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With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit the interwebs. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.
An ecstatically original work of film-history-philosophy with a digital-cinema palette of acutely crafted compositions. Amour Fou seamlessly blends together the paintings of Vermeer, the acting of Bresson, and the psychological undercurrents of a Dostoevsky novel. It is an intensely thrilling and often slyly comic work that manages to combine a passionately dispassionate love story of the highest order with a larger socio-historical »
- TFS Staff
Addiction narratives are more alike than unalike, and the only distinctive aspect of I Smile Back is that its depressed addict, Laney Brooks, is played by the raunchy comedian Sarah Silverman in her first major dramatic role. She’s very good. Laney is a rich girl who was abandoned as a child by her dad, and though she’s married with two kids to a doting insurance executive (Josh Charles), she’s still acting out like crazy—boozing, snorting cocaine, picking up strange and not-strange men, among them the husband of a close friend. Her masochism has an aura of entitlement. She wants to be cruisin’ for a bruisin’.Scripted by Paige Dylan and Amy Koppelman, the movie improves on Koppelman’s ungainly novel but is generally dreary and light on insight. Director Adam Salky steers clear of the usual addiction-movie clichés, but he doesn’t have anything to replace them with, »
- David Edelstein
Laney (Sarah Silverman) is the perfect wife to Bruce (Josh Charles) and the perfect mom to Eli (Skylar Gaertner) and Janey (Shayne Coleman). She’s a nurturing, loving woman, but she’s also got a raging addiction to anything in sight: sugar, booze, pills, coke, sex, anything she can get her hands on. It’s clear that as much love as she has for her kids (and Silverman has great chemistry with them), there are also deep wells of rage within her that send her into flaming-out downward spirals. Silverman plays Laney with a dead-eyed, twitchy ferocity, and her performance is at once horrifying in its reality and morbidly compelling in her rampant self-destructiveness. Read More: Sarah Silverman Self-Destructs In First Trailer For Acclaimed Sundance Drama 'I Smile Back' At first, "I Smile Back" feels a bit like a very well-shot episode of “Intervention,” and the inciting incident »
- Katie Walsh
Snapshots into a life unraveling, I Smile Back is an unpleasant, earnest look at the struggles of coping with bipolar disorder and addiction. New Jersey housewife and mother of two children, Laney Brooks is prone to mistakes. Chief among them her decision to abruptly stop taking the lithium tablets that treat her mental disorder. She pounds alcohol at dinner, snorts cocaine in the bathroom, and cheats on her husband with their friend, but even when she’s home there’s a cavernous distance between the married couple.
This, the second feature film from Dare director Adam Salky, is the type of intimate suburban drama that’s a regular feature on film festival circuits. It feels recognizable if not familiar up until its depressing final few scenes. The biggest difference being that I Smile Back unexpectedly stars an unrelentingly vulnerable Sarah Silverman.
Silverman’s most notable work has been as a potty-mouthed, »
- Zachary Shevich
The story of a group of youths on the autism spectrum who attend a special spring formal dance in Columbus, Ohio, warmed the hearts of many who turned out at the Time Warner Center on a chilly night in New York City.
The docu chronicles the coaching and preparations that the teenagers and twentysomethings undergo for months leading up to the dance organized by psychologist Emilio Amigo. A deeper look at the stories of three young women trying to gain more independence adds context to the triumphs and challenges they experience just getting to the dance floor.
“I hope everyone feels like they’re walking with them into that dance,” Shiva said of her film. Shiva was inspired to study »
- Cynthia Littleton
I Smile Back, 2015.
Directed by Adam Salky.
Laney Brooks does bad things. Married with kids, she takes the drugs she wants, sleeps with the men she wants, disappears when she wants. Now, with the destruction of her family looming, and temptation everywhere, Laney makes one last desperate attempt at redemption.
In her mid-40s, Sarah Silverman seems to be entering a new phase of her comedy/acting career, which is head-on tackling some very challenging dramatic roles. She’s also succeeding in this endeavor, slowly revealing new layers of talent, mostly due to the fact of how fearless she is handling extremely taboo subject material. It’s just a shame that such a breakthrough starring role is coming in a movie where everything orbiting her performance is lackluster in quality, not interesting enough, or so awkwardly fast-paced »
- Robert Kojder
It’s been said time and again that major changes in the law and society can actually begin with one person,… or two. You know how just a pebble can gather momentum and bring about an avalanche that can alter the landscape. This new feature film docudrama tells such a story. Its subject is one still discussed, especially with the presidential campaigns starting so very early. The story begins just ten years ago, not that long before the sweeping changes concerning marriage which lead to equality throughout these united states. But at this time there were only “civil unions” which we often denied same-sex couples the rights that straight couples took for granted. Yes, this film is based on a true story, one that has been brought to the screen before, as a documentary short subject back in 2007. And it won an Oscar, too! The new dramatic adaptation shares its »
- Jim Batts
The red carpet buzzed with accolades for Sarah Silverman‘s performance at a New York screening of “I Smile Back,” hosted by Broad Green Pictures Tuesday at the Museum of Modern Art. The film, in which Silverman stars as a woman who appears to have everything but struggles with depression, opened at the Sundance Film Festival and also showed at Toronto.
Amy Koppelman wrote the novel “I Smile Back” and adapted it to the screen with the help of her writing partner Paige Dylan. When Koppelman heard Silverman on Howard Stern’s radio program talking about her own experiences with depression, she knew Silverman could play the lead character. She sent Silverman the novel on a whim. “I write these really small dark books and I just thought she would understand what I was trying to say… It was a miracle she opened it,” Koppelman said.
Silverman enjoyed the possibility »
- Allison Sadlier
Wamg has your passes to the powerful drama Freeheld.
Based on the Oscar®-winning short documentary and adapted by the writer of Philadelphia, Freeheld is the true love story of Laurel Hester [Julianne Moore] and Stacie Andree [Ellen Page] and their fight for justice. A decorated New Jersey police detective, Laurel is diagnosed with cancer and wants to leave her hard-earned pension to her domestic partner, Stacie. However the county officials, Freeholders, prevent Laurel from doing this. Hard-nosed detective Dane Wells [Michael Shannon], and activist Steven Goldstein [Steve Carell] unite in Laurel and Stacie’s defense, rallying police officers and ordinary citizens to support their struggle for equality.
Directed by Peter Sollett (Nick And Nora’s Infinite Playlist, Raising Victor Vargas) and written by Ron Nyswaner (Philadelphia, Ray Donovan), with moving performances from a cast including Academy Award® winner Julianne Moore and Academy-Award nominees Ellen Page, Steve Carell, and Michael Shannon, with supporting performances from Luke Grimes and Josh Charles. »
- Movie Geeks
It’s fascinating to see how an awards player can see its stock rise and fall throughout Oscar season. Much like last week’s Stonewall, which went from a potential contender to throughly a pretender, Freeheld has seen its fortunes change ever since its debut on the film festival circuit. The movie is hitting theaters this week with less buzz than you’d expect, though that doesn’t mean that this one is dead. A lot will have to do with the precursors, which could easily resurrect the film. As such, I wanted to give it another quick mention and keep it on all of our minds… In case you don’t remember from the last time I talked about Freeheld, the film is about same sex marriage and centers on two women fighting for the benefits that straight couples take for granted. Laurel Hester (Julianne Moore) is a Lieutenant »
- Joey Magidson
This year’s San Diego Film Festival again partners with Variety to honor four stars: Adrien Brody will receive the Cinema Vanguard Award; the Reframed Humanitarian Award will go to Geena Davis; the Auteur Award is being given to Brit Marling; and John Boyega will get the Rising Star Award.
Sdff will fete the honorees on Oct. 1 at Variety’s Night of the Stars tribute and party.
Two high-profile films anchor the fest: It opens with “Septembers of Shiraz” (pictured), Wayne Blair’s Iranian thriller starring Brody and Salma Hayek; and it will host the world premiere of Lawrence Roeck’s “Diablo,” starring Scott Eastwood, Camilla Belle, Walton Goggins and Danny Glover.
“This is a nice coup for us,” says programming VP Tonya Mantooth.
- Iain Blair
Oscar winner Julianne Moore and Ellen Page celebrated the New York premiere of Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment’s film “Freeheld,” which tackles gay rights, on Monday night at the Museum of Modern Art. The two stars received heaps of praise for their portrayal of two real-life domestic partners, Laurel Hester (Moore) and Stacie Andree (Page), who fight for New Jersey police officer Hester to be able to leave her pension benefits to Andree upon being diagnosed with lung cancer.
“I found the story of Laurel and Stacie to be incredibly moving. They just wanted to be treated like everybody else,” Moore told Variety on the red carpet. “Their personal story shows that love is love. Every relationship is a valid relationship. I hope our film will show that no matter what a person’s sexuality is, they aren’t any different. Laurel and Stacie wanted a house, they wanted a family, »
- Paul Chi
Freeheld Summit Entertainment Reviewed by: Harvey Karten for Shockya. Databased on Rotten Tomatoes. Grade: B+ Director: Peter Sollett Written by: Ron Nyswaner based on Cynthia Wade’s documentary Cast: Julianne Moore, Ellen Page, Michael Shannon, Steve Carell, Josh Charles Screened at: Dolby88, NYC, 9/24/15 Opens: October 2, 2015 They say that the reason more than half the country is now sympathetic to gay marriage is that we Americans know people among our own families and friends who are homosexual or lesbian, and hey, they’re real human beings! It’s a small step from that insight to the belief that in certain areas people should have equality—maybe not in income, but surely [ Read More ]
The post Freeheld Movie Review appeared first on Shockya.com. »
- Harvey Karten
“Masters of Sex” and “Ray Donovan” ended their third seasons Sunday, largely heading in different directions. While the former started out slowly, it gained intensity as the season progressed, deftly weaving together its subplots in a manner that left half of its central duo humbled. By contrast, its Showtime companion (and Spoiler Alert if you haven’t watched) largely squandered big-name guest casting and a “Chinatown”-like story line, before getting drawn back into its title character’s twisted family in ways that felt more overwrought than usual, leaving not one, but two of them nursing bullet wounds.
“Masters of Sex” certainly recovered spectacularly from its rocky start, which, by leaping several years ahead, involved a deflating focus on the now-older children of Masters (Michael Sheen) and Johnson (Lizzy Caplan). Not only that, but those episodes included a rather squirrelly disclaimer stating that the sex researchers’ kids were wholly fictional, »
- Brian Lowry
Previously: Review: 'Masters of Sex' Season 3, Episode 10, 'Through a Glass, Darkly': Controls and Variables The Syllabus In the season's pared-down penultimate episode, "Masters of Sex" reduces its shifting constellation of personal and professional relationships to two quartets: Bill (Michael Sheen), Virginia (Lizzy Caplan), Dan (Josh Charles), and Dan's wife, Alice (an extraordinary Judy Greer), dining at a four-star restaurant in New York, and Libby (Caitlin FitzGerald) and Paul (Ben Koldyke) playing house with the Masters children back in St. Louis. The result, refracted through a series of brief scenes unspooling over the course of a single night, is the most controlled episode of this inconsistent season. Criss-crossing from the Big Apple to the Gateway City and back again, "Party of Four" is full of cutting one-liners and cool appraisals, but in effect its gambit is gentler, even melancholy. The subject, as Paul explains to »
- Matt Brennan
Previously: Review: 'Masters of Sex' Season 3, Episode 10, 'Through a Glass, Darkly': Controls and Variables The Syllabus In the season's pared-down penultimate episode, "Masters of Sex" reduces its shifting constellation of personal and professional relationships to two quartets: Bill (Michael Sheen), Virginia (Lizzy Caplan), Dan (Josh Charles), and Dan's wife, Alice (an extraordinary Judy Greer), dining at a four-star restaurant in New York, and Libby (Caitlin FitzGerald) and Paul (Ben Koldyke) playing house with the Masters children back in St. Louis. The result, refracted through a series of brief scenes unspooling over the course of a single night, is the most controlled episode of this inconsistent season. Criss-crossing from the Big Apple to the Gateway City and back again, "Party of Four" is full of cutting one-liners and cool appraisals, but in effect its gambit is gentler, even melancholy. The subject, as Paul explains to...
- Matt Brennan
Sixty-one years ago today, this iconic image was born: Marilyn Monroe, laughing as the skirt of her white cocktail dress is blown up by the air from a subway vent. Monroe had her famous skirt moment on the set of “The Seven Year Itch” for a scene with Tom Ewell filmed on Sept. 15, 1954. Her husband, baseball player Joe Dimaggio, was reportedly infuriated by the scene, and the couple divorced shortly afterward. The iconic photo of the “flying skirt” moment was taken by Monroe's friend Sam Shaw. Other notable Sept. 15 happenings in pop culture history: • 1949: “The Lone Ranger” premiered on ABC. • 1956: Elvis Presley started a five-week run at No.1 on the U.S. charts with “Don't Be Cruel.” • 1961: A band from Hawthorne, Calif. called The Pendletones had their first recording session at Hite Morgan’s studio in Los Angeles. The band later changed their name to The Beach Boys. »
- Emily Rome
Hope you have a bunch of tears saved up, because you're about to cry them all watching the trailer for Freeheld. Julianne Moore and Ellen Page star in the film, based on the 2007 documentary of the same name, about police lieutenant Laurel Hester and her partner, Stacie Andree. Once Laurel is diagnosed with terminal cancer, she begins to face the reality that the state doesn't allow for pension benefits to be passed along to same-sex domestic partners. Rather than die knowing her loved one won't be taken care of, Laurel fights the system. Steve Carell, Michael Shannon, and Josh Charles also star in the film, out on Oct. 2. This latest trailer features a new track, "Hands of Love," performed by Miley Cyrus and written by Linda Perry. It's no Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz, but . . . just kidding, it's much, much better. »
- Maggie Pehanick
It may be a sign of the sweeping changes that have occurred in the gay-rights arena that “Freeheld” — a fact-based drama about two New Jersey women who fought for due recognition of their domestic partnership in the mid-2000s — at times plays like a period piece, populated by cardboard bigots, flamboyant gay crusaders and other hoary relics of a less enlightened past. That may be cause for celebration, but it’s hardly a compliment. Despite a credible and moving love story driven by strong performances from Julianne Moore and Ellen Page, director Peter Sollett’s film is an oppressively worthy and self-satisfied inspirational vehicle that views its story primarily as a series of teachable moments, all but congratulating viewers for their moral and ideological superiority to roughly half the people onscreen. The Supreme Court’s recent landmark ruling in favor of marriage equality will lend the Oct. 2 Summit Entertainment some topical traction, »
- Justin Chang
This is a capsule review. A full review will be posted when the film hits theatres.
What few smirks and grins exist in I Smile Back seem either in jest or vain. This harrowing downward spiral of a drama puts you next to Laney, a wife and mother struggling with mental health issues that manifest in dangerous lies, alcohol abuse, pill addition, and deviant sex.
Propelled from an impressive central performance by Sarah Silverman, I Smile Back introduces us to Laney as she’s seemingly on the verge of going over the edge. She reflects on family memories, though each one less pleasant than the last. While she’s doing this, she watches her husband (Josh Charles), son, and daughter play basketball outside. Then she does a line of cocaine, judges her naked body in the mirror, and gets on with her night.
A stint in rehab later follows fights »
- Anthony Marcusa
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