Tag Archives: screen

Celebrating Oscar-nominated shorts

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Experience a brief and thrilling tour of the world through film By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Character Techno Stypes in ‘Pear Cider and Cigarettes’ by Robert Valley Film shorts, the long-ignored set of categories at the Academy Awards, fortunately are in the midst of a renaissance of the highest order. In the past, filmmakers with big […]

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When the chase for gold strays down the rabbit hole

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The case for Michael Keaton and Matthew McConaughey in divergent, but still forgettable roles By T. T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Michael Keaton as Ray Kroc in ‘The Founder’ The last two  weeks have given audiences prime examples of how the awards season can take films and actors, chew them up, and quite ungraciously spit them out—even the […]

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In ‘Jackie,’ a new legend takes center stage

Film

It is time to recognize the maturation of Natalie Portman By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Natalie Portman as Jacqueline Kennedy in ‘Jackie’  Rating: R; Grade: A It could be argued that director Pablo Larraín’s probing new biopic “Jackie” offers a perfect example of what happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object. Working from a […]

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High time for ‘20th Century Women’

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Writer-director Mike Mills shines light and love on 3 women in the late ’70s By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: (l-r) Billy Crudup as William, Elle Fanning as Julie, Annette Bening as Dorothea, Greta Gerwig as Abbie, and Lucas Jade Zumann as Jamie in ‘20th Century Women’ Rating: R Grade: B+ As a man raised almost exclusively […]

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Considering the worst films of 2016

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Being bad is all about how hard you try By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Will Smith as Howard and Helen Mirren as Brigitte in ‘Collateral Beauty’ I can’t say whether I’m a glass half-full or a half-empty kind of person because from my perspective, I’m usually just glad to have a glass. When it comes to […]

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A feel-good history lesson

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‘Hidden Figures’ fails to teach the whole psychological truth By T.T. Stern Enzi Photo: Octavia Spencer as Dorothy Vaughan (center) leads a group of women in ‘Hidden Figures’ Rating: PG; Grade: B It is hard to fault Theodore Melfi for his safe and carefully crafted “Hidden Figures.” As the writer-director of “St. Vincent,” he had […]

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Performance recognition goes gender blind in 2017

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Hollywood decides to nominate based on ‘performance’ over gender T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Ingrid Bergman as Paula Alquist in Oscar-winning ‘Gaslight’ Have you ever stopped to consider the all-time grudge match competitions that could have dominated our cultural dialogues over the years? To isolate just one knock-down, drag-them-out slug-fest: who gave the best performance of the […]

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The rest of the best

Film

Don’t miss these under-the-radar film picks from 2016 By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Markees Christmas as Morris in ‘Morris From America’ Today’s world has transformed every (remaining) film critic into a curator-in-waiting. Having spent decades critically watching and commenting on film, assuming the role of scout-curator for a film festival or a film center, makes for […]

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Beware the angelic chorus of ‘Manchester by the Sea’

Film

Lesley Barber’s musical score bedevils and transfixes audiences By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Casey Affleck (right) and Kyle Chandler in Kenneth Lonergan’s ‘Manchester By the Sea’ For the last couple of years, film scoring has been a sideline coverage pursuit during my time at the Toronto International Film Festival. And this year, I had my sensitive […]

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Tom Ford composes a dark, ‘Nocturnal’ adaptation

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Amy Adams reigns in the elegant jungle of ‘Nocturnal Animals’ By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Amy Adams as Susan Morrow in Tom Ford’s ‘Nocturnal Animals’ Rating: R; Grade: A Back in the halcyon days of September, during the delirious full festival run I made through Toronto, I enjoyed a stylistically captivating double feature (“Nocturnal Animals” and […]

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‘Allied’ fights a losing battle in beautiful isolation

Film

Character is a rare special effect in Robert Zemeckis’s latest effort By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Brad Pitt as Max Vatan and Marion Cotillard as Marianne Beauséjour in ‘Allied’ Rating: R; Grade: D+ Over the years, Robert Zemeckis (“Flight”) has proven to be a special effects wizard, capable of employing all-manner of visual trickery to dazzle […]

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‘Bleed for This’ captures a boxer fighting for his life

Film

Real life drama zeroes in on a personal battle against adversity By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Miles Teller as Vinny Pazienza in ‘Bleed for This’ Rating: R; Grade: B Men and women who step in the ring go by a variety of monikers—boxers, brawlers, fighters, sluggers, punchers—and yet the stories about them, the big feature narratives, […]

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Confirmation of a major ‘Arrival’

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Canadian director Denis Villeneuve arrives on the big scene By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Amy Adams as Dr. Louise Brooks in ‘The Arrival’ Rating: PG-13; Grade: A I remember where I was when Denis Villeneuve (whose “Incendies” garnered a Best Foreign Language Oscar nomination back in 2011) started to loom large. The moment goes back to […]

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The certainty of life’s quiet moments

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Kelly Reichardt turns her gaze to profundity of the mundane By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Michelle Williams as Gina Lewis in ‘Certain Women’ Rating: R; Grade: A Over 20 years ago in the film “Short Cuts,” Robert Altman provided a visual roadmap through a messy suburban landscape from the pen of writer Raymond Carver. As a […]

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Watch out for the look of death

Film

What we learn about death portrayed on-screen By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Janet Leigh as Marion Crane in ‘Psycho’ Blood and gore, that’s what attracts us, right? Everything from the gruesome kill shots to the slashing stab wounds, we’re in it to watch the life bleed away from that anonymous collection of young victims. But, reel […]

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Experiencing the eternal dream of ‘American Honey’

Screen

Andrea Arnold shines a spotlight on the new American teen dream By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Shia LaBeouf as Jake (left) and Sasha Lane as Star in ‘American Honey’ Rating: R; Grade: A “American” is such a loaded word in contemporary society. Type it into a search engine and it appears as a tag, a descriptive […]

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The kids are alright…and the nannies and billies, too

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In this fast-paced world of immediate answers and non-stop connectivity, there is a real need for us to unplug and […]

Debate 5/22: Blurred lines create travel tensions

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Have you ever heard of an emotional support mouse? What about an emotional support hedgehog, or mini pig? (Can we […]

Pups on the run

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Did you know that the Humane Society of Greater Dayton (HSGD) has been “Finding Great Homes For Great Pets” since […]

Catfé society in St. Anne’s Hill

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Last spring I wrote a piece introducing readers to a Dayton first: The Gem City Catfé, which officially opened its […]

The new Splash Moraine?

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What happens when you have dogs leaping through the air, splashing into a pool and swimming frantically after a toy? […]