Author's posts

#374 February 18, 2020

Matt writes: For the third year in a row, I had the privilege of representing RogerEbert.com in the press room of the Academy Awards, and I got to experience firsthand the roars of elation that occurred when Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite” became the first foreign language film to win Best Picture. You can read my complete …

Continue reading

We Are All Connected: Backstage at the 2020 Academy Awards

The collective groan that accompanied “Green Book”’s Best Picture win in last year’s Oscar press room was replaced with thunderous applause when Bong Joon-ho’s universally acclaimed South Korean masterwork “Parasite” became the first foreign film to earn the top honor during last night’s telecast of the 92nd Academy Awards. Upon arriving backstage with his wonderful …

Continue reading

#373 February 4, 2020

Matt writes: The 2020 Sundance Film Festival came to a close this past Sunday, and RogerEbert.com was there to cover all the highlights. Check out our official table of contents to skim through our complete line-up of dispatches penned by Brian Tallerico, Nick Allen, Carlos Aguilar, Monica Castillo, Robert Daniels and Tomris Laffly, as well …

Continue reading

Beanpole

Around and around the young woman goes, spinning in her green dress until she suddenly finds that she cannot stop. The carefree giggles that had rippled from her lips, harkening back to the innocence of her childhood, are replaced with labored breathing, as her frolicking movement gradually proves to be a desperate compulsion. As long …

Continue reading

SBIFF 2020: The Night, Mentors—Tony & Santi

The 35th Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF), which kicked off January 15th and runs through Saturday, January 25th, recently held the world premiere of Iranian-American director Kourosh Ahari’s debut feature, “The Night,” a horror film that is downright eerie in its timeliness. In light of the reckless actions made by world leaders earlier this …

Continue reading

#372 January 21, 2020

Matt writes: With the Academy Awards just weeks away, there appears to be a quartet of front-runners emerging in the acting races: Joaquin Phoenix in “Joker” for Best Actor, Renée Zellweger in “Judy” for Best Actress, Brad Pitt in “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood” for Best Supporting Actor and Laura Dern in “Marriage Story” for …

Continue reading

#371 January 7, 2020

Matt writes: One of the best-loved films of this year’s awards season is Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel, Little Women. In addition to Tomris Laffly’s four-star review, make sure to check out Ally Johnson’s appreciation of filmmaker Gillian Armstrong (who helmed the beloved 1994 adaptation) as well as Katherine Tulich’s exclusive video …

Continue reading

Clemency

“I am invisible, understand, because people refuse to see me.” This excerpt from the prologue of Ralph Ellison’s 1952 novel Invisible Man is mentioned during a seemingly inconsequential moment in Chinonye Chukwu’s sophomore feature effort, “Clemency,” yet its essence reverberates through every frame. 2019 has been filled with films about wrongly incarcerated men, from Destin …

Continue reading

A Choreographed Dance: Sam Mendes, Krysty Wilson-Cairns, George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman on 1917

What made Alfred Hitchcock’s criminally underrated 1948 masterwork “Rope” so compelling wasn’t only the visual trickery it utilized to make the story of Leopold and Loeb-esque killers appear as if it unfolded largely in an unbroken take. It was the substance informing the style that kept the audience’s attention rapt, as the claustrophobic sequences mirrored …

Continue reading

#370 December 24, 2019

Matt writes: As the days of 2019 grow short, let’s take a look at the Best Films of 2019, as chosen by the writers at RogerEbert.com. Our combined list includes such celebrated titles as “Marriage Story,” “Parasite,” “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” and “The Irishman.” You can find all the individual lists submitted …

Continue reading

The Whole of Ourselves: Tim Blake Nelson and Karan Kendrick on Just Mercy

Just as the formidably accomplished lawyer Bryan Stevenson has a penchant for getting close to his clients, filmmaker Destin Daniel Cretton and cinematographer Brett Pawlak keep their camera fixed on the expressions of their characters, allowing their faces to tell the story. The new screen adaptation of Stevenson’s book, Just Mercy, marks the fourth consecutive …

Continue reading

#369 December 10, 2019

Matt writes: With Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” being named the best film of 2019 by the National Board of Review and the New York Film Critics Circle soon after its Netflix debut over Thanksgiving weekend, let us take a closer look at this masterwork. Our contributor Max O’Connell took a deep dive into the film by …

Continue reading

Bring the Soul to Life: Oscar-Winning Editor Paul Hirsch on “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” “Star Wars” and His New Memoir

There’s a memorable scene in John Hughes’ 1986 comedy classic, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” where awe-struck teen Cameron (Alan Ruck) glances at George Seurat’s infamous 1884 painting, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” that still hangs to this day at the Art Institute of Chicago. The film cuts back and forth …

Continue reading

#368 November 26, 2019

Matt writes: With Thanksgiving just days away, let us revisit the holiday perennial that has emerged as one of the most beloved of all American films: John Hughes’ poignant 1987 comedy “Planes, Trains & Automobiles.” Though Roger liked it right out of the gate, awarding it three-and-a-half stars and reviewing it favorably on “Siskel & Ebert” …

Continue reading

When Lambs Become Lions

The frightening process by which a parasite becomes untethered from its soul has been explored by an unofficial trilogy of films in 2019. It began with Jordan Peele’s “Us,” continued on through Todd Phillips’ “Joker” and culminated in Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite,” all of which detail, with varying degrees of success, precisely why parasites tend …

Continue reading

#367 November 12, 2019

Matt writes: With the decade nearing its close in a matter of weeks, the writers at RogerEbert.com have voted on their favorite films of the past ten years, resulting in the following three-part combined list ranking the Best Films of the 2010s. Part One, which can be read here, covers #25-11, reviewed by the site’s editors …

Continue reading

Two Sides of the Same Coin: Trey Edward Shults, Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Taylor Russell on Waves

Few moviegoing experiences in 2019 have gripped me quite like “Waves,” Trey Edward Shults’ third feature effort as writer/director. His first two films, 2015’s “Krisha” and 2017’s “It Comes At Night,” were meticulously nuanced gems that played like slow-burn horror films, as the characters’ inner demons threatened to sever their connection from one another. The …

Continue reading

Thumbnails 11/8/19

Thumbnails is a roundup of brief excerpts to introduce you to articles from other websites that we found interesting and exciting. We provide links to the original sources for you to read in their entirety.—Chaz Ebert 1.  “‘The Garden Left Behind’ to Screen at Film Girl Film Festival”: My review at Indie Outlook of Flavio Alves’ …

Continue reading

Minty, Harriet, Moses: Kasi Lemmons on Bringing Harriet Tubman’s Life to the Big Screen

A blazing Autumn sunset quickly upstaged my scheduled conversation with filmmaker Kasi Lemmons last Friday in Chicago. “Let’s take a picture!” she said, and we quickly grabbed our phones to capture a glimpse of the spectacular light show unfolding outside. There’s no question the honey-hued vista would’ve felt right at home in Lemmons’ latest feature, …

Continue reading

Gay Chorus Deep South

“Wake the neighbors, get the word outCome on crank up the music, climb a mountain and shoutThis is life we’ve been given, made to be lived outSo la la la la live out loud” It’s rather amazing, and yet somehow appropriate, that so much religious music written to convey one’s spiritual awakening could easily double, …

Continue reading