Brooklyn (2015)

Brooklyn is a chick-flick with credentials. That is to say: a well-acted, beautifully staged period melodrama. The film chronicles the challenges faced by a young woman, Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan), as she journeys from Ireland to the States in search of opportunity. Unquestionably small in scope, Brooklyn shines as it draws from the poignant well of…

Ex Machina (2015)

Alex Garland’s work as a novelist (The Beach, Coma) and screenwriter (28 Days Later, Sunshine) is, at its best, defined by a careful command of tone balanced with obvious intelligence. It should not come as a surprise that Ex Machina, Garland’s first time behind the director’s chair, demonstrates these qualities in abundance. This sparse sci-fi…

Brendan Gleeson in Calvary (2014)

Calvary (2014)

Death seems to consume the small Irish town of County Sligo. The blue-grey ocean that borders its pallid beaches stretches to infinity. Waves crash against the black, rectangular rocks that reach out hopelessly like deific digits, long-forgotten obsidian coffins. An immense mesa looms in the distance, resembling a church’s altar or, perhaps, a tomb. Calvary…