Dark River Alice

Film Review: Dark River

What appears to be sibling rivalry masks disturbing family secrets in Clio Barnard’s film Dark River. A tautly written script (also by Ms. Barnard) and strong performances from the leads make this truly worthwhile viewing, although it is never a comfortable watch. For the past fifteen years, Alice Bell (Ruth Wilson, The Affair) has made her living by shearing sheep on temporary contracts. She never stays in one place very long, and seems to prefer it that way. Memories of sexual abuse by her f[Read more]
Bastard Out Of Carolina Bone

Film Appreciation: Bastard Out Of Carolina

In the middle of the 1990s, Anjelica Huston was having trouble getting excited about her next project. After lengthy discussions with the Showtime network, she agreed to make a half-hour film for its actors-directors series. The stories sent to her did excite her. Many seemed related to her Oscar-winning film, Prizzi’s Honor, which she found “too personal in terms of my father’s work”. However, she eventually settled on a project. Then she came to work and found Anne Meredith’s script [Read more]
Mystic River Pals

Sexual Abuse: List For Week Ending February 18, 2018

Our films this week have characters who are dealing with sexual abuse, either current or past. This is not intended as an all-inclusive list. Reader suggestions are welcome. If you know an addition to this list, please write using the comments below. Dark River (2017) (Reviewed In Thinking Cinema 2/15/18)  http://www.thinkingcinema.com/film-review-dark-river/ Bastard Out Of Carolina (1996) (Article In Thinking Cinema 2/15/18)  http://www.thinkingcinema.com/film-appreciation-bastard-out-of-ca[Read more]
Princess of Wales Theatre, Toronto

Change In Thinking Cinema Schedule

Effective immediately, Thinking Cinema will switch to a monthly schedule. Our next posts will appear on March 16, 2018.

A Fantastic Woman Walking

Film Review: A Fantastic Woman

Image and perception play huge roles in the Oscar-nominated A Fantastic Woman, by Chilean filmmaker Sebastián Lelio. The film’s protagonist, Marina (Daniela Vega), struggles to move forward after the sudden death of her much-older lover, Orlando (Francisco Reyes). This difficult process is made even more so because Marina, a transgender woman, must battle a society that views her with contempt and distrust. Marina’s problems begin when she rushes Orlando to the emergency room in a vain atte[Read more]
Classics are still being made

Film Review: Dark River

Film Review: Dark River

What appears to be sibling rivalry masks disturbing family secrets in Clio Barnard’s film Dark River. A tautly written script (also by Ms. Barnard) and strong performances from the leads make this truly worthwhile viewing, although it is never a comfortable watch.

For the past fifteen years, Alice Bell (Ruth Wilson, The Affair) has made her living by shearing sheep on temporary contracts. She never stays in one place very long, and seems to prefer it that way. Memories of sexual abuse by her father (Sean Bean) haunt Alice; to some extent, a busy schedule helps her keep them at arm’s length.

Upon learning of her father’s death, Alice returns to the family farm to claim her tenancy. Her brother Joe (Mark Stanley, Game Of Thrones) is not pleased to see her. Joe feels that he has worked the farm of the last fifteen years, and deserves to keep doing so. He resents Alice for expecting otherwise.

The two battle over various management techniques, like whether to dip or spray the sheep for parasites and wool maintenance. As the film progresses, it becomes clear there is a deeper issue than sibling rivalry. At some level, both feel Joe should have done more to protect Alice from their father. Both realize the past cannot be changed, but neither has the slightest idea of how to move forward.

Cinematographer Adriano Goldman does a magnificent job of depicting the Yorkshire landscape. He contrasts the beauty of the countryside with the rot and decay of the Bell farm to great effect.

Theme: Sexual Abuse

Related Posts: Film Appreciation: Bastard Out Of Carolina  http://www.thinkingcinema.com/film-appreciation-bastard-out-of-carolina/

Sexual Abuse: List For Week Ending February 18, 2018  http://www.thinkingcinema.com/sexual-abuse-list-for-week-ending-february-18-2018/

Film Appreciation: Bastard Out Of Carolina

Film Appreciation: Bastard Out Of Carolina

In the middle of the 1990s, Anjelica Huston was having trouble getting excited about her next project. After lengthy discussions with the Showtime network, she agreed to make a half-hour film for its actors-directors series. The stories sent to her did excite her. Many seemed related to her Oscar-winning film, Prizzi’s Honor, which she foundContinue Reading

Sexual Abuse: List For Week Ending February 18, 2018

Sexual Abuse: List For Week Ending February 18, 2018

Our films this week have characters who are dealing with sexual abuse, either current or past. This is not intended as an all-inclusive list. Reader suggestions are welcome. If you know an addition to this list, please write using the comments below. Dark River (2017) (Reviewed In Thinking Cinema 2/15/18)  http://www.thinkingcinema.com/film-review-dark-river/ Bastard Out Of CarolinaContinue Reading

Film Review: A Fantastic Woman

Film Review: A Fantastic Woman

Image and perception play huge roles in the Oscar-nominated A Fantastic Woman, by Chilean filmmaker Sebastián Lelio. The film’s protagonist, Marina (Daniela Vega), struggles to move forward after the sudden death of her much-older lover, Orlando (Francisco Reyes). This difficult process is made even more so because Marina, a transgender woman, must battle a societyContinue Reading

Film Appreciation: Ma Vie En Rose

Film Appreciation: Ma Vie En Rose

The 1997 Belgian film Ma Vie En Rose depicts the impact on a suburban family when its youngest son comes to the realization that he is actually a girl. Berliner uses comic and fantasy elements to illustrate the conflicts in the mind of his young protagonist. An insightful script by Berliner and Chris Vander StappenContinue Reading

Gender Identification: List For Week Ending February 4, 2018

Gender Identification: List For Week Ending February 4, 2018

Our films this week deal with non-cis gender characters. This is not intended as an all-inclusive list. Reader suggestions are welcome. If you know an addition to this list, please write using the comments below. A Fantastic Woman (2017) (Reviewed In Thinking Cinema 02/01/18)  http://www.thinkingcinema.com/film-review-a-fantastic-woman/ Ma Vie En Rose (1997) (Article In Thinking Cinema 02/01/18)Continue Reading

Film Review: Loveless

Film Review: Loveless

In his new film, Loveless, director Andrey Zvyagintsev continues to spotlight weaknesses of Russian society through nuance and understatement. The result is a shattering depiction of a marriage in its last stages and, in particular, the spillover of its toxicity onto a twelve-year-old boy. Zhenya (Maryana Spivak) and Boris (Aleksey Rozin) cannot stand the sightContinue Reading

Film Appreciation: L’Avventura

Film Appreciation: L’Avventura

The major premise behind Thinking Cinema is that film develops as a continuum. Current filmmakers benefit from the accomplishments of those who came before and, in turn, inspire future filmmakers. There is a distinct chance that earlier works may be taken for granted, absent a concerted effort to regularly view and appreciate them. To someContinue Reading