Tag Archives: Winona Ryder

Review: Frankenweenie

I swear, the older I get, the more of a baby I become. “Frankenweenie” clocks in at 87 minutes; I cried for 70.

Victor (Charlie Tahan) lives in the quaint town of New Holland with his parents (Catherine O’Hara and Martin Short) and his best buddy, his dog Sparky. Victor may have to leave Sparky in the backyard while he’s off at school, but otherwise, they’re inseparable. Sadly, that means Victor is right by Sparky’s side when something terrible happens and no, I can’t even bear to write it.

However, after an inspiring science lesson from Mr. Rzykruski (Martin Landau) about lightning, Victor gets an idea. He builds a contraption in his attic, hoists Sparky up into a lightning storm and zap! Sparky’s alive! Victor and Sparky are happily back together again, but, shortly after, word gets around and reincarnated animals run amok.

Clearly Sparky bites it within the first few minutes of the movie, and while I was pretty busy wiping tears away for the rest of the film, I did manage to catch a stellar dose of incredible animation, charming characters, a heartwarming (and breaking) story and a pitch perfect score.

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Review: Black Swan

As is said in the film, ballet isn’t for everyone and neither is Black Swan, which really should be considered an honor more than anything. The film is overwhelming in every sense of the word and could just be too much for some to handle. But, if you have what it takes to absorb this wild mixture of personalities, visuals and nightmares, the result is profound. This is easily one of the most emotionally impactful films of the year and is something that will certainly haunt you long after the credits roll in the best possible way.

Natalie Portman is Nina Sayers, a professional ballet dancer desperate to be in the spotlight. When the lead dancer in her company, Beth (Winona Ryder), is forced to retire, Nina finally gets the opportunity to audition for the lead role in their production of Swan Lake in which the White and Black Swans are played by the same performer. When the director, Thomas (Vincent Cassel), tells Nina she’s a natural for the role of the elegant and pristine White Swan, but lacks the natural sensuality required to play the Black Swan, Nina’s only chance to get the part is to give into Thomas’ sexual advances.

Once Nina is named the Swan Queen, the pressure to perform consumes her. Not only is her ex-ballerina mother (Barbara Hershey) keeping an incessantly watchful eye on her, but Nina herself must keep an eye on her competition, specifically the new free-spirited performer Lily (Mila Kunis). Lily embodies everything Thomas imagines the Black Swan to be, something Nina cannot achieve no matter how much she rehearses. As opening night draws near, Nina’s obsession with perfection becomes increasingly suffocating, disturbing and dangerous.

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Review: The Private Lives of Pippa Lee

In one scene, someone calls Pippa Lee an enigma. She replies by saying, “To be perfectly honest, I’ve had enough of being an enigma. I want to be known.” Well Pippa, don’t get ahead of yourself because it’s the enigmatic elements that make The Private Lives of Pippa Lee curiously ingenious. Based on the title and the film’s poster, I’d like to bet you’ve already formulated a slew of preconceived notions. Good for you, because that’ll make the revelation of the film’s richly layered plot far more effective.

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