Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged film

The Blind Side

I didn’t intended to write a review of The Blind Side, but when my aunt responded to my Facebook status deriding the film’s racist indoctrination by saying my critiques were a figment of my liberal imagination, it all came flowing out. The Blind Side is a version of (Black) NFL player Michael Oher's true life story of being


Christine is desperately seeking employment. She doesn’t want to leave New York City and return to Michigan to teach, and doesn’t feel confident that her writing will bring in sufficient income. Although Christine’s story is happening in 1983, the same story could be told as a result of today’s recession. What do you do when you can’t find a job in your field? Well, you branch out and find the first job available. It turns out that the first available job is as a ticket holder in a box office at an adult theater in Times Square.

Off and Running

Off and Running is a very non-traditional coming-of-age story told in a way that deftly conveys one young woman’s unique situation as well as more universal themes. Filmmaker Nicole Opper was afforded intimate access to her subjects, which enabled her to invite the viewer to take a sensitive and warm perspective as the events unfold. The film’s central subject, a high school track star named Avery Klein-Cloud, is honest and likable.

44 Inch Chest

Colin Diamond (Ray Winstone) is a pot-bellied British gangster happily married to Liz, his wife of twenty-one years (Joanne Whalley). The problem is she’s not happily married to him. When Liz tells Colin she’s leaving him for a lover, he slides from incredulity to rage. Marital delusions wrecked, he resorts to gangster methodology. He assaults his wife (mostly off-screen) to get the lothario’s name—a studly French waiter (Melvil Poupaud). Colin has a four-man crew with whom he toils at their underworld trade.

Against the Current

As Paul Thompson in the surprising and moving Against the Current, Joseph Fiennes has the deep, burned out eyes of a man who no longer cares for life and yearns for his misery to end. Yet he still has a dream: to swim the length (150 miles) of the Lower Hudson River.


There are a plethora of films which recount the arrival of distinct ethnic groups to America, ranging from the Eddie Murphy’s pathetic Coming to America to the Charlie Chaplin’s classic The Immigrant to the Patricia Riggen’s subtle _[Under The Same Moon](http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00180IPM6?ie=UTF8&tag=feminrevie-20&lin

Garbage Dreams: Raised in the Trash Trade

At seventy-nine minutes long, Garbage Dreams is New York-based producer, director, and cinematographer Mai Iskander’s directorial debut. Before viewing the film I had never heard of the Zaballeen nor did I know that Cairo, one of the world’s most historic cities, once at the very pinnacle of human history, has no municipal waste disposal system to handle the trash of its eighteen million residents.

The White Ribbon

Once I watched Casablanca on television two times in a month. One more time, and I think I would have started believing the film was sending me messages.

What’s Your Point, Honey?

Initially you might believe that the lives of the women and girls introduced in What’s Your Point, Honey? will intersect in some intimate way. The opening scenes seem to insinuate a touching tale itching to unfold—and it does, but not in the way you might expect. A triad of 10-year-old girls who are brilliant beyond their years are shown asking pedestrians if they’d vote a woman into the oval office and why America hasn’t been able to already.

Trouble the Water

If you missed the exhaustively, deservedly lauded Trouble the Water in theaters last year, now you can catch it on the small screen.

The Heretics

The Heretics: Stories from a Feminist Collective premiered at New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) during the first two weeks of October, 2009.

The Drifter

Professional surfer, Rob Machado, captured scenes from his journey through the remote areas of Indonesia. All of this came together into a beautifully narrated film. The Drifter is an amazing visual experience with some interesting observations and wicked waves along the way. The script was largely taken from Machado's own journal entries from his trip and co-written by Nathan Myers. The film opens with Machado in Bali.

The End of Poverty?

I haven’t seen Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story, or any of his films, but I rejoice that he made these films, especially this last one, which dares to challenge “our” economic system.

New Muslim Cool

You might come to this film with some knowledge of hip-hop, or you might not. You might even have some knowledge of Islam, too. Neither is required, however, because New Muslim Cool is, when you get right down to it, a story of a man trying hard to know and be himself in the world. Jennifer Maytorena Taylor gives us Hamza Pérez (formerly Jason), a Puerto Rican Muslim from the streets of Boston who, along with his Muslim community from Beantown, has transplanted himself to Pittsburgh, PA to start a mosque and put down some roots.

The Coat Hanger Project

Comprised of an impressive array of interviews, statistics, and visual demonstrations, The Coat Hanger Project is an informative documentary about the symbolism—and reality—of the coat hanger and its relationship to abortion.

Julie and Julia

Is it ever too late to follow your bliss? In Julie and Julia, director Nora Ephron seems to be shouting directly into the ears of the audience, “Not on your life!” The film, which is truly Ephron’s masterpiece, is based on two books: writer Julie Powell’s tome of the same name and Julia Child’s memoir My Life in France.

Soul Power

It is nearly inconceivable to think that Soul Power was made from the leftover footage of another documentary (When We Were Kings). This is not yesterday’s pizza. The subject, like the film documenting it, was only the second ring in a two ring circus. Dubbed “Zaire ‘74,” this famed music festival was merely riding on the coattails of the Ali-Fraser fight, “the Rumble in the Jungle”.

Kanchivaram: A Communist Confession

There are two times in a Hindu's life when one is supposed to wear silk: at one’s wedding and at one’s own funeral. In the village of Kanchivaram (Kanchipuram), the silk weavers are only ever able to have enough silk to tie the toes of the dead together, and no daughter of a weaver has ever worn a silk sari on her wedding day. Kanchivaram tells the story of a man of change. Weaving silk for a pittance, as his father did before him, Vengadam wants nothing more than to weave his daughter a silk sari for her wedding day.

Shooting Women

Award-winning Director of Photography Joan Hutton says that when she was starting out in the film industry she received absolutely no help from anyone. Even after she’d built up a substantial résumé of work experience and won prestigious awards she continued to experience discrimination. A directing position that she’d interviewed for was once given to a lesser-experienced young male who’d only been out of film school for three years.

The Dhamma Brothers: East Meets West in the Deep South

What would happen if the American prison system was based on a treatment model versus a punitive model? The administrators at the W. E. Donaldson Correctional Facility wondered what would happen if they introduced the ancient Vipassana meditation techniques to prisoners. The Vipassana program is modeled after a program in India. The administrators hoped that the Vipassana meditation program would have a calming effect on the prison population. Donaldson Correctional Facility is a maximum security prison located in the countryside southwest of Birmingham, Alabama.

Mothers & Daughters

Carl Bessai’s film Mothers & Daughters weaves a very textile-esque narrative containing a talented ensemble cast who convincingly engage the complex relationship between parent and child. Babz Chula brilliantly plays Micki, a self-involved romance novelist who all too easily forgets her daughter Rebecca’s needs. Rebecca, played by Camille Sullivan, possesses a rather brooding soul. Counter to this is the palpably awkward relationship between housewife Brenda (Gabrielle Rose) and her exceedingly stoic daughter Kate (Tiffany Lyndall-Knight).


From the beginning, Dreamer appears to be a film about a man traveling backwards in time. Daniel, the main character, is a 30-year-old white man living in Chicago. As he struggles to make sense of this reverse sequence of events, Daniel’s awareness and motivation falter. He is unable to follow-up with a needed job opportunity. He wakes up beside a woman he does not recognize. Another morning, he finds himself bleeding profusely from a wound on his side without apparent cause.

The Stoning of Soraya M.

The Stoning of Soraya M. is a shocking and heartbreaking story of female oppression. The film, adapted from the 1994 book by the late Iranian journalist Freidoune Sahebjam, is based on a true story.

Easy Virtue

To say that Stephan Elliott was taken aback when approached to direct Easy Virtue would be an understatement. Asking the man behind the beloved drag queen road movie The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert to adapt a Noel Coward play didn’t exactly seem logical. But the producers of the film insisted there was a method to their madness.

Terminator Salvation

The story behind Christian Bale’s casting in the latest installment of the Terminator franchise is as follows. Director McG approached Bale to play the role of Marcus (the role that eventually went to up-and-coming Aussie actor Sam Worthington).

Good Dick

Good Dick is not porn—in fact, it’s a love story. You could call it a romantic comedy, but by “romantic comedy” I mean the polar opposite; there’s not much romance and its comedy leans more towards the dark side. Yet the central theme is certainly a romantic one.

Alicia en el Pueblo de Maravillas (Alice in Wondertown)

As Alice in Wondertown begins, a sense of foreboding emanates from the screen. Alice is running along a beach, away from an invisible threat, and her ill-fitting boots are impeding her progress. She makes it to the main road, screaming to a truck full of workers for help. After what seems like a full minute of Alice screaming, the truck finally screeches to a halt and the occupants acknowledge the distressed woman in the street.


Nesrine Malik’s scathing review of the ITV drama Compulsion got me thinking a lot more about modern day adaptations of pre-twentieth century literary works featuring ethnic Indian actors.

A Hole In A Fence

For most films under an hour long, the first ten minutes are critical. In this short window, the story’s framework is established, point of view is explained, and the viewer basically gets to decide if they’re half as committed to following the plot as the film’s director was to sharing his or her vision.  During the first few minutes in A Hole In A Fence, I had no idea what I was watching.

Private Practices: The Story of a Sex Surrogate

Private Practices is the story of a sex surrogate, Maureen Sullivan Ward, who teaches men with sexual dysfunctions how to improve their sexual communication, physical expression, and experience pleasure. Maureen "Mo" Sullivan Ward approaches sex in a clinical fashion, seeking ways to make clients more comfortable and assisting them in exploring their personal fears and phobias.