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Abbey Bender

Brett Gelman

Lemon Squeezes the Hipster-Antihero Thing Hard, but Not Much Good Comes Out

A grating protagonist alone does not a bad film make, but the episodic, unsatisfying Lemon revels in purposeful nails-on-a-chalkboard unlikability. Isaac (Brett Gelman), a struggling actor and stage director, spins out of control after his girlfriend, Ramona (Judy Greer), leaves him. Another film would make the ensuing tale a mope-fest,......
Credit: Courtesy of FilmRise

White Girl Suggests Its Heroine's Suffering Is All Her Own Fault

It’s hard to watch White Girl without experiencing a creeping sense of anxiety. Loosely based on the adolescent life of writer/director Elizabeth Wood, the film follows Leah (Morgan Saylor), a college student who parties all night and snorts prodigious amounts of cocaine. She and her roommate, Katie (India Menuez), live......
Credit: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

John Krasinski's The Hollars Can't Break the Dysfunctional Sundance Mold

The Hollars tells the familiar tale of a dysfunctional family pulled together by unfortunate circumstances. John Hollar (John Krasinski, who also directed) is a frustrated graphic novelist with a pregnant girlfriend, Rebecca (Anna Kendrick). When he gets the news that his mother, Sally (Margo Martindale), has a brain tumor, he......
Credit: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Maybe Florence Foster Jenkins' Unsung Heroine Should Have Stayed That Way

Stephen Frears’ Florence Foster Jenkins is a likable study of delusions of grandeur. Working from real-life material, Frears creates an alternately funny and mysterious portrait of someone whom most viewers either don’t know at all or regard as an odd footnote in musical history. We first see Florence (Meryl Streep)......