‘Spider’ spins a troubling web of truth

“Spider” (“Araña”) (2019). Cast: María Valverde, Mercedes Morán, Gabriel Urzúa, Felipe Armas, Pedro Fontaine, Marcelo Alonso, María Gracia Omegna, Mario Horton. Director: Andrés Wood. Screenplay: Guillermo Calderón. Web site. Trailer. Truth can be a powerful weapon, one that can both avenge wrongs and operate as a force of devastating destruction, sometimes simultaneously. The power associated with it can have tremendous ramifications and in a variety of contexts. And, when evidence of truth in both its aspects surfaces, the implications can be staggering. So it is for three individuals whose stories are rooted in the past and thought forgotten until they’re unexpectedly revived in the present, an intense saga depicted in the taut Chilean political thriller, “Spider” (“Araña”). In 1970, socialist [...]

2020-07-04T05:26:19+00:00 June 13th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Papicha’ showcases the rewards of risk

“Papicha” (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Lyna Khoudri, Shirine Boutella, Amira Hilda Douaouda, Yasin Houicha, Marwan Zeghbib, Zahra Doumandji, Meriem Medjkrane, Samir El Hakim, Nadia Kaci, Lina Boudraa, Khaled Benaissa, Malek Ghellamat. Director: Mounia Meddour. Screenplay: Mounia Meddour and Fadette Drouard. Web site. Trailer. Taking risks can be a scary prospect, and the bigger the risk, the greater the potential peril. However, the same is true when it comes to the prospective rewards involved. Of course, it takes considerable resolve to face such conditions, but that’s entirely possible, as showcased in the inspiring new period piece drama, “Papicha.” For those who lived through the perils of the 1990s Algerian Civil War – a time that came to be called “the [...]

2020-06-30T10:33:59+00:00 June 11th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘A White, White Day’ traverses the obscure fringes of reality

“A White, White Day” (“Hvítur, hvítur dagur”) (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson, Ída Mekkin Hylnsdôttir, Hilmir Snær Guðnason, Sara Dögg Ásgeirsdôttir, Björn Ingi Hilmarsson, Elma Stefania Agustsdottir, Haraldur Stefansson, Laufey Elíasdôttir, Sigurður Sigurjônsson, Arnmundur Ernst Björnsson, þor Hrafnsson Tulinius. Director: Hylnur Palmason. Screenplay: Hylnur Palmason. Web site. Trailer. Feeling unsettled is one of the worst frames of mind in which we can find ourselves. We know something is genuinely disturbing us, but we can’t pinpoint exactly what. We might become restless or ornery and not even be able to say why. And, try as we might to determine the cause of this malaise, we’re often still left without an answer – that is, until we look deeper [...]

2020-06-22T08:04:28+00:00 June 7th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Alice’ colorfully examines the process of starting over

“Alice” (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Emilie Piponnier, Martin Swabey, Jules Milo Levy Mackerras, Chlöé Boreham, Ariana Rodriguez Giraldo, Juliette Tresanini, Christophe Favre, Philippe de Monts, David Coburn. Robert Burns, Marie-Laure Dougnac, Marie Coulonjou, Marine Blake (voice). Director: Josephine Mackerras. Screenplay: Josephine Mackerras. Web site. Trailer. Life sure seems unfair at times. We may think we’ve got it made when, all of a sudden, everything evaporates before our very eyes. We might be shattered (and rightfully so), unsure of where to turn next. However, such a turning point could be one of the best things to ever befall us, a scenario explored in the new French domestic drama, “Alice.” From all appearances, Alice Ferrand (Emilie Piponnier) leads a stable, contented, reasonably [...]

2020-06-17T13:32:53+00:00 June 6th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘To the Stars’ charts the emergence from one’s shell

“To the Stars” (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Kara Hayward, Liana Liberato, Adelaide Clemens, Malin Akerman, Tony Hale, Jordana Spiro, Shea Whigham, Lucas Jade Zumann, Madisen Beaty, Lauren Ashley Stephenson, Sophi Bairley, Tina Parker, Matt Coulson, Natalie Canerday, Doug Jackson. Director: Martha Stephens. Screenplay: Shannon Bradley-Colleary. Web site. Trailer. Adolescence is seldom an easy time for many of us. It’s an age of exploration and experimentation, a period when we examine the world and ourselves to see how we mesh together. The fit isn’t always exact, though, particularly when our authentic selves differ significantly from what we see around us. It often prompts us to retreat into our shells, sometimes covering our eyes in the process as we struggle to [...]

2020-06-13T18:58:39+00:00 May 19th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Bacurau’ showcases the virtues of standing one’s ground

“Bacurau” (“Nighthawk”) (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Bárbara Colen, Thomas Aquino, Silvero Pereira, Sônia Braga, Udo Kier, Thardelly Lima, Rubens Santos, Wilson Rabelo, Carlos Francisco, Luciana Souza, Márcio Fecher, Jr. Black, Val Junior, Lia de Itamaracá, Karine Teles, Antonio Saboia, Jamila Fecury, Jonny Mars, Alli Willow, James Turpin, Julia Marie Peterson, Brian Townes, Charles Hodges, Chris Doubek, Buda Lira, Fabiola Líper. Director: Juliano Dornelles and Kleber Mendonça Filho. Screenplay: Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles. Web site. Trailer. The impact of bullies has gained wider recognition in recent years. In most instances, this increased attention has focused on the detriment to individuals, but it can just as readily affect groups and entire communities, even if these situations don’t garner the same [...]

2020-06-06T04:12:03+00:00 April 17th, 2020|Action-Adventure, Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Sorry We Missed You’ charts the challenges of starting over

“Sorry We Missed You” (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Kris Hitchen, Debbie Honeywood, Rhys Stone, Katie Proctor, Ross Brewster, Charlie Richmond, Julian Ions, Sheila Dunkerley, Maxie Peters, Christopher John Slater, Heather Wood, Alberto Dumba, Natalia Stonebanks, Jordan Collard. Director: Ken Loach. Screenplay: Paul Laverty. Web site. Trailer. Have you ever been so dissatisfied with your circumstances that you were willing to take drastic steps to change them? And, if so, have you ever subsequently found yourself no more fulfilled afterward, despite high hopes going in? What next? Do you formulate yet another new plan, or do you reconcile yourself to the futility of trying and give up on starting over? That’s a tough call, especially for the discouraged, but it’s [...]

2020-05-27T18:44:01+00:00 April 15th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|