In Review: Mama Weed

We don’t deserve our screen legends, and sometimes neither do their films. Isabelle Huppert is one of our greatest, spanning decades with indelible performances and never being less than compelling, even in the clunkers that pock her filmography. Stars as prolific and seemingly without a vacation as Huppert aren’t without such forgivable misfires, but rare are the ones who can either rise above, or sometimes even elevate, the weak films around them. Huppert sadly returns with another, the inconsistent and mostly bland thriller Mama Weed. Directed by Jean-Paul Salomé, the film tinges a crime story with bits of farce and tepid social observation for a character study of one woman’s natural inclination towards criminality.

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In Review: Frankie

At the core of Ira Sachs’ Frankie, an ensemble drama set on an idyllic Portuguese mountainside, is an acceptance of endings. Set from sun up to sun down in one day of a family vacation, Sachs’ characters are all facing closure of some sort – childhood, romance, or for the protagonist and those who love her, one’s mortality. But Frankie isn’t necessarily about a film about death so much as it is about the natural cycle of it all, and our human need for closure before we succumb to it. Inspired largely by Éric Rohmer, nature is both a vessel to find truth and a reflection of what afflicts these vacationers. It’s even quieter work from the director, but no less of an emotionally intuitive piece than his other films.


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