By the Numbers: “The Man Who Knew Infinity”

  A life of brilliance and hardship sounds ideal for the silver screen, and mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan’s life was full of both. Matt Brown’s The Man Who Knew Infinity shines a light on a brilliant life - but without much flair or innovation, this dramatic biopic goes by the numbers. In the early 20th Century, Madras native Ramanujan (Dev Patel) Continue Reading

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Thomas Vickers reviews Dheepan, now playing at the Hyland Cinema

War Follows: “Dheepan” In times of war, many people become caught in the middle with no stake to claim beyond survival; Survival, however, often becomes a fight of its own. In Jacques Audiard’s Dheepan, a desperate attempt to escape war lands its characters in a different conflict; what follows is a fascinating morality tale about the lasting impact of war Continue Reading

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Thomas Vickers reviews Sunset Song, opening Friday at the Hyland Cinema

Gorgeous Melodrama: “Sunset Song”  Period pieces have a tendency towards melodrama, let alone a female-led World War I era period piece adapted from a Scottish novel. Terence Davies’ Sunset Song hits every hallmark of a tear-jerking melodrama, but its real mark of pride lays in its stunning visuals. Chris Guthrie (Agyness Deyn) is an intelligent young woman growing up in Continue Reading

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Thomas Vickers previews Disorder, now playing at the Hyland Cinema.

Security and Paranoia: “Disorder” Working as high-profile security can be a stressful position, but the added strain of mental health issues would be enough to push nearly anyone past their breaking point. This is the crux of French filmmaker Alice Winocour’s new film Disorder, and it makes for an intense, exciting thriller. Vincent (Matthias Schoenaerts) is a soldier who has Continue Reading

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Grief as a Process: Demolition

Death is a moment to the deceased, but to the living it is a process. Jean-Marc Vallée’s new film Demolition explores the impact of death on the living; not exactly new subject matter, but this is a case of excellent storytelling surpassing cliché. Davis (Jake Gyllenhaal) is an investment banker whose life is uprooted when his wife Julia (Heather Lind) Continue Reading

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Jazzy Editing and Social Cinema: Miles Ahead

 Acclaimed actor Don Cheadle has fought long and hard to create a Miles Davis biopic, and all that work comes to fruition in the new film Miles Ahead - the success of which depends (much like your opinion of Davis’ work) on your own tastes. Directed, co-written, and starring Cheadle as the man himself, the film details Davis’ long hiatus Continue Reading

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The Acquired Taste of Absurdism: The Lobster

 Absurdist art is often a dividing point for audiences; either one enjoys it or not. Yorgos Lanthimos’ new film The Lobster is most certainly absurd, and it is absolutely divisive. For audiences who are capable of enjoying style beyond substance, then this is a quirky, charming work of developing a specific tone. For those who require something more concrete, however, Continue Reading

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Ovine and Brotherly Love: Rams

For a farmer, livestock can mean much more than just a livelihood. Grímur Hákonarson’s Rams shows that even with the promise of financial security, a farmer may not want to slaughter his entire herd because they mean too much to him; but does that herd mean more than family? In rural Iceland, brothers Gummi (Sigurður Sigurjónsson) and Kiddi (Theodór Júlíusson) Continue Reading

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“A Perfect Day” keeps it simple

All they need is a rope; of course, that’s not the real point of Fernando León de Aranoa’s A Perfect Day, but the story stays about that simple, and it works. During the mid-90s, veteran aid workers Mambrú (Benicio Del Toro) and B (Tim Robbins) are joined by newcomer Sophie (Mélanie Thierry) in the war-torn Balkans. Their goal is to Continue Reading

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The Heavy Life of a Jazz-Man: Born To Be Blue

Typical music biopics follow a standard arc of rise and fall for their subject, but Robert Budreau’s new film Born to Be Blue starts just after a fall. The question, then, is whether it ends with a rise - and the answer depends on your perspective. Ethan Hawke stars as famous jazz trumpeter Chet Baker who, at the beginning of Continue Reading

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