Lost Girls (2020)

Lost Girls
Director: Liz Garbus
Writer: Michael Werwie
Based on: Robert Kolker‘s book
Cast: Amy Ryan, Thomasin McKenzie, Gabriel Byrne, Lola Kirke, Oona Laurence, Dean Winters, Molly Brown, Miriam Shor, Ana Reeder, Grace Capeless, Reed Birney, Kevin Corrigan
Seen on: 13.5.2021

Content Note: whoremisia

Plot:
Mari (Amy Ryan) is waiting at home with her two daughters Sherre (Thomasin McKenzie) and Sarra (Oona Laurence) for her oldest daughter Shannan to arrive. But she never comes. When she doesn’t here from Shannan for a few days, Mari tries to activate the police to search for her. But the officer (Dean Winters) shows little interest in the disappearance of a sex worker, despite the fact that they have a frantic 911 call from Shannan on record. But when they find four bodies close to the gated community where Shannan was last seen, things gather a little more momentum and Mari does everything she can to make sure that there actually is an investigation.

Lost Girls is based on a real case of a serial killer that hasn’t been solved yet (they make sure at the beginning that you know the case is unsolved). It’s usually not my kind of film, but I found myself in the mood for it. And it’s okay, but it didn’t surprise me that I didn’t really love it.

The film poster showing a close-up of Mari (Amy Ryan) and below her a car driving behind a girl running along a street in the dark.
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Carrie Pilby (2016)

Carrie Pilby
Director: Susan Johnson
Writer: Kara Holden
Based on: Caren Lissner‘s novel
Cast: Bel Powley, Nathan Lane, Gabriel Byrne, Vanessa Bayer, Colin O’Donoghue, Jason Ritter, William Moseley, Desmin Borges
Seen on: 19.3.2020

Plot:
Carrie (Bel Powley) was a child prodigy. Having graduated Harvard at 18, she is now in New York and pretty much at a loss. She resents her father (Gabriel Byrne) for having sent her away when she was so young and doesn’t really know how to adjust to life outside of education. Her therapist (Nathan Lane) tries to get her to live a little instead of just reading books. When he gives her a list of tasks to fulfill – like going on a date or doing something she liked doing as a child – and at the same time, her father gets her a job as a copyeditor for a law firm, Carrie starts to make new experiences.

Carrie Pilby is a sweet, fun film with a complex female character at its center. It balances humor and serious issues nicely, making it absolutely enjoyable.

The film poster showing a drawing of Carrie's face, looking widely upwards.
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Re-Watch: Little Women (1994)

Little Women
Director: Gillian Armstrong
Writer: Robin Swicord
Based on: Louisa May Alcott’s novel
Cast: Winona Ryder, Trini Alvarado, Samantha Mathis, Kirsten Dunst, Claire Danes, Susan Sarandon, Christian Bale, Eric Stoltz, Gabriel Byrne, John Neville, Mary Wickes, Florence Paterson
Seen on: 10.8.2019
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Plot:
Meg (Trini Alvarado), Jo (Winona Ryder), Beth (Claire Danes) and Amy (Kirsten Dunst) are sisters, living with their mother Marmee (Susan Sarandon) as their father is off fighting in the war. Their lives are spent working or studying and trying to help the even poorer people in the neighborhood. In their sparetime, they like to play creatively. When their neighbor Mr. Lawrence’s (John Neville) grandson Laurie (Christian Bale) moves in with his grandfather, he quickly finds himself included with the girls. Together, they navigate life’s ups and downs.

There was a time when I was a teenager that I was very much obsessed with this film and I watched it quite a few times. But it took me until now to finally read the novel and it’s been many years that I saw the film, so I looked at it now with fresh eyes. I still love it, but I do see a couple of things more critically now.

The film poster, showing the four March girls (Winona Ryder, Trini Alvarado, Kirsten Dunst, Claire Danes) and their mother (Susan Sarandon).

[SPOILERS]

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Hereditary (2018)

Hereditary
Director: Ari Aster
Writer: Ari Aster
Cast: Milly Shapiro, Alex Wolff, Gabriel Byrne, Toni Collette, Ann Dowd
Seen on: 19.6.2018

Plot:
After the death of her mother, Annie (Toni Collette) is grieving, as is the rest of her family – her husband Steve (Gabriel Byrne), her son Peter (Alex Wolff) and her daughter Charlie (Milly Shapiro). They try to get back to normal, but strange and stranger things start to happen with them and around them.

Not everything about Hereditary worked for me, but a lot of it did. It is definitely above average, even if it left me undecided about a couple of things.

Film poster showign Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolff and Milly Shapiro in front of a black background.
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Louder Than Bombs (2015)

Louder Than Bombs
Director: Joachim Trier
Writer: Joachim Trier, Eskil Vogt
Cast: Gabriel ByrneJesse Eisenberg, Devin DruidIsabelle HuppertDavid StrathairnAmy RyanRachel BrosnahanRuby JerinsMegan Ketch
Seen on: 14.1.2016

Plot:
It’s been three years that war photographer Isabelle Reed (Isabelle Huppert) died in a car crash. An upcoming exhibition of her work that will come with an article by her colleague and friend Richard Weissman (David Strathairn) in which he will out her death as a suicide, brings the unresolved tension her death caused in the Reed family to the foreground again: her widower Gene is struggling with rebuilding his life, but especially with his relationship with his sons: his younger son Conrad (Devin Druid) is withdrawn and doesn’t know that his mother most likely killed herself. Gene’s older son Jonah (Jesse Eisenberg) comes to town to sort through his mother’s unpublished photos, also conveniently escaping his own life for a while. All three have very different opinions not only on what Isabelle was like, but also how they should deal with her death.

Louder than Bombs tries to be many things at once and maybe it tries a little too much. But even though there is a flightiness about it where it would have needed more decisiveness, it is an engaging film.

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