The fourth scene goes to Sarah Paulson as a YouTuber whose guided meditation spins out into a recounting of a visit to her Trump-loving family. Or so she thought – her howl of despair ends with the discovery that her father numbers among the never-Trump Republicans, offended at the sitting president’s insults to John McCain. He embodies the Democrats’ wildest fantasy of the GOP as an enemy too principled to cast their lot with the clearly morally abhorrent, a hope in willful denial of what the party has repeatedly announced itself to be. Kaitlyn Dever’s conclusion, as a Wyoming nurse come to New York to volunteer at the center of the Covid-19 pandemic, may be the most calculated of all. She’s a transparent ploy to show that the noble commoners of the heartland have struggles dwarfing the miniature dramas of the others by comparison. Even so, amid the ravages of a pandemic, she’s so moved by a Biden-voting patient that she’s inspired to change … [Read more...] about Coastal Elites review – is this the worst film of the year?
The setting is a Brazil-style reimagining of contemporary Oakland, where adverts for “WorryFree” living sell subservience as an alternative to poverty, and I Got The Sh*t Kicked Out of Me is a top-rated reality TV show. Lakeith Stanfield, whose arresting CV ranges from Destin Daniel Cretton’s Short Term 12 to Jordan Peele’s Get Out, is Cassius Green, the likable loser who lives in his uncle’s garage with rebellious partner Detroit (Tessa Thompson), a performance artist who earns minimum wage as a kerb-side sign waver, and who moonlights with anti-corporate activists Left Eye. … [Read more...] about Sorry to Bother You review – Boots Riley finds soul-selling comedy gold
Not to be confused with the British period drama of the same name starring Gemma Arterton and Gugu Mbatha-Raw that came out a few weeks back, this Summerland is an American-made coming-out and coming-of-age comedy, low budget but impressively high in concept. The setup posits three Gen Z young adults – straight couple Stacey (Maddie Phillips) and Oliver (Rory J Saper) with Oliver’s best friend, newly out gay man Bray (Chris Ball, also the film’s co-writer) on a roadtrip from Washington state to California to attend a desert-set music festival called Summerland, which looks like a cross between Burning Man and Coachella. The interesting queer twist is that Bray has been catfishing a hunky Christian guy named Shawn (Dylan Playfair) by pretending to be Stacey, convinced that if he could only lure Shawn into meeting him in the flesh he could coax out Shawn’s true sexuality, as yet unrecognised even by Shawn. Meanwhile, Stacey and Oliver are having their own issues … [Read more...] about Summerland review – smart coming-out and coming-of-age comedy
Some really good gags about American Beauty and the Fast and Furious franchise are part of what’s enjoyable about this extremely likable generation-gap comedy from screenwriting brothers Jim and Brian Kehoe. It’s a script that’s been on the black list for a while under previous titles Cherries, and The Pact. Kay Cannon (writer of Pitch Perfect) makes her directing debut. … [Read more...] about Blockers review – prom night comedy as parents turn sex obstructors
The moment Kate arrives back at her alma mater, she is stunned at how utterly unchanged it is, how warmly she feels about it and how ready she is to luxuriate in its reassuring familiarity, while also feeling an agreeable ego boost at being the visiting celebrity. Jacobs cleverly shows how overwhelmed Kate is to be here, and how happy she believes herself to have been as a student compared to her current uncertainty. … [Read more...] about I Used to Go Here review – beguiling back-to-college comedy