Tag: Awards

Sundance 2023: Rotting in the Sun, Jamojaya, Cassandro | Festivals & Awards

In other stunning moments, Chon is preternaturally in tune with the calming gift of nature, just like Joyo. Unru’s performance is a gentle marvel and is genuinely sweet each time he refuses the son’s request to leave, which could easily be annoying with a different actor’s approach. Some of his heartbreaking moments involve him doing his favorite morning ritual of standing on the beach and laughing, throwing his arms in the air. “Jamojaya” has an array of big emotions, and Unru brings a natural power to all of them.  It’s important how the drama here never feels easy despite being so restrained. “Jamojaya” is not only about the father aching for the love of his son; his son also has a great deal of loyalty that pains him, too. Both James and Joyo are at odds with this environ...

Sundance 2023: The Persian Version, Mutt | Festivals & Awards

The events in Leila’s life, involving her own surprise and the waning health of her father Ali Reza (Bijan Daneshmand), cause her to think more about the thick skin of her mother, Shirin (a fantastic Niousha Noor). Shirin and Leila have had a tense relationship for a long time, as we see in select looks at the past. Most painfully, Shirin has been cruel to Leila for being a lesbian, and on a previous Thanksgiving, kicked her and her partner out.  But while back home and spending time with her grandmother (Bella Warda), Leila learns about a secret that forced Shirin and Ali Reza to leave Iran. Hungry to work on her next original script (a framing device that conceptually seems overwrought), Leila asks her grandmother to share what happened. “The Persian Version” take...

Sundance 2023: Fairyland, Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie, Magazine Dreams | Festivals & Awards

Of course, the beating heart of “Still” is Fox himself, who reads some of his books as narration and answers Guggenheim’s questions. He’s revealing, opening, and never gives into pity. There’s a shot early in the film in which Fox falls on a sidewalk and I wished for a second that it wasn’t there. I didn’t want to see one of my childhood movie heroes in that condition and thought maybe it should have been cut. And then Fox stamps the scene with a brilliant one-liner that produced a massive laugh in the crowd. He’s always an entertainer, even when he’s struggling. And his willingness to share that struggle and push through it is an empowering thing of beauty, as is the relationship with Tracy Pollan that really elevates the final act of this film. Fox said in the Q&A after that...