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Film, "Promised Land": The Message Is the Message

"Promised Land": The Message Is the Message

Salesmen are typically depicted in screen drama as the quintessential American phonies. The exceptions — in Barry Levinson's Avalon or Whit Stillman's Barcelona — are buried under a mountain of films proving the rule. That one set of phonies are…
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Film, "Nobody Walks": The Oppressive Nature of SoCal Sunshine

"Nobody Walks": The Oppressive Nature of SoCal Sunshine

For her evocative third feature, writer-director Ry Russo-Young has collaborated with filmmaker-actress Lena Dunham (Tiny Furniture, HBO's Girls) on a screenplay that occasionally presses too hard on plot in order to achieve thematic balance, as with the unlikely sexual tension…
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Film, "Big Miracle": Saving the Whales Doesn't Save Any Laughs

"Big Miracle": Saving the Whales Doesn't Save Any Laughs

Starring everyone who wasn't in New Year's Eve—and larded with just as many bromides—Big Miracle is inspired by the true story of the end-of-the-Cold War effort to free three gray whales trapped by ice in northern Alaska. In October 1988,…
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