Currently browsing the "Taylor Russell" tag.

Quickie Review: Words on Bathroom Walls

Words on Bathroom Walls is the latest in a string of films adapted from popular novels – YA and otherwise. But as far as I can tell, it’s only being released in theaters at the moment, which makes it hard to find and even harder to break through as anything resembling a “must see” in the age of COVID-19. And that’s rather a shame, because the film explores a topic rarely seen on film and certainly not from this perspective. It tells the story of Adam (Charlie Plummer, All the Money in the World), a mostly typical teen who gets diagnosed with schizophrenia – and expelled – midway through his senior year of high school. He sometimes sees and hears people that aren’t there, which can lead to frightening psychotic breaks. Adam ends up getting accepted to a Catholic school on the condition he take his meds religiously. This prove difficult when the drugs interfere with his love of cooking (he dreams of going to culinary arts school) as well as his budding romance with Maya (Taylor Russell, Waves), the school’s smart, attractive, clever and industrious presumptive valedictorian. Adam tries to keep his mental illness a secret from Maya, and all his classmates, and ends up walking a very tight rope.

Review: Waves

Mainstream Chick and I both watched this one at the Middleburg Film Festival. It’s a family melodrama with a capital “F.” At its center is the African-American Williams family, whose patriarch is a driven man who made something of himself and expects nothing less from his son, pushing him to the breaking point. It’s an emotional roller coaster of a film that shocks and aches and takes a deep dive into the meaning of love and family. It’s not a perfect film, but it’s definitely worth seeing for its insistent style and excellent performances.

Arty Chick’s Middleburg Film Festival Download 2019

Another super tiring weekend in the bucolic Virginia hamlet of Middleburg watching more films than I should! I predicted early on that this festival would outgrow itself and I think it has come to that point. Too many people know about it and the growing pains have become chronic overcrowding at venues without room for expansion. I’m already searching for another festival for next year. (All suggestions are appreciated.) I saw fewer films this year, too, just nine — Marriage Story, The Capote Tapes, The Aeronauts, Frankie, Waves, The Report, The Two Popes, Atlantics, and Knives Out. I only gave one of them four stars and several were surprising disappointments. For too many it was great cast and great performances in an otherwise just okay movie. Here’s my list with trailers and my preliminary impressions. Full reviews of select films will come later, so check back.

Mainstream Chick’s 2019 Middleburg Film Festival Recap

There’s something addictive about the Middleburg Film Festival. It’s not like I rank among press that is comped for transportation, put up in the festival’s home base – the swanky Salamander Resort & Spa – or extended an invitation to the private parties (crashing them notwithstanding). No, I must take a break from my ‘day job’, make the hour-plus drive from Maryland into Virginia horse country, and plant myself (along with a couple of equally budget-conscious movie gal pals) at a Hampton Inn about 18 miles southeast of the bucolic venues – all for the privilege of waiting in long lines to watch a slew of movies on straight-backed wooden chairs with minimal posterior padding.

And oh what a privilege it is. For real!