5/18/2018

Movie Review: Beast (2018)


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Think of this as the flip side of The Shape of Water. One the most unusual films released so far in 2018, Beast is also one we won't soon forget.

Set on the gorgeously lush wood, cliff, and edge filled channel island of Jersey where you can run but you can't hide, the first feature-length effort from BAFTA nominated writer/director Michael Pearce is a heady mixture of Gothic realism, fairy tales, and '60s French movies.

And right from the start of Pearce's seven year in the works passion project we feel the influence of early Truffaut, Chabrol, along with Knife in the Water era Polanski when cinematographer Benjamin Kracun's wild, constantly moving camera makes its way to multiple shrines which have been erected to remember the places where young girls of Jersey have lost their lives.

Breaking the reverie of island beauty, we not only realize that a killer is on the loose but as a matter of course also begin to suspect everyone in sight. And the paranoiac tension that follows goes a long way toward getting us to the right frame of mind to meet Jessie Buckley's enigmatic twenty-seven year old main character, Moll.


Although she conveniently uses the excuse that she still lives at home to help care for her aging father, we quickly find that there's much more going on with Moll (and her family) than meets the eye. And this becomes truer than ever once enough breadcrumbs have been dropped for us to uncover a violent incident in Moll's past that occurred when she'd been roughly the same age as the girls of Jersey's countryside who lost their lives.

Add to the mix a menacing Geraldine James as a mother who uses her history of emotional unrest to exert a choke-hold on her daughter and a sister who selects Moll's birthday as the perfect time to make a huge personal announcement and it's easy to see why Moll runs off into the night.

In borrowing some of the film's key elements from Little Red Riding Hood among other fairy tales, our redheaded heroine is soon rescued from a would-be attacker by Pascal (Johnny Flynn), a handsome huntsman whom she's quick to not only bond with but cover for at a checkpoint, despite the fact that each recognizes the other is either withholding info or telling a lie.

But it's merely the first sign of a new rebellion that begins to take hold for Moll. Tired of living life like the killer whales of her childhood obsession who – as she revealed in an introductory voice-over – must always keep smiling or risk insanity, once Moll meets Pascal, she starts testing the tether of her family's leash and gives up that fake smile.


Gradually moving further away from the life she's always known to be with the wild stranger who saved her life, after yet another girl is found dead and Pascal becomes the number one suspect, Moll is forced to ask herself just who it is she can really trust (herself included) and how much.

Nobly avoiding easy answers, in an intelligent, psychologically gripping narrative, Pearce gives us the opportunity to watch events unfold through Moll’s eyes while at the same time making sure we're completely aware our leading lady is nothing if not an unreliable narrator.

And in an even more intriguing twist, once she revisits the gaps that exist within her own memories as well as her own history and tendency toward violence, Moll questions her own culpability – almost more than she does with Pascal.


Reminiscent in spirit to Heavenly Creatures, thanks to a commanding, feral performance by Jessie Buckley whose scenes with the equally magnetic Flynn are filled with goosebump inducing energy, Pearce's sophisticated Beast adds a much needed female charge to the character driven thriller genre.

An auspicious feature filmmaking debut in the same vein as Blue Ruin and Cold in July, similar to the way that it ratchets up tension, Pearce's sleeper is sure to attract more attention as the year progresses when we discover that – much like last year’s Shape of Water – there aren't too many fish, beasts, killer whales, or Gothic fairy tales like this in the sea.


Text ©2018, Film Intuition, LLC; All Rights Reserved. http://www.filmintuition.com Unauthorized Reproduction or Publication Elsewhere is Strictly Prohibited and in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  FTC Disclosure: Per standard professional practice, I may have received a review copy or screener link of this title in order to voluntarily decide to evaluate it for my readers, which had no impact whatsoever on whether or not it received a favorable or unfavorable critique.

Movie Review: On Chesil Beach (2017)


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In what most screenwriter’s hands would be considered a mere throwaway line, On Chesil Beach begins with Edward Mayhew (Billy Howle) lovingly calling his brand new bride Florence (Saoirse Ronan) “the squarest person in all of western civilization” for describing the music of Chuck Berry as “bouncy and merry.”

Yet centered around a sensitive young couple whose marriage implodes mere hours into their honeymoon, that line and all aspects of it – penned by screenwriter Ian McEwan in a terrific adaptation of his titular novel – will come back to haunt us in a number of ways from literal to metaphorical to filmic and sonic long before the picture is over.


True for all of us but doubly so when it comes to a classically trained violinist and her pop music loving beau, it’s hard for love to survive when you just don't hear the same notes, in spite of the obvious (if awkward) affection on display in Chesil's lengthy first act which takes place inside a small, dimly lit, seaside hotel room.

For in addition to being out of tune with themselves and each other, we're also given the impression that the two were born a decade too soon which is mirrored by the rich production design of a 1962 set work deliberately made to resemble something closer to 1952.


Breaking up the theatricality of the opening sequence with some masterful flashbacks that show us just what first time feature director Dominic Cooke is capable of when he allows the slightly stagy film to move and breathe, we're given scores of scenes that reinforce Edward and Florence's need to communicate well and be heard, especially when they don't know what they want to say.

Along with snapshots of family dysfunction that run the emotional gamut and are wonderfully acted by supporting players including Emily Watson and Anne-Marie Duff, we're shown a few that revisit McEwan's musical motif beautifully.


Almost midway through On Chesil Beach, we as viewers are taken up through the inside of a piano to see Florence wordlessly turning pages of sheet music for someone else before being given more agency in another – urging a fellow musician to play the notes “tender like a question.”

Then we understand that although it's the former Florence we meet at the beginning of the movie, it's the latter one she wishes to be as she and Edward approach physical intimacy. And once these thoughts and actions collide, Chesil becomes a heartbreaking reminder of how tragic miscommunication can be.


Ironically published back in 2007 when Ronan made her Oscar nominated breakthrough starring in Joe Wright's adaptation of the author's AtonementOn Chesil Beach is based on McEwan's roughly 40,000 page novel which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

Though static and a tad too restrained in the film's earliest scenes which resemble a cross between director George Roy Hill's Period of Adjustment and the Tennessee Williams stage-play upon which the 1962 film was based, Cooke's work grows more potent as it continues.


Featuring what's sure to be one of the best soundtracks of the year from BAFTA and Ivor Novello award-winning composer Dan Jones, On Chesil Beach is filled with the romantic sounds of Haydn, Beethoven, and Schubert violin solos performed by twenty-three year old American virtuoso Esther Yoo, which offer even greater insight into our characters when words (or notes) fail them.

And while it'll be hard to persuade audiences looking for a romantic date movie to queue up for McEwan's honeymoon breakup film, somehow in the hands of this talented cast and crew, it becomes an infinitely swoon-worthy, stylistically '70s picture adjacent reminder of what could've been for Florence and Edward – two time travelers, ever-drifting in and out of time – who just never seem to be in rhythm.



Text ©2018, Film Intuition, LLC; All Rights Reserved. http://www.filmintuition.com Unauthorized Reproduction or Publication Elsewhere is Strictly Prohibited and in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  FTC Disclosure: Per standard professional practice, I may have received a review copy or screener link of this title in order to voluntarily decide to evaluate it for my readers, which had no impact whatsoever on whether or not it received a favorable or unfavorable critique.

5/11/2018

Blu-ray Review: La Belle Noiseuse (1991)


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Translated Title: The Beautiful Troublemaker

From Godard to Chabrol to Resnais, Demy, Rohmer and beyond, even though they were famously inspired by American filmmakers, as their varied output illustrates, the directors of the French New Wave were also regularly influenced by one another – not only during the movement's late '50s and '60s heyday but for the rest of their careers as well.

Thus similar to the way that the question posed by François Truffaut of whether art – or rather cinema – is "more important than life" fueled some of the filmmaker's strongest work, that very same query is at the forefront of La Belle Noiseuse, the 1991 Cannes Grand Prix winning feature from Truffaut's friend, fellow Cahiers du Cinema critic turned French New Wave co-founder Jacques Rivette.


A 238 minute exploration of an artist and his muse, the long takes and static shots of La Belle Noiseuse are a far cry from the average 12 second shots of 1961’s Paris Belongs to Us, the film that first put Rivette on the map which had been shot in 1958 and released after the early New Wave successes of Godard and Truffaut.

Teaming up once again with screenwriters Pascal Bonitzer and Christine Laurent (as well as longtime married collaborators – editor Nicole and cinematographer William Lubtchansky) to create what Roger Ebert described in his Great Movies 3 essay as “the best film I have ever seen about the physical creation of art,” Noiseuse is a work that Rivette had been building toward for decades.


Fittingly for a four hour film, La Belle Noiseuse is a very loose adaptation of Honoré de Balzac’s short story, The Unknown Masterpiece along with a trio of Henry James shorts including The Figure in the Carpet, The Liar, and The Aspen Papers.

But perhaps in an attempt to celebrate the interchangeable impact of all the arts, Rivette's opus also culls inspiration from the music of Igor Stravinsky which is used sparingly throughout his otherwise largely silent film – save for the sounds of art in progress which Noiseuse uses to loudly cacophonous, almost violent effect.


Deceptively simplistic, both stylistically as well as in its set-up, although the film consists of roughly six characters from start to finish, it primarily revolves around half that number of individuals.

Traveling the French countryside with her artist boyfriend, Nicolas (David Bursztein), we’re first introduced to the film’s muse Marianne (played by Tom Cruise’s first Mission: Impossible love interest, Emmanuel Béart).

Following a fun, flirtatious scene between the young lovers after Marianne playfully interrupts her boyfriend's art with the sounds of a Polaroid camera clicked from above, an art dealer friend (played by Gilles Arbona) drives down, eager to introduce the couple to Edouard and Liz Frenhofer (Michel Piccoli and Jane Birkin), a famous reclusive painter and his wife.


But upon their arrival at the artist's chateau in rural Languedoc-Roussillon, the trio initially find themselves stood up by the moody painter known as Frenhofer to everyone but his wife. Nearly playing an adult game of hide and seek, they wander through the art and literature filled rooms of the gorgeous household alongside his apologetic, friendly wife until at last Frenhofer simply appears.

Using the Hitchcockian trick of withholding an introduction or revelation until the last possible moment for maximum impact, both the artist's nonchalance as well as the length of time we've waited for his entrance goes a long way in making the viewer as curious about the man we're going to meet as the rest of the characters.


After an evening of not only talking about the masterpiece that’s always eluded him but also finding himself increasingly drawn to Marianne (which is wonderfully and subtly foreshadowed care of intriguing angles and frames by Rivette and the Lubtchanskys), the aging artist suddenly finds himself inspired to paint again after a dry spell of ten years.

Picking up on his cue, once the younger artist impulsively volunteers his girlfriend to pose for his idol, the deal is struck. And although it comes as a complete surprise to Marianne after she's informed of her boyfriend's promise once they return to their hotel, in spite of her anger she decides to keep up her end of the bargain, knowing full well she’ll be expected to pose nude.


Beginning their first session slowly by preparing his tools and the entire barn converted studio to get back into his artistic rhythm, Frenhofer treats his muse politely at first before he eventually stops seeing Marianne as a stranger let alone a woman but a body of textures and shapes – pushing and pulling her into poses that are increasingly impossible to hold.

It's here that Truffaut's question of cinema vs. life begins to reign supreme and even though Rivette is capturing it in a different art form, the relationship between Frenhofer and his muse could easily serve as a metaphor for directors and actresses as well, inspiring plenty of essays in the modern era of Me Too and Time's Up.


Following the evolution of his work from first sketch to final brushstroke (with the artist’s hand played by real abstract French painter Bernard Dufour), despite the fact that Béart is nude for extended periods of time, any expectation that Rivette’s film is going to take a titillating Lolita-like approach is fortunately pushed to the wayside early on.

Moreover as we see the two alternatively cajole, bully, inspire, and challenge each other through role and personality reversal over the course of three arduous days, it's clearer than ever that Noiseuse is aptly named.

Watching the progression from idea to canvas in real time is fascinating at first and even though it gets a little repetitive as the film continues, it’s amazing how well Rivette manages to hold us under his spell – delving into metaphors of artistic and personal sacrifice along with the holiness of “artist as creator” that is sure to lead to terrific post-film discussion.


Filled with layers, the film additionally toys with doubles, doppelgängers, and life do-overs, both in terms of the two male artists as well as the two women who look quite similar and play a much greater role in their lover’s work than that of a stereotypical muse.

Likewise, while Jane Birkin’s character contradicts herself a few times early on and is initially hard to read, she grows richer throughout to the point that although we wish she could've played a greater role in the storyline, in the end it's only fitting that once again Frenhofer's wife and former muse is sidelined by his artistic need.

A fascinating evolution of French New Wave filmmaking that's also reminiscent of Rohmer's '80s and '90s period in its conversational first hour, now more than 25 years later, Jacques Rivette’s Noiseuse masterpiece is made even more Belle thanks to this gorgeous 4k restoration captured on Blu-ray canvas in Cohen Film Collection's dual disc release.



Text ©2018, Film Intuition, LLC; All Rights Reserved. http://www.filmintuition.com Unauthorized Reproduction or Publication Elsewhere is Strictly Prohibited and in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  FTC Disclosure: Per standard professional practice, I may have received a review copy or screener link of this title in order to voluntarily decide to evaluate it for my readers, which had no impact whatsoever on whether or not it received a favorable or unfavorable critique.

5/07/2018

Blu-ray Review: Mermaids (1990)


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From the firing of filmmakers Lasse Hallstrom and Frank Oz as well as the lawsuit that resulted from actress Emily Lloyd’s dismissal on the second day of the shoot (all after alleged clashes with Cher), in anyone else’s hands the offscreen turmoil surrounding the Oscar winner's 1990 vehicle Mermaids could've easily overwhelmed the drama that unfolded onscreen.

Yet when you consider that the 1960s period piece based on Patty Dann’s eponymous novel centers around an impulsively free-spirited single mother of two famous for her packing up and leaving men and homes behind as soon as conflicts arise, perhaps any clashes that might’ve happened on set just further anchored Cher in her role.


Featuring an equally excellent Winona Ryder in a pivotal turn which garnered the actress her first Golden Globe nomination and helped usher in her transition into more adult roles, in Mermaids Ryder stars as Cher's socially awkward introverted daughter Charlotte who rebels against her mother’s flirtatious and flighty ways with a fierce commitment to Catholicism.

A frequent sparring partner to her mother whom she refers to as Mrs. Flax throughout the film, Charlotte is long-past finding her mother’s penchant for everything from affairs with married men to her compulsive need to serve most of her meals appetizer-style on sticks charming.


Protective of her younger sister Kate (played by Christina Ricci in her first role), teenage Charlotte –who also serves as the film’s narrator – is soon tempted out of a life of celibacy after she catches sight of Joe (Sixteen Candles star Michael Schoeffling), the handsome caretaker of the women’s newest home on convent property in Massachusetts.


Like an orchestra conductor striving to balance all the highs and lows while keeping everyone in the right key, My Favorite Year and Racing With the Moon helmer Richard Benjamin does his best to meld the at times darkly comedic, almost Gothic edge of Dann's book and script by June Roberts with the picture’s lighter moments.

Though its second act threatens to spin out of control most likely due to missing scenes involving Charlotte that must’ve been left in either an earlier draft of the script or on the cutting room floor, the film’s performers remain consistently authentic.

And this is especially true of brilliant British character actor Bob Hoskins, whose role as a Jewish shoe salesman and amateur painter from the midwest with a heart as big as the sea offers unexpected laugh filled harmony to his scenes with love interest Cher.


But as great as Hoskins is in Mermaids, Benjamin knows that the film's real love story is between the mother and her daughters and he directs the hell out of the title’s bittersweet third act, before a trendy, tacked on ‘80s kitchen dance party scene tries to meander it into Big Chill territory. Fortunately in spite of that, Cher and Ryder ensure that it swims to the surface.

One of many female coming-of-age movies of the era, now that it's been released on Blu-ray by Olive Films in time for Mother’s Day, Mermaids would fit right in as part of an impromptu Girl’s Night Film Festival of underrated titles alongside Man in the Moon, Mystic Pizza, Rich in Love, and Gas Food Lodging, just to name a few.


Text ©2018, Film Intuition, LLC; All Rights Reserved. http://www.filmintuition.com Unauthorized Reproduction or Publication Elsewhere is Strictly Prohibited and in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  FTC Disclosure: Per standard professional practice, I may have received a review copy or screener link of this title in order to voluntarily decide to evaluate it for my readers, which had no impact whatsoever on whether or not it received a favorable or unfavorable critique.

5/04/2018

Blu-ray Review: The Insult (2017)


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Back in high school I served as a peer mediator and while a majority of the issues we dealt with were pretty typical of the setting, once we received a case involving perceived difference of religion which snowballed so spectacularly - including off campus vandalism and violence with others in the community - that during the entire session, we had police on standby right outside the door.

Thankfully nobody was injured but it taught me an early real-world lesson that insults involving religion could escalate with such severity and speed, not just in our history books or on the evening news but even in the suburbs of Minnesota.

But if you transfer the conflict to the Middle East where there's been so much pain, suffering, and unrest involving all religions throughout the region's history, the potential for chaos is magnified to the extent that it wouldn't take more than a mere spark to erupt a volcano with the potential to envelop everyone in its path.


And with the action set in contemporary Beirut, that's precisely the situation in which we find ourselves over the course of director and co-writer Ziad Doueiri's powerful 2017 Oscar nominated Best Foreign Film, The Insult which revolves around an insult between Lebanese Christian Tony (Adel Karam) and Palestinian refugee Yasser (Kamel El Basha) that quickly evolves from words to fists to an all-encompassing lawsuit.

Using the power of cinematic point of view to great effect, The Insult first introduces us to Tony, a married mechanic and small business owner whom we immediately identify with simply because he was the first one onscreen.


So devoted to his faith and the Christian Party that he keeps a photo of the president in the room of his unborn child (much to the chagrin of his expectant wife), we watch stunned when, upon refusing construction foreman Yasser’s polite request for access to fix the drainpipe off his balcony by instead telling them to use the street, Tony destroys their work without a word.

After shouting out an obscenity at Tony, the proud, hard-working Yasser is reminded by his boss that since they’re in their (Christian) neighborhood, “you can’t talk to them like that,” and shortly thereafter, we learn that Tony has demanded an apology.


However the attempt at reconciliation goes horribly wrong when Tony insults Yasser’s religion and people in a horrific way, causing Yasser to throw a punch which ricochets many times over that it leads to the legal case at the heart of the film.

Quickly discovering that this is much bigger than he said/he said, both of the men (as well as their loved ones) are put under a public microscope that examines their pasts, prejudices, and how they got there today and predictably grow to realize that they might have more in common than they'd initially believed.


As the two men's story begins to light up TV screens across Lebanon, the people of Beirut begin taking up the increasingly divisive fight, which winds up leading to the type of chaos and violence sadly all too familiar to viewers in Trump’s America where insults have become official presidential statements and hate crimes have been on the rise.

Emotionally and intellectually thrilling, although admittedly a few of the film's plot twists feel slightly satirical and forced by the time we move into the third act, The Insult is still an extremely timely legal drama that easily adheres to Roger Ebert’s belief that “movies are machines for empathy.”


An extremely impressive work from Doueiri, The Insult would not only be a terrific selection to show high school students studying ethics but it's also sure to cause thrilling post-film discussion, including some from the filmmaker which is included as part of this technically stellar Cohen Media Group Blu-ray release.


Text ©2018, Film Intuition, LLC; All Rights Reserved. http://www.filmintuition.com Unauthorized Reproduction or Publication Elsewhere is Strictly Prohibited and in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  FTC Disclosure: Per standard professional practice, I may have received a review copy or screener link of this title in order to voluntarily decide to evaluate it for my readers, which had no impact whatsoever on whether or not it received a favorable or unfavorable critique.

Movie Review: Ava (2017)


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As bold as it is angry, in writer/director Sadaf Foroughi’s semi-autobiographical feature filmmaking debut Ava, an eponymous seventeen-year-old girl on the cusp of graduation (played by Mahour Jabbari) struggles to come-of-age amid the repressive surroundings of a hypercritical home and school life in present day Tehran.

Used like a pawn by her Type A doctor mother as well as her more easygoing father who’s frequently out-of-town on business, in an early sequence wherein the two (played by Bahar Noohian and Vahid Aghapoor) argue about Ava as though she were not in the next room but the next town, it becomes obvious that Ava's guardians want radically different futures for their daughter.


While her dad wants to give Ava the freedom to choose her own career, after her seemingly impossible to please mother cruelly cuts Ava off from her best friend and violin in an effort that her daughter not repeat any of her own mistakes, Ava's ability to just keep her head down, obey, and follow orders soon reaches a breaking point.

An award-winning Canadian-Iranian feature fresh off the 2017 film festival circuit, while Foroughi’s work derives a great deal of conflict from its setting in the Middle-East, at its core, Ava is a universally relatable film about female adolescence, peer pressure, and teenage struggle with authority both in and out of the classroom.


And even though it isn’t nearly as successful from a structural standpoint, as many viewers have pointed out, Ava would make a surprisingly excellent double feature to last year’s thematically very similar (and likewise female helmed) Lady Bird.

However, unlike Greta Gerwig's multiple Oscar nominee, Ava bears much more in common with French New Wave titles such as Cleo From 5 to 7 and especially The 400 Blows (to which it pays homage in its final moments) than it does with most English language high school features, which makes sense given Foroughi's educational background pursuing post-graduate film study in France.


Nonetheless there are still some lyrical filmic touches throughout Ava including claustrophobic framing with mirrors and bars (which illustrate the way she’s being increasingly watched and isolated) that wouldn't have been out of place in The Virgin Suicides or Fish Tank.

Yet while it could raise some intriguing post-film discussion about the freedom the movie’s men feel in contrast to the women, Ava’s emotionally exhausting depiction of tyrannical female authority figures grows increasingly repetitive as it continues, particularly because the less three-dimensional some of its characters appear, the less Foroughi seems clear about exactly what it is that she wants to say and why.


Helping to keep it from spinning too far out of control, Ava is augmented by both the poetic edits of fellow award-winning Iranian-Canadian filmmaker Kiarash Anvari as well as Sina Kermanizadeh’s lush cinematography.

And while Ava would’ve undoubtedly been better served with either a shorter running time or sharper script (especially one that better represented Ava's mother's point-of-view for greater empathetic impact), overall it's still an ambitious and auspicious debut from Sadaf Foroughi that promises great things from the filmmaker to come.


Text ©2018, Film Intuition, LLC; All Rights Reserved. http://www.filmintuition.com Unauthorized Reproduction or Publication Elsewhere is Strictly Prohibited and in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  FTC Disclosure: Per standard professional practice, I may have received a review copy or screener link of this title in order to voluntarily decide to evaluate it for my readers, which had no impact whatsoever on whether or not it received a favorable or unfavorable critique.

Movie Review: RBG (2018)


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Like many women who went to college in the 1950, Ruth Bader earned her Mrs. Degree when she married Martin Ginsburg – a man who was as outgoing as she was reserved.

Except, as she tells directors Julie Cohen and Betsy West in the inspiring new biographical documentary RBG, the only difference was, whereas other women suppressed their intelligence to fit in at Cornell, Marty not only cared that she had a brain but without her beloved husband, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg might have never become a lawyer.


Further inspired to enter the law after watching the McCarthy hearings on TV – Cohen and West's newly released film chronicles their modest subject's meteoric rise from her early days as one of only nine women admitted to Harvard Law School to her now iconic role on the Supreme Court.

Particularly fascinating in its pre-Justice period, RBG acquaints us with Harvard in an era where the dean asked its female students why they should get to take a man's "spot," before letting us share in Bader Ginsburg's success making the Law Review in her second year, while also caring for not only her toddler but also Marty, who'd been diagnosed with cancer early into their marriage.

Finishing her own work and then typing up her husband's while he underwent chemo, we discover that Ruth Bader Ginsburg's legendarily tireless work ethic of staying up until the wee small hours of the morning (and then sleeping all weekend) began in college. And while it has continued to serve her well today, most viewers question how a mere mortal can do what she's done day in and day out for over sixty years!


Though mere mortal she may not be. Described as "the closest thing to a superhero that I know," by interviewee Gloria Steinem, the film offers a fascinating to look back at some of the landmark equal rights cases that Bader Ginsburg argued in the 1970s Supreme Court, which not only made her name but also gave us some of the rights that we're fighting to hold onto today.


Also documenting Marty's work behind-the-scenes petitioning then President Bill Clinton to name RBG to the court (which he realized he wanted to do within fifteen minutes of meeting her) as well as her relationship with the other justices, and evolving role on the bench from moderate to liberal, RBG provides a terrific overview of a woman that most millennials are likely just getting to know.

Clocking in at a brisk ninety-seven minute running time, this energizing work will undoubtedly play better if you're already familiar with a majority of the political figures interviewed or featured throughout. But at the same time Cohen and West work hard to reach new activists and politically engaged young minds by illustrating the important part that not only RBG but any justice has the potential to play in changing the law of our land for better or worse.


Rounding out the woman as well as the feature to delightful effect, the filmmakers share her passion for the opera and dedication to her family on display in both rare home movies (the best of which celebrate her relationship with the late Marty) as well as fun interviews with close family and friends.

And while even though I'm nerdy enough to have wanted a Ken Burns sized opus that zeroes in on each decade of her life (and especially every one of those ACLU cases she argued), the multiple film festival Audience Award-winning RBG gives us a wonderful opportunity to start rooting for a different kind of superhero this summer.



Text ©2018, Film Intuition, LLC; All Rights Reserved. http://www.filmintuition.com Unauthorized Reproduction or Publication Elsewhere is Strictly Prohibited and in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  FTC Disclosure: Per standard professional practice, I may have received a review copy or screener link of this title in order to voluntarily decide to evaluate it for my readers, which had no impact whatsoever on whether or not it received a favorable or unfavorable critique.