All posts by Natalie Salvo

Film Review: Handsome Devil (Ireland, 2016) is a pleasant but predictable coming of age story

Handsome Devil is cut from the same cloth as Sing Street and Dead Poet’s Society, but it also leaves a few things deliberately ambiguous. This is a pleasant, coming-of-age tale set in a private, all-boys boarding school in Ireland. The story ends on an encouraging and positive note where you should be yourself because it reminds us that “No one else can be you”.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Norman: The Moderate Rise & Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer (USA, 2017) is like a conga dance, blurring the lines between friendships & manipulation

Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer is a light comedy film about a human of New York. But he’s not just any human. The eponymous Norman is a wheeler/dealer and the undisputed king of networking. The film is what you’d get if The Ides of March were directed by Woody Allen because it’s a complex, Jewish political story where not all is as it seems.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Neruda (Chile, 2016) is a complex bio-pic that leaves you questioning what is truth and fantasy

Neruda is a film that truly embodies its subject matter. But this proves to be one double-edged sword because it is also to its betterment and detriment. This bio-pic about the eponymous, beloved Chilean poet uses the lyrical qualities the writer employed to bend the narrative in so many ways that the result is virtually imperceptible.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Snatched (USA, 2017) is an uneven caper with more faces than a hundred watches

A more appropriate title for the film Snatched would be “Botched” because this was a wasted opportunity. The movie is an uneven one starring comedian Amy Schumer and Hollywood’s own, the truly wonderful Goldie Hawn making her silver-screen comeback after a 15 year hiatus. It’s one that has some decent-enough ingredients but the overall combination plays out like a holiday in hell.... Continue Reading

For Film’s Sake Festival Review: Dust Cloth (Turkey, 2016) is a subtle and well-intentioned character study

Dust Cloth (Toz Bezi) is the sort of film you’d get if you crossed Phil Collins’ “Another Day in Paradise” with Radiohead’s “No Surprises.” It’s the subtle, everyday story that shows the poverty that two working class women in Istanbul endure. While it is a well-observed and well-intentioned tale, this is also a character study that is a bit too meandering and slow for its own benefit.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Below Her Mouth (Canada, 2016) is a steamy lesbian love story

Put in simple terms, Below Her Mouth is a story about a girl meets a girl except that the latter is engaged to a boy. It’s a tender lesbian romance that showcases the sexual awakening of one of its lead characters. But it’s also one that could do with a lot more conversation and a little less action, because these two lovers get very busy to the point that they do very little else.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Things To Come (France/Germany, 2016) is a quiet meditation on middle-age turmoil

Just like starting over. That’s the name of a John Lennon song but it’s also a line that could be used to sum up the French film, Things To Come (L’avenir). The story is a subtle character study about a middle-aged woman and how she negotiates a bunch of set-backs with a kind of understated and inspired dignity.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Festival bound Supergirl (USA, 2016) is an inspiring documentary about achieving the impossible

It’s a bird…it’s a plane…it’s Supergirl! The documentary, Supergirl is a film about an American girl with superhuman strength. It’s an inspirational story that is about kicking down barriers and achieving the impossible in the competitive world/sport that is powerlifting.... Continue Reading

Netflix Review: Casting JonBenet is an ambitious, clever and exploitative, experimental documentary

Casting JonBenet is a film that requires you to know this unsolved murder case but also leave your expectations at the door. In the 20 years that have passed since the murder of the child beauty queen, JonBenet Ramsey there have been all manner of documentary exposés and coverage of this crime. Yet Casting JonBenet comes from a very different place, by employing an experimental and avant-garde style to create a piece of art that straddles the lines between the complex and the thoughtful as well as moments that are exploitative and in poor taste.... Continue Reading

TV Review: Netflix’s Girlboss sees a caustic hustler-turned-throwaway-fashion success story

Girlboss is a series that may leave viewers feeling conflicted. While it’s great to see an underdog making good and pursuing her passion it’s also hard to root for a lead character who is so inherently unlikeable. This Netflix series is ultimately like a fun ball of fairy floss, it’s pleasant enough at first bite; but it’s also a little bit throwaway and lightweight.... Continue Reading