that’s mostly flown under the radar is Goodbye to All That, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival this past spring. But judging by the first trailer, it may be time to give this one a closer look.

Goodbye to All That is the directorial debut of Angus MacLachlan, screenwriter of the remarkable Junebug. Paul Schneider stars as a newly divorced dad trying to navigate the single life for the first time in years. Okay, so the premise sounds a bit familiar, but the execution looks far above average thanks to MacLachlan’s warm, honest approach and engaging performances all around. Watch the first Goodbye to All That trailer after the jump.

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comet trailer

Every once in a while, you go to the movies with no idea what you’re about to see and witness something special. Even something miraculous, cinema in its purest form, without hype or expectations. That happened to me this summer when I saw Sam Esmail‘s Comet.

In Comet, Justin Long and Emmy Rossum star as a couple whose entire relationship is viewed in a series of connected scenes that change, transform and surprise in a multitude of ways. It opens in limited release December 5 and now the first trailer is here. Check out the Comet trailer below. Read More »

Duke of Burgundy clip

Berberian Sound Studio director Peter Strickland returns with The Duke of Burgundy, but this film offers a fairly different sort of experience. There’s still a hazy, less-than-real aesthetic and sense of place, but this movie has a more focused and recognizable story at its core. The short synopsis of this movie is very simple: “Peter Strickland’s dark melodrama follows the intense relationship between two women.”

In truth, The Duke of Burgundy is a good bit more complex than that, especially as relates to the specific dynamics of the relationship. To keep things close to the vest, I’ll just say that their relationship is atypical, but the beauty of the film is that it does not treat the couple’s interactions as unusual. Their problems are the same problems any couple has; they just happen to be articulated through more eccentric means.

I really love this film and can’t wait for more people to have a chance to see it. Below, get a first taste via a Duke of Burgundy clip. Read More »

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