Currently browsing the "Greta Gerwig" tag.

Review: Little Women

Louisa May Alcott’s 1860s novel Little Women has been adapted to film more times that I can count, beginning in the silent era. So do we really need another one? Yes, we do. In the hands of the talented Greta Gerwig, this story of the four March sisters in Concord, Massachusetts feels as fresh and as relevant as any modern story. And blessed with a perfect cast including Saoirse Ronan, Laura Dern, and Timothée Chalamet, it’s one of the gems of this awards season.

Review: Isle of Dogs

What a fun movie! I don’t think Wes Anderson has made a film I didn’t like, so that’s no surprise, but the creative choices he made in this one are even more entertaining than usual. The story takes place in a town in Japan and all the humans speak untranslated Japanese, except for some public occasions where there is a simultaneous translator. Only the dogs speak English, voiced by a veritable A-list cast. (Bryan Cranston, Harvey Keitel, Bill Murray, Ed Norton, Greta Gerwig, Scarlett Johansson, and many more) The only thing that’s clear is that Mayor Kobayashi hates dogs (cat lover!) and he’s determined to rid his town of every last one, exiling them to a garbage covered island. But human hero to the rescue! Kobayashi’s 12-year-old nephew/ward Atari goes in search of his beloved pooch and uncovers a conspiracy at the highest levels.

Review: Lady Bird

Both of us saw this film at The Middleburg Film Festival last month. And we’re both fans. Here are our two mini-reviews, which taken together are really one entire review ☺:

Mainstream Chick’s Middleburg Film Festival Download

Featuring quickie reviews of: Breathe; Darkest Hour; Call Me By Your Name; Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool; Mudbound; Hostiles; Last Flag Flying; Lady Bird; Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; I, Tonya; Faces, Places; The Square; Novitiate

For the second year in a row, I ventured out to bucolic Middleburg, Virginia (about an hour’s drive from DC) for the Middleburg Film Festival, a mid-October opportunity for a little bit of schmoozing and partying, and a whole lot of movie-watching. I’m a bit late with my recap, but hey, it took a while to wrap my head around the whole experience: Ten movies, across three venues, in 72 hours. A Mainstream Chick record!

Arty Chick’s Middleburg Festival Download

What a great festival! It’s my first year at Middleburg, now in its 5th year, but I was truly impressed by their  selections. It’s a small festival, as yet pretty unknown, but not for long, I suspect. In all I went to 14 films in just over 3 days. It was exhausting, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Films included here are: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri ; Mudbound; Last Flag Flying; Faces/Places; I, Tonya; In the Fade; The Divine Order; Lady Bird; Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold; Meltdown; Loveless; Darkest Hour; The Other Side of Hope; and Hostiles.

20th Century Women

20th Century Women takes place at the end of the 70s in Santa Barbara, California. Dorothea (Annette Bening) is a bohemian, mid-50ish, single mom trying to raise her son, adolescent Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann). They live in a big old house in the middle of renovations and have two boarders – budding photographer Abbie (Greta Gerwig) and Zen mechanic William (Billy Crudup). And there is a teenage neighbor Julie (Elle Fanning) who frequently climbs in the window to lie chastely in bed with young Jamie, her BFF, to his growing dismay. Dorothea feels that she needs help with Jamie, and thinking they’re closer in age, she asks the girls to help her with his transition to manhood. What follows is both funny and touching.

Wiener-Dog

Todd Solondz (Welcome to the Dollhouse, Happiness) doesn’t make mainstream movies. They’re dark and quirky and you either buy into his sad worlds or you don’t. In this one, he uses a dachshund to connect four tales of people at different stages in life grappling with meaning and mortality, as the dog moves mutely from owner to owner.

Mistress America

Writer/director Noah Baumbach and writer/actress Greta Gerwig have great chemistry (apparently both on and off screen.) Mistress America is their second collaboration, the first being the wonderful 2013 comedy Frances Ha. Both are set in New York and both star Ms. Gerwig as a lovable, yet kooky woman trying to find her place in the world. In the very funny Mistress America, she plays Brooke whose father is about to get married to Tracy’s (Lola Kirke) mom. It really is Tracy’s story, but Brooke is the big character that animates her life. Tracy is having a hard freshman year at Barnard, and her mother wants her to meet her soon to be step-sister who is 10 years older and lives in the city, so she calls her and is immediately drawn into Brooke’s very dramatic life.

Frances Ha

Poor Frances. At the ripe old age of 27, nothing in her life is going right. Her boyfriend wants her to move in, but she can’t run out on her roommate, so they split. Then her absolute favorite person in the world, her roomie Sophie, moves out on her despite their promise to stick together until the lease is up. Plus she is still apprenticing in a dance troupe and her future there is in doubt. And she’s not getting any younger, as she is constantly reminded. But she’s no late-20s slacker either. She just can’t seem to get things to work the way she knows they are supposed to. In this indie comedy from director Noah Baumbach (Fantastic Mr. Fox, Margot at the Wedding), Greta Gerwig animates the hapless but lovable Frances and takes you along on her journey as she figures it all out in her own goofy fashion.