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Review: Communion (aka Komunia)

— by BEV QUESTAD —

Bits of bread are sacrificed into the woodstove because there is no more wood. Short-listed for the 91st Academy Awards Best Documentary, this intimate black-and-white observational documentary is set in Warsaw, Poland. Will this sleeper, abruptly surfacing from the European backwoods, usurp the crown?

The film’s title ostensibly refers to the first communion of an autistic boy. But communion also means a deep communication of thoughts and feelings with another – and in this case, that other is us, the viewers. The family has allowed complete exposure. We see how the autistic son, Nikodem, reacts to the sounds and feel of a bath, to the codes of his religion, to his sister’s terse care and to the appearance of his estranged mother. (CONTINUED)


Review: Shirkers

— by BEV QUESTAD — “Shirkers” made it to the top five films nominated for Best Documentary by the Online Film Critic’s Society (OFCS). It’s about a film that never got made. It is a silly, waste-of-time movie that tells you absolutely nothing. The narrator says the word shirker means someone who is running away, […][...]


Review: BlacKkKlansman

— by BEV QUESTAD — The greatest thing about “BlacKkKlansman” is Spike Lee’s totally manifested, constructive genius. Based on the true story of Ron Stallworth’s infiltration into the KKK in 1978-79, his film shows the fluidity, through time, of racist hegemony in the US. But America, we are on a path to getting better. That’s […][...]


Review: Roma

— by BEV QUESTAD — The nominees for the Critic’s Choice Awards include a Netflix US-Mexican production in eight categories, including best motion picture and best foreign language film as well as best director, best screenplay and best actress. But is “Roma” really qualified for this amazing catapult into multiple awards consideration? “Roma,” a black-and-white […][...]


Review: Bohemian Rhapsody

— by BEV QUESTAD — I wasn’t prepared to be impacted by this rock bio — but from the beginning, as wiry Freddie Mercury walks out on stage with his band, Queen, and sings, “Can anybody find me somebody to love?,” his four-octave vocal range, his energy, his physicality and his sheer talent hypnotize. Featured […][...]


Review: Green Book

— by BEV QUESTAD — At last, the perfect balance of humor, inspiration, fabulous acting, and enthralling story. It’s a 10/10 movie sure to please everyone during the holidays. Beginning at the Copacabana Nightclub in 1962, Bobby Rydell is singing “Old Black Magic.” There is an altercation and the bouncer, Frank “Tony Lip” Vallelonga, played […][...]


Review: Sobibor

— by RON WILKINSON — Superficially the story of one of the worst Nazi death camps in the history of the holocaust, this is a story of extraordinary courage. Not only were Nazi death camp victims tortured and worked to death, they were brainwashed into thinking they had no alternative. The power structure was able […][...]


Review: Isle of Dogs

— by BEV QUESTAD — Up for Best Animated Film on all the award lists, just about everything about this creative film is a winner. From the drumbeat score, to the combination of animation technology strategies used to get adorable, realistic dogs, to the great story about compassion and seeing the truth, (coincidentally analogous to […][...]


Review: Ben is Back

— by BEV QUESTAD — The film begins on a cold, quiet New England road with bare tree branches and old grave markers. Soon we see a stone church, St. John’s Episcopal (est. 1894), in lightly falling snow. Backdropped by a gorgeous stained-glass window of St. John the Beloved seemingly blessing her, we see Holly […][...]