Leave No Trace (2018)

DEBRA GRANIK Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.  USA/Canada, 2018.  Bron Studios, Creative Wealth Media Finance, Harrison Productions, Topic Studios.  Screenplay by Debra Granik, Anne Rosellini, based on the novel My Abandonment by Peter Rock.  Cinematography by Michael McDonough.  Produced by Anne Harrison, Linda Reisman, Anne Rosellini.  Music by Dickon Hinchliffe.  Production Design by Chad Keith.  Costume Design by Erin Alridge Orr.  Film…

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Ben Is Back (2018)

PETER HEDGES Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.  USA, 2018.  Black Bear Pictures, 30West, Color Force.  Screenplay by Peter Hedges.  Cinematography by Stuart Dryburgh.  Produced by Peter Hedges, Nina Jacobson, Teddy Schwarzman, Brad Simpson.  Music by Dickon Hinchliffe.  Production Design by Ford Wheeler.  Costume Design by Melissa Toth.  Film Editing by Ian Blume.  Toronto International Film Festival 2018. Julia Roberts is preparing for Christmas Eve…

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Locke

BBB.5 (out of 5) An impressive experiment that pays off, this entire film takes place in the driver’s seat of a car, with the unsurprisingly charismatic Tom Hardy driving to London and leaving destruction in his wake.  En route to the hospital where his child is about to be born, we learn through phone conversations that…

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Shadow Dancer

BBB (out of 5) Following a devastating childhood event, Andrea Riseborough is now a mature woman committed to the cause of the IRA.  A failed attempt to bomb a tube station results in her being pulled in by authorities and given the chance by her arresting officer (Clive Owen) to save her own skin:  if she…

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Project Nim

BBBB.5 (out of 5) “It was the seventies!” is a terrific excuse for the experimental folly that is detailed in this incredibly entertaining documentary by James Marsh, director of the Oscar-winning Man On Wire. It follows a poorly supervised study begun by Dr. Herbert Terrace to chart the similarities between humans and apes, by having a…

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Last Chance Harvey

BB (out of 5) Dustin Hoffman is barely holding onto his commercial jingle-writing career as he gets off a plane in London to attend the wedding of his estranged daughter (Liane Balaban). Ignored at the pre-party and ceremony, he goes to return to the U.S. to save his job when he finds out he’s been fired…

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Winter’s Bone

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Jennifer Lawrence is excellent in this deeply felt drama about a teenager living in the Ozarks with her invalid mother and two younger siblings. She is informed that her drug-dealing, on-the-lam father has put their home on the line as payment for his bail bond and needs to show up for his…

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Friday Night (Vendredi Soir)

BBBB.5 (out of 5) On the night before she is to move in with her long-time partner, Valerie Lemercier (in a beautifully subtle performance) gets stuck in an hours-long traffic jam and offers a strange man (Vincent Lindon) a ride. The enchanting atmosphere of a city in stasis (owing to a transit strike) contributes to a…

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