Elisha has written 3 reviews for films rated ★★ during 2021.

  • Shiva Baby

    Shiva Baby

    ★★

    This plays every line and gesture so closely to the surface of the text that it becomes nearly impossible to feel anything beyond the filmmakers intent. It’s a fact that isn’t helped by the overbearing score or the occasionally overbearing filmmaking, which take center stage whenever the situation at hand has been stretched so thinly that it can only offer an inch more in the way of tension. Cassavetes is cited as an influence here, but there seems to be a…

  • Lemonade Joe

    Lemonade Joe

    ★★

    Watched with Pops. A lot of good gags early on, but it wore pretty thin once the story got established. Obviously, neither one of us cared for the long-winded blackface scene and the satire in general is pretty so-so.

  • Boat People

    Boat People

    ★★

    Was looking forward to watching an Ann Hui film and I’m pretty disappointed by this one. Flat, functional stock characters thrown to the fire of cheap melodrama and clumsy symbolism. The atmosphere is almost non-existent as well, with musical swells filling in emotions where the flow of images can’t create them. Could only have extra-textual value, and even then it feels more like an assessment of Vietnam’s framework (because that’s ultimately what accents everything here) than a full exploration of the complex human beings who live there (something that isn’t helped by the aggravatingly "noble" outsiders perspective).