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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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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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Revenge of ‘The Dressmaker’

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Australian tale stitches together offbeat humor and quirky comeuppance By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Kate Winslet as Myrtle ‘Tilly’ Dunnage in ‘The Dressmaker’ Rating: R; Grade: B+ Is there a more classic, dare I say “iconic,” figure in film today than Kate Winslet? If you need proof, look no further than the opening scene of “The […]

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Celebration, continued

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Dayton LGBT Film Festival kicks off a second decade By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Kiki Layne as Olivia (right) falls for Imani in Janaya Greene’s short film ‘Veracity,’ directed by Seith Mann Based on the advance word found on the festival website, the vibe at the 11th annual Dayton LGBT Film Festival will be raucous. With […]

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Sinking into the mire of ‘Deepwater Horizon’

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Explosive action alone cannot tell the tale of historic catastrophe by T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Mark Wahlberg as Mike Williams in ‘Deepwater Horizon’ Rating: PG-13; Grade: D+   The story is true, and should be fairly well-known to most, because it made headlines and dominated the news cycle back in April of 2010, when an explosion […]

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Focus on ‘Snowden’ grounds the mercurial Stone

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A measured and damned near mild-mannered Oliver Stone pic By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Edward Snowden in ‘Snowden’ Rating: R; Grade: B- With the arrival of the third day of the Toronto International Film Festival, I prepared myself for a trio of films tackling crucial periods in American history. Added to the daunting […]

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The mad genius of Jean-Marc Vallee

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A true international indie filmmaker cracks the Hollywood code By T.T. Stern-Enzi It seems I have something in common with the producers of “Demolition,” the new film from Jean-Marc Vallee, which opens April 8 (finally). I say finally because I caught “Demolition” in September when it kicked off the Toronto International Film Festival’s 40th anniversary. […]

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Everybody wants ‘Kung Fu Panda 3’

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The third time is definitely the real rock ’em, sock ’em charm By T.T. Stern-Enzi What’s an awesome kung fu warrior to do once he has fended off the greatest threats to his crown and kingdom? Settle in for a little rest and relaxation, right? Well, maybe not. Especially if we’re talking about the adorable […]

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‘Anomalisa’ finds life in ordinary clay

Anomalisa

Filmmakers use stop-motion animation to reveal hidden reservoirs of emotion By T.T. Stern-Enzi Michael Stone, voiced by David Thewlis, arrives in Cincinnati to take part in a conference. He is the author of a bestselling book on successful customer service practices, techniques that work based on their ability to help practitioners focus on establishing strong […]

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Understanding ‘Suffragette’ better through song

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Appreciating messages in other times and beats By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Carey Mulligan as Maud Watts in “Suffragette”; Rating: PG-13 Grade: B Following the preview audience screening of “Suffragette” I attended, I found myself driving around town, between appointments with an iTunes playlist cued to shuffle, and two songs that on the surface would seem […]

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