The DUFF (2015)

The premise of The DUFF is taken from a novel published in 2010, but it feels two decades older than that. DUFF, you see, stands for “designated ugly fat friend”; the kind of jokey attempt at anthropological analysis of high schoolers that went out of fashion around Mean Girls. The film’s titular DUFF is Bianca…

Shaun the Sheep (2015)

If you’ve been following ccpopculture for a while, you might have noticed that kids’ films are rarely reviewed here. That’s not an accident; I’m simply aware of my strengths and weaknesses as a critic, and writing about children’s entertainment is most definitely a weakness. When it comes to Shaun the Sheep, for instance, I can…

Double Feature: Leviathan (2014) and Winter Sleep (2014)

You don’t have dig particularly deep to find similarities between Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Russian drama Leviathan and Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Turkish drama Winter Sleep. They were erstwhile competitors across last year’s arthouse awards season; Ceylan took the lead early by picking up the Palme d’Or at Cannes, but Leviathan was more successful in more mainstream awards…

The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet (2013)

The world of T.S. Spivet (Kyle Catlett) is certainly inviting. It’s a splendiferous realm of rare bugs, perpetual motion machines and preternaturally gifted preteens, painted in a hyper-saturated palette of green grass, gold wheatfields and cerulean skies. Save for the dead twin brother, who wouldn’t want to live there? Jean-Pierre Jeunet delves into dense fantasia…