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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 25, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 34
Movie Reviews
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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Rousing Patti Cake$ an electrifying debut
by Sara Michelle Fetters - SGN A&E Writer

PATTI CAKE$
Now playing


Patricia 'Patti Cake$' Dombrowski (Danielle Macdonald) has big dreams. She's obsessed with becoming the next big name in Rap, daydreaming of being brought up onto the stage by her idol O-Z (Sahr Ngaujah), a legendary musician with his own record label who has sold millions of records all around the globe. But she's not exactly someone who would normally catch the impresario's eye. Patti is 23-years-old, lives with her failed rock star of a mother Barb (Bridget Everett), takes care of her wheelchair-bound grandmother Nana (Cathy Moriarty), works at a local karaoke dive bar and is moderately overweight. The chance she's going to be getting out of her New Jersey rut anytime soon isn't good, and no matter how talented the young woman might be getting anyone to listen to her music is going to be next to impossible.

But Patti's best friend Jheri (Siddharth Dhananjay), a local pharmacist, refuses to give up on her, constantly pushing her to not give up. Patti responds to this constant pressure, especially after the two of them encounter enigmatic musician Basterd (Mamoudou Athie) and she quickly comes to the conclusion his original compositions could be the perfect accompaniment to her angst-ridden lyrics. Giving them an assist is Nana, her nicotine-fueled enthusiasm for her granddaughter's ambitions never in doubt.

Patti Cake$ shouldn't work. It's cut from the same inspirational cloth as sports-themed dramas like Hoosiers and Rocky. It parties in the same playground as Curtis Hanson's Oscar-winning Eminem hit 8 Mile did back in 2002. There's little to nothing original about the scenario writer/director Geremy Jasper has come up with, and from the boozy mother who has trouble allowing her daughter to blossom without feeling like her own life has been a waste, to scenes of redemption, compassion, forgiveness, heartbreak and euphoria that feel pulled from any random Frank Capra flick from the 1940s, it's all familiar. Every. Single. Second.

But I'm just fine with that. Because if Jasper's debut proves anything, it confirms that a smart, perceptive and sincere film filled with interesting, three-dimensional characters worth investing in emotionally is worth the price of a ticket no matter how unoriginal the central narrative constructs might be. This is a real story, one with real heart, real emotion, all of it centered around a main character whose faults and shortcomings are every bit as fascinating as her strengths and attributes prove to be. Patti Cake$ soars into the stratosphere like a shooting star spurting truth in its wake as it streaks across the sky, this drama a stunning, entertainingly electrifying crowd-pleaser deserving of a standing ovation.

There are two core elements that run on parallel tracks, both racing towards a conclusion where their paths will suddenly shift course in order for them to smash into one another like a pair of bullet trains sharing the same track. One involves Patti and her friends, most notably Jheri, as she attempts to put the hardships she's endured into perspective while also crafting music and lyrics that will hopefully make her a star. The other concerns her relationship with Barb, their inability to communicate continually, if also inadvertently, fueling the self-doubt lurking inside the wannabe musician to the point any dream she has could be shattered long before it has the chance to become reality. Jasper balances these two competing elements beautifully, never allowing one to overshadow the other as both are vitally important to the outcome of Patti's tale.

It helps that Macdonald, a young Australian actress with few major credits to her name, is sensational. I couldn't take my eyes off of her, her ability to mine a variety of complex interior emotions in the blink of an eye extraordinary. She sings. She raps. She shows determination. She shows vulnerability. She shatters. She rebuilds herself. She lets her guard down and begins to feel the initial inklings of love's warm embrace. She destroys a friendship and then does the hard, tiresome work to build its foundation stronger than it ever was before. Macdonald navigates all of this and more, and in the process of doing so crafts a character who is every bit as unforgettable as Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Beyond the Lights, Bette Midler in The Rose or Judy Garland in A Star is Born all proved to be once upon a cinematic time.

The rest of the cast is equally up to the challenge, an unrecognizable Moriarty a particular treat as Nana. But it is Everett who caused my eyes to open the most, the actress delivering a surprisingly complex performance that easily could have devolved into cliché and caricature if it had been in lesser hands. The look of selfless, unfiltered love Barb passes Patti's way during the show-stopping climax broke my heart into tiny little pieces, the authenticity of their bond never in doubt no matter how hard, ugly and dysfunctional it oftentimes proved to be.

There's never any doubt where all of this is headed, and I think I could have done without a couple of the scenes where Patti daydreams about her idol O-Z, the overabundance of these sequences slightly diluting a scene where the two characters unexpectedly come into contact with one another a tiny bit. But overall Jasper shows a confident control over all elements of his debut, the closing concert sequence so stupendous I wanted to run out of my screening as soon as the film was over and start dancing in the streets. Patti Cake$ deserves every ounce of the acclaim it's been generating ever since its Sundance premiere this past January, and personally I cannot wait to head back to the theatre and watch it again.


Loosening up and taking risks Writer/Director Geremy Jasper raps about breathing life into Patti Cake$
by Sara Michelle Fetters - SGN A&E Writer

PATTI CAKE$
Now playing


Patti Cake$ is an easy movie to dismiss. The story of a young, moderately overweight New Jersey store clerk named Patti who dreams of becoming a major rapper with fans screaming her name, the whole things sounds a little bit too much like a gender-swapped 8 Mile remake more than it does anything else. But writer/director Geremy Jasper's feature-length debut is so honest, so well plotted, so filled with complex, three-dimensional characters who burst forth from this world with electrical aplomb for every second of the film's running time, the whole thing proves to be gloriously entertaining no matter how predictable many of the narrative constructs might prove to be. Anchored by a performance from star-in-the-making Danielle Macdonald as Patti that's enchanting and featuring a supporting turn by Bridget Everett as her emotionally needy mother Barb that's flat-out incredible, I frankly love this movie. It's wonderful, and there's not a lot more to say on the matter other than that.

I sat down with Jasper to talk about his award-winning debut. Here are some of the highlights from an all-too brief conversation:

Sara Michelle Fetters: I'm going to apologize right upfront, because for as much as I always try to leave my preconceptions or feelings as to what a movie might be before entering the theatre, it was hard for me to shake the idea that this was all going to end up being nothing more than a New Jersey set 8 Mile with Rocky-esque aspirations. But this movie is so much more than that. I was honestly blown away by it. It made me want to run outside and immediately start to dance.

Geremy Jasper: : Yeah. [laugh]. That's understandable. A lot of people have said that. A lot of people kind of go into the film with these preconceived notions of what it's going to be, and I understand that. I do that, too. We're all guilty of doing that, especially with a film like this one, I've come to understand. But I like when people are pleasantly surprised. I like it a lot. So, thank you very much. I appreciate the honesty as well as the fact you wanted to dance. That's terrific!

Sara Michelle Fetters: When you started putting this story together, I know that you'd originally based some of it on your own experiences after college living in your parents' house, but how did it evolve from that point to become about a white New Jersey female rapper?

Geremy Jasper: : Well, I always had the idea for Patti as a character way before I ever even thought about becoming a filmmaker. That time period where I was living in New Jersey, driving around all day and working crappy jobs just like Patti does, she popped into my brain. Just the idea of a character like that, and I thought it was kind of funny and kind of interesting and I sort of imagined her as a combination of Mae West and Biggie Smalls with the heart of Bruce Springsteen; very modeled after the women in my family. So I knew the character well. Then there's a lot of me in there [the script] and there's also a lot of my family and my friends and ex-girlfriends; it all gets kind of mixed up together. And then, when it was time to write, I had to kind of tell myself, all right, it's time to write your first screenplay.

I was just very interested in this character. I felt like going back to Jersey and dealing with my own angst from growing up in that place and that desire to get out, which is almost a Jersey cliché. But it's a very true one. It felt like the right combination of things for me to dig into. It was never a question of who is Patti going to be. It was always about, this is a film about this young woman Patti, Patricia Dombrowski. Now I need to figure out what the story is. The character came first, and then I built upon that, which took years and many, many sleepless nights and dark nights of the soul and rewriting and changes and tweaks and long hours in the studio.

Sara Michelle Fetters: But that's why it works, right? I think why I love this movie so much, it isn't so much because it's euphoric and it makes you feel good, it's because, and not just Patti, but all of these characters are real. I mean, it does those other things, too, and that's great. We want that. We want the movie to do those things. But the characters. They're complex. They're three-dimensional. They're more than the stereotypes or the facets that we think we know going into the theatre, so I think that work that you put into the screenplay shows. Were there moments, though, where you're sitting there and you're doing all of this hard, tiring work that you started to wonder if it was really going to be worth it? That you were going to be able to pull this off?

Geremy Jasper: : Absolutely! Oh my god, over and over again. I remember the first day on set we shot in a bar. It ended up being a scene that was cut from film, thank god, but it was a disaster. It was wipe out everything. It was rough. I had these two barfly guys who wouldn't stop talking and just talked over me. I felt like I had no authority. We didn't really know what we were dealing with the camera. Danielle hadn't really nailed down the accent. We were just really stiff, and I remember walking away, spending most of the morning with my head in my hands, which is not something I normally do. I went for a walk during our lunch break and almost broke down, being like, I put years of my life into this thing and I don't think it's going to work. I didn't think I was made for this.

And then I kind of snapped out of it. I went up to my DP [Federico Cesca] and I said, 'Listen. I don't care if we make the worst movie of all time, we're not doing something like this again. We need to experiment. Let's loosen up.'

Doing that, feeling like we're starting off in a hole and then just being like, well, we've got nothing to lose, let's just have fun, and let's be experimental and let's get loose with it, that stuff saved the movie. That spirit changed the rest of the shoot. That was the turning point, which in retrospect was nice to have midway through your first day. I realized this was the kind of director I was going to be and that this was the kind of set that this film needed to have. It needed to be fluid and it needed to be spirited, not stiff and methodical. That was a big breakthrough.

There were multiple times in the edit where I was like, 'Oh my god, what the hell is this thing? I don't even know anymore. Where's the story, who's this guy? Is anybody going to care?' You wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat and wonder, what am I doing? Am I drunk? But you're kind of following the muse all the way through. You have to have faith.

Sara Michelle Fetters: I want to cycle back for just one quick second, but I love that you brought up Mae West because I wrote in my notes, 'Mae West.' I really wanted Patti at some point to say, 'Come up and see me sometime.'

Geremy Jasper: : That's awesome! That is so awesome. Mae West was a big influence for me. I don't think I ended up showing any Mae West films to Danielle because I didn't want to throw her off too much. I mean, Mae West is pretty over the top yet amazing and hilarious. Yes, she was a big influence on the character.

Sara Michelle Fetters: We do have to talk about Danielle, obviously. She's extraordinary.

Geremy Jasper: : It's phenomenal and it's strange, and I don't know what is it with me, but I am very cautious and I don't trust a lot of people to come into that inner circle. But when I feel something with someone, I just believe in them all the way, and that was the case with Danielle. I just knew. I knew she was going to be Patti. I just knew that she had the work ethic and the guts to get to that place that she needed to be. It was a risk, but at the same time the character is so specific that it's not like you have a lot of other options to play this character.

I feel like I won the lottery ten times over having a partner like Danielle in this film. She carries it. She's in every single scene and did all the musical elements, while also learning to rap and learning the Jersey accent. She also anchors all the emotional scenes, comedic scenes and the intimate love scenes. She can really do it all. She's exceptional.

Sara Michelle Fetters: As she was getting ready for the role, as you were trying to convince Danielle to take on the part, how did you instruct her as to what she would need to do? What was the advice that you gave to her to be able to find the character like she does?

Geremy Jasper: : It was a long process. I mean, we had two years, basically, from when we first met to when we eventually shot, so it was a slow process. She was training how to rap, first thing. She didn't know much about hip-hop, so I was kind of taking her through hip hop history and sending her songs to learn. She was really educating herself in that sense. But we only had a few discussions about Patti as a character when we were at the Sundance Directors Lab. We built [the character] from there.

I think going to New Jersey, buying her a pair of Timberland boots and hanging out in diners and bowling alleys, having to just talk in character while we had a meal, all of that started to break through. For me, personally, when she got the accent down, and I heard how four-letter words sounded coming out of Danielle's mouth, I knew we were on to something. Because once I could see her with the Timberlands and the accent, she became like the young women that I grew up around. There was a change.

But I also think more of the internal Patti stuff Danielle really developed on her own. I know she had extensive journals that she wrote in Patti's voice, and as she would say her and Patti have a similar heart. Everything else is different, but at the heart, that desire they both have, that was the same. She had that desire and she went at it.

Sara Michelle Fetters: What was it like watching her perform that final number?

Geremy Jasper: : It was unbelievable. It was un-freaking-believable. It felt so real. I mean, we were in a concert hall in this Masonic Temple in Brooklyn with 200 local kids who came in as the audience who all really brought it. So we played the music through the PA and it felt live. It was incredibly emotional. My AD, Inna Braude, who is a really tough Romanian woman, who does not suffer fools, was weeping like a child at the end, hugging me. It was a very tough shoot, as most small films are, and so it was a really cathartic moment for all of us.

I mean, I didn't know if it was going to work. I didn't know if the performance was going to work. We didn't have a lot of time. I had just finished recording that song with Danielle the weekend right before we shot, so we did that on Sunday and I think we shot on Tuesday. I had a fever. It was just like all the clichés of filmmaking. You're sick and you're worn out and nothing's working and you're snapping at people, but the scene soared. And Danielle soared. It felt alive. I knew if we could just capture just a fraction of what I was feeling in the room that day then we would be okay.

Sara Michelle Fetters: I don't want to get into it too much because I want audiences to experience this moment without my spilling the beans, but that mother-daughter bond that you're able to create, that you're able to craft, that is hard and difficult and yet filled with love and understanding, it's wonderful. And in that final scene, what happens should be a cliché; it should just be melodramatic overload. Instead it's pure and it's honest. I was in awe.

Geremy Jasper: : It was a leap of faith, to be honest. I just didn't know how that was going to work. I have all respect for the actresses. I think they are the ones who really made it work and really put their hearts and souls out. They're the ones who make it feel real. And it was real. They were really going for it. It's so emotionally raw. That's what makes it work.

Sara Michelle Fetters: I think that Bridget Everett is going to get overlooked in regards to how good she is in this movie. I mean, just listening to her sing in the film, and how bad yet still obviously talented she is early on, and then how amazing, showcasing that talent in all its ferocity at the end, it's glorious. That could not have been easy.

Geremy Jasper: : Yes! She's outstanding. And it was difficult. I kept telling her, 'Bridget, remember this is a woman who sings in karaoke bars in New Jersey. She doesn't sing as well as you, so just pump the brakes a little bit.' And Bridget is an incredibly talented! An undervalued performer, I think. I mean, she's a legend in New York, and is a cabaret superstar, but I don't think she's ready to go global. I hope she does. She's incredible.

Sara Michelle Fetters: I know we don't have a lot of time, and I want to talk about the whole cast, but we don't really have the time for that. But I do have to ask you really quickly about Cathy. It took me half the movie to realize that that was Cathy Moriarty, and I've seen practically everything she's ever been in.

Geremy Jasper: : That's awesome! Yeah, people don't pick up on it until the credits. They're like, who is that person? I've never seen this actress before. Then their eyes pop out of their heads when they see her name in the credits. I mean, she really transformed. We aged her 20 years. But that voice is that voice. There was nothing fake about that.

Sara Michelle Fetters: How much fun was she having making this movie?

Geremy Jasper: : Oh, she had a blast! It was crazy. She was so lovely. But she's been in big films, and we were a very scrappy production. Everybody was sitting in the same room. There were no trailers. There was no special treatment. And she's in this funky wig getting wheeled around in this wheel chair having to almost play dead the whole film. So I thought she was going to be a little cranky about it, and she was the exact opposite. It was like it was her first film. She had so much enthusiasm, and there was so much laughter. She really, it was kind of like she was the matriarch in that family, but not just in the movie but also on the set. I can't say enough about all she contributed.

Sara Michelle Fetters: You've been successful at Sundance. You were wildly successful here in Seattle. You've been wildly successful at every festival you've gone to. But now that Patti Cake$ is getting out there into the world for its general release, what do you want those audiences to take away from the film? What are you hoping that the average filmgoer is talking about as they exit the theatre?

Geremy Jasper: : You know, I never really give it that much thought. I think we're just so used to seeing movie stars up on the big screen, the fact of seeing people that feel like real people from real towns and real Americans doing real extraordinary things; that excites me. I hope that this movie can change somebody's mind about what actors, what movie stars, can look and feel like. Changes their mind about what a popular movie can be. I get really excited if it can change some minds like that.


Melodramatic Boy an intriguing, well-acted curiosity
by Sara Michelle Fetters - SGN A&E Writer

THE ONLY LIVING BOY IN NEW YORK
Now playing


Thomas Webb (Callum Turner) is drifting. The son of powerful New York publishing magnate Ethan Webb (Pierce Brosnan), his mother Judith (Cynthia Nixon) a lonely self-medicating mess who spends most of her time drinking and smoking away the hours of the day, the young man hasn't the first clue as to what he wants to do with his life. Thomas thinks he's in love with his best friend Mimi (Kiersey Clemons), her insistence that they don't take their relationship to the next level driving him mad. On top of that, he's moderately certain he wants to be a writer even if his father has done everything in his power to steer him in a different direction. He's also strangely drawn to the alcoholic loner, W.F. Gerald (Jeff Bridges), who just moved into his apartment complex, the two sharing a number of memorable chats over a glass of whiskey even though they've only known one another for a few days.

During a random night out with Mimi, Thomas serendipitously spies his father cuddling up to a ravishingly sexy woman who is most certainly not his mother. Over the next few days, Ethan begins to follow her, learning that her name is Johanna (Kate Beckinsale) and that she's a freelance book editor who sometimes works with his dad on new projects. But after confronting her about the affair, Thomas discovers this smart, confident Brit is not to be trifled with. Soon he's having his own sexual liaison with Johanna, the young man entrusting W.F. with this secret as he tries to figure out what to do next and how it was he ever got himself into such a surreal situation in the first place.

I can't say Allan Loeb's (The Space Between Us, Collateral Beauty) script for The Only Living Boy in New York works all that well. It's noticeably contrived and filled with melodramatic contraptions that came close to driving me up a wall, relying on a number of tidy coincidences in order to get all its characters to sit upon the same merry-go-round. The relationship between Thomas and Mimi never feels authentic, while the manner in which he and W.F. become such fast friends willing to trust one another with their deepest, darkest secrets is just plain absurd.

But while I wish director Marc Webb (Gifted, The Amazing Spider-Man) would have spent more time fleshing out the screenplay with Loeb before starting, maybe having him give it a thorough rewrite in order to clean up some of the more egregious narrative missteps, while also making some of the supporting characters three-dimensional and less like soap opera archetypes, the truth is I rather enjoyed this movie. Based mainly on the strength of the performances, and influenced a great deal by directorial Webb's restraint, I responded to Thomas's coming of age tale of discovery with far more vim and vigor than I initially anticipated, especially after I had a solid feel for the melodramatic place all of this was headed towards.

It does feel artificial, though, and it's amazing how fast Johanna turns the tables on Thomas as well as makes her own decisions that are likely far worse than any of the ones he does. In fact, all of the women here don't come off all that well, an element to the motion picture I didn't think all that much about after I finished watching it but started to mull over more and more as I thought about it later. None go far beyond stereotype, and all of them are only around to support the men around them as they take the next step in their respective journeys. It's disheartening in a fundamental way that's clearly disappointing, making the fact I'm relatively enthusiastic about other elements of the film all the more surprising.

You can thank the quality of the performances for that. Bridges is wonderful, and while this character is hardly a stretch for the Oscar-winner, he still manages to deliver a multidimensional portrait of an artist still searching for answers after untold years of success under his belt that's continually fascinating. Beckinsale follows up her award-worthy work in Love & Friendship with another solid turn, and if Johanna wasn't so insipidly written I'd likely be singing her praises rather loudly. Nixon is underutilized to a rather massive degree. Same time, her one big moment, a scene where Judith gets the opportunity to lay down the law to Thomas like he's never heard before, is stunning, the veteran actress elevating things to a level that was simply remarkable. As for Brosnan, he's also superb, the emotional complexity he ends up displaying as he spins his way through what should have been a banal, soul-crushing third act twist rather terrific.

Clemons isn't used as well as her more established cast mates are, Mimi a crutch aiding Thomas as he wobbles his way through the various ins and outs of this story and little else. As for Turner, he does a fine job, and I certainly feel like the Green Room actor is a star in the making with untapped talents just aching to be put to good use somewhere down the line. But Loeb's script does him no favors, and while I felt like the screenwriter was attempting to give the character uncomforting complexities similar to those displayed by Ben Braddock in The Graduate, sad to say they're too facile to ever resonate as fully or as completely as they did in that 1967 classic.

I don't know. As horrible as a lot of this sounds, I still found plenty lurking inside The Only Boy in New York that I enjoyed so there's no way I can dismiss it entirely. Webb continues to rebound from his time trying to make Spider-Man amazing, and while this effort doesn't rise to the same heights as (500) Days of Summer or Gifted, it's once again obvious he's far more comfortable playing with characters like these than he is leading superheroes in their various battles against any number of supervillains. While I don't think people should rush out and give this an immediate look, I certainly wouldn't begrudge anyone from doing so if the opportunity to snag a cheap second-run matinee ticket might arise, Thomas's story having just enough in the way of merit to warrant a cursory glance.


Subtly devastating In This Corner an animated marvel
by Sara Michelle Fetters - SGN A&E Writer

IN THIS CORNER OF THE WORLD
Now playing


When 18-year-old artist Suzu Urano (voiced by Rena 'Non' Nounen) is asked for her hand in marriage by the kindly Shusaku (Yoshimasa Hosoya), it's an offer she knows she cannot refuse. It is 1944 and war is raging around the world, so leaving her family in Hiroshima to go live with a brand new one in the small town of Kure is going to be hard. But Suzu rises to the challenge, moving away from home to be a protective daughter-in-law to Shusaku's parents Entarou (Shigeru Ushiyama) and San (Mayumi Shintani) while also falling in love with new niece Harumi (Natsuki Inaba) and doing what she can to convince the hard-hearted girl's mother Keiko (Minori Omi) she only wants to be her friend.

There's not a lot more to writer/director Sunao Katabuchi's (Princess Arete) gorgeously animated, delicately poignant adaptation of author Fumiyo Kono's award-winning Japanese manga In This Corner of the World, but that doesn't mean there isn't still a great deal going on. An examination of families doing what they can to survive the ravages of war during a time of great upheaval, this is a spirited movie filled with honest emotional nuances that held me captivated for the majority of the picture's 129-minute running time. Suzu's story is deeply affecting on a level that's oftentimes staggering, and even though it shouldn't come as any sort of surprise as to where all of this is headed, that doesn't make the getting there any less of an achievement.

It can all be difficult to watch at times. While understandable, the level of tragedy as it pertains to Suzu's life and that of her family, not just in the constantly bombed Kure but naturally also back in Hiroshima, can be difficult to stomach, especially a rather startling third act twist that broke my heart to pieces long before the events of August 6, 1945 could come to pass. Some of this feels downright assaultive, the staggering devastation and loss of life, and the way in which survivors have to find a way to pick up the pieces and carry on, hopefully with a smile on their face as they rebuild their sense of community, can feel rather relentless and as such isn't necessarily all the enjoyable.

But Katabuchi's sympathetic, sentimentally subtle touch is inspiring in its breadth and scope. How he presents Suzu, the way he weaves each moment of her life into its monumental whole, all of it is masterful, this character popping off the screen as a living entity and not just some random animated creation with some humdrum story to tell. No, this young woman's fight, what she believes in, how she chooses to look at life and the way she is determined to overcome the unimaginable, all of it resonates, the tears I cried during the film's final half hour as genuine as they were appropriate.

There were things I didn't respond to. It took forever for the movie to reveal why Keiko was so resolute in keeping a frigid distance between herself and Suzu, while the main character's bouts of absent-minded daydreaming weren't always utilized in a manner I personally felt helped the narrative move closer to its predetermined destination. I also admittedly had trouble differentiating between the young woman's husband Shusaku and a former schoolmate-turned-soldier named Tetsu (Daisuke Ono), the two so interchangeable neither are ever able to develop as characters in the same way I'm pretty positive they must inside Kono's source material.

Yet, there's so much I just adored about this gem of a feature those missteps hardly feel worth mentioning. So many sequences and scenes burned their way into the center of my psyche with astonishing ease, not the least of which is the way the events at Hiroshima are depicted, a sudden flash of light way off in the distance startling Suzu and her in-laws, but not so much they have any comprehension of what it is that's just transpired. There are also a number of additional little moments, including one between our heroine and Tetsu where white-capped waves transform into watery fields of bouncing bunnies and another where a determined child discovers safety in the arm of a stranger, while later on a grieving mother realizes the clothes of a departed loved one can now be used to protect and nurture someone new, each moving me in a way I found continually marvelous.

In a world being ripped apart by violence, hatred, racism and bigotry, the genius of this piece of animated art is how it manages to put a historical tragedy of unimaginable proportions into a perspective that's just as much about today as it is the events swirling around Japan during the latter stages of WWII. Perfectly animated, emotionally pure, In This Corner of the World is an outright marvel, watching it come to life as it does with such authentically subtle exactitude an extraordinary achievement to be sure.




Mayor Murray to honor recipients of the 2017 Mayor's Arts Awards August 31
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Gay authors Felice Picano and Eric Andrews-Katz to appear at University Book Store September 8
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Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers don't back down after 40 years together
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Will you feel Much Better?
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Sound Theatre Company presents Goblin Market
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An evening in the House of Verlaine: Giselle premieres at the Triple Door
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Interviewing the interviewer
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The Head and the Heart, Calexico headlining Jet City's 'End of Summer Bash' this weekend
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Rousing Patti Cake$ an electrifying debut
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Loosening up and taking risks Writer/Director Geremy Jasper raps about breathing life into Patti Cake$
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Melodramatic Boy an intriguing, well-acted curiosity
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Subtly devastating In This Corner an animated marvel
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