I, Tonya (4 Stars)
Released in 2017, I, Tonya is a riveting biopic filled with wonderful portrayals and a creative format. The film follows the rise and fall of professional figure skater, Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie). Robbie is charismatic in the title role, carrying the story from start to finish with the help of a career best performance from Allison Janney as Tonya’s mother. Sebastian Stan has a significant supporting role as Tonya’s husband, but underwhelms, offering little contribution to the story. The greatest strength of the movie proves to be its style, as director Craig Gillespie incorporates in an interview-themed outline, great music, and fourth wall breaking that succeed in providing a unique take on the sports biography genre that sticks its landing.
Ingrid Goes West (3.5 Stars)
Released in 2017, Ingrid Goes West is an amusing, as well as fascinating social commentary on the current star-obsessed social media era. The story centers around Ingrid (Aubrey Plaza), a social media stalker who moves to Los Angeles to become closer to an Instagram star, Taylor Slone (Elizabeth Olsen). Aubrey Plaza is mesmerizing in the lead role, perfectly capturing the obsessive, socially inept qualities of this stalker. It is impossible to look away as she further attempts to entrench herself into the lives of those who she is following online. Elizabeth Olsen and O’Shea Jackson Jr. are both solid in their complementary parts, further elevating the overall product. The film does not possess a lot of humor, but has its moments and overall succeeds as an interesting drama with a lot to say about the world we live in today.
Morning Glory (3 Stars)
Released in 2010, Morning Glory is a delightful workplace comedy with fun performances all around. Becky (Rachel McAdams) is an upstart television producer who gets hired to revive a struggling morning show. Rachel McAdams, Diane Keaton, Harrison Ford, Jeff Goldblum, and Patrick Wilson are all good, creating a strong ensemble that functions well together to lift up the somewhat weak story. This is a lighthearted, breezy comedy filled with some dashes of romance that brings nothing new to the table, but will be quite enjoyable nonetheless.
Gemini (3 stars)
Released in 2017, Gemini is a smart whodunit filled with intriguing characters and solid cinematography. The story follows Jill (Lola Kirke), a personal assistant for Heather Anderson (Zoe Kravitz), an actress on the rise. When a murder occurs, it is up to Jill to put the pieces together and unravel the mystery of what took place. The intelligent screenplay is successful in setting up the story and Lola Kirke does a decent job holding the audience’s attention, although she could be more compelling as a central protagonist. The remainder of the cast do just enough in their roles, allowing the mystery to take center stage and play itself out with an engaging middle act. Overall, Gemini doesn’t offer much from an acting standpoint, but does provide pleasant visuals and an interesting plot that should satiate the appetites of fans of the genre.