Skin (2018)

Skin
Director: Guy Nattiv
Writer: Guy Nattiv
Cast: Jamie Bell, Danielle Macdonald, Daniel Henshall, Bill Camp, Louisa Krause, Zoe Margaret Colletti, Kylie Rogers, Colbi Gannett, Mike Colter, Vera Farmiga, Mary Stuart Masterson
Seen on: 23.10.2019

Content Note: (critical treamtent of) fascism, racism

Plot:
Bryon Widner (Jamie Bell) has basically grown up in the neonazi scene and is one of the bigger players in his area. He is really committed to the cause – covered in tattoos from head to toe that make his allegiance visible for everyone, and taking part in more than one act of violence against marginalized communities. But when Bryon meets Julie (Danielle Macdonald) and her three daughters, his desire to quit the neonazi scene grows. The scene isn’t willing to let him go that easily, though.

Skin tackles a difficult topic and tries to do so with complexity, but doesn’t always do it justice. The great cast makes up for a lot, though.

The film poster showing Bryon (Jamie Bell), his face covered in tattoos.
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Dumplin’ (2018)

Dumplin’
Director: Anne Fletcher
Writer: Kristin Hahn
Based on: Julie Murphy’s novel
Cast: Danielle Macdonald, Jennifer Aniston, Odeya Rush, Maddie Baillio, Bex Taylor-Klaus, Luke Benward, Georgie Flores, Dove Cameron, Harold Perrineau
Seen on: 18.5.2019

Content Note: (critical treatment of) fatmisia

Plot:
Willowdean (Danielle Macdonald), known by most people as Will, but always Dumplin’ to her mother, is a fat teenager who is actually rather comfortable with herself. She lives with her mother Rosie (Jennifer Aniston), a former beauty queen who is still very active in organizing the pageant. After a fight with her mother, Will decides to compete in the pageant – horrifying her mother and inspiring some other girls who never thought they would to go for it, too.

Dumplin’ is a cute film but I thought that it lost a little too much compared to the book. If I hadn’t read the book, I probably would have loved it completely, but in comparison, it just feels a little disappointing.

The film poster showing to spotlights, one shining on Will (Danielle Macdonald) and one on her mother Rosie (Jennifer Aniston).

[Slight SPOILERS]

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Bird Box (2018)

Bird Box
Director: Susanne Bier
Writer: Eric Heisserer
Based on: Josh Malerman‘s novel
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes, John Malkovich, Sarah Paulson, Jacki Weaver, Rosa Salazar, Danielle Macdonald, Lil Rel Howery, Tom Hollander, Machine Gun Kelly, BD Wong, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Vivien Lyra Blair, Julian Edwards, Parminder Nagra
Seen on: 6.1.2019
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Content Note: suicide, ableism/saneism

Plot:
Five years ago, something happened. Something came and whoever saw it, committed suicide. Malorie (Sandra Bullock) and her children Boy (Julian Edwards) and Girl (Vivien Lyra Blair) managed to stay alive so far and found a community with several other survivors. But things have changed now and what used to be safe, isn’t anymore. Malorie has to find another haven for her children and herself.

Bird Box felt a little like a genre movie made by people who don’t actually have much to do with genre at all. It looks great and the acting is awesome, but oh the tropes and clichés…

The film poster showing Malorie (Sandra Bullock) with blindfolded eyes, cradling both her children who are also blindfolded.
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Patti Cake$ (2017)

Patti Cake$
Director: Geremy Jasper
Writer: Geremy Jasper
Cast: Danielle MacdonaldSiddharth Dhananjay, Mamoudou Athie, Bridget EverettCathy Moriarty, Patrick Brana, Sahr NgaujahMC Lyte, Anthony Ramos
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 25.10.2017
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Plot:
Patti (Danielle Macdonald) lives with her alcoholic mother Barb (Bridget Everett) and her sick grandmother (Cathy Moriarty) and works a thankless job. But she really comes to live when she starts rapping. Always supported by her best friend Jheri (Siddharth Dhananjay), both morally and with beats, she’s constantly rhyming. But New Jersey isn’t necessarily a rapping hotbed, especially not for fat white women. But when Patti and Jheri stumble on punk artist Basterd (Mamoudou Athie), Patti is convinced that they have found the missing ingredient for their music to really take off. Plus, he’s intriguing and she’s curious.

Patti Cake$ had me leaving the cinema with a huge grin on my face, despite the fact that I did have some squabbles with it. It’s sweet and funny and the music is pretty great.

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The East (2013)

The East
Director: Zal Batmanglij
Writer: Brit Marling, Zal Batmanglij
Cast: Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgård, Ellen Page, Toby Kebbell, Shiloh Fernandez, Aldis Hodge, Danielle Macdonald, Hillary BaackJason Ritter, Julia Ormond, Patricia Clarkson

Plot:
Sarah (Brit Marling) works for a private security company. Their newest client is worried about ecoterrorist group The East, so Sarah gets the assignment from her boss (Patricia Clarkson) to infiltrate them. After a long search, Sarah meets Luca (Shiloh Fernandez) who brings her into the group which is (unofficially) led by Benji (Alexander Skarsgard). Even though it isn’t easy to get in at first, Sarah quickly finds herself in deeper than she ever thought.

The East is exciting, interesting and well acted. It asks many smart questions and though the way it ultimately resolves those questions was a little unfortunate, especially since it tries not to resolve anything too clearly for the first 112 minutes (runtime: 116 min). But it is still excellent.

the-east

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