It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

“Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?” —Clarence Ah, It’s a Wonderful Life. The film that has graced many a cozy living room since 1946. It is a much beloved and familiar tale. George Bailey grows up dreaming of his future away from the sleepy old town of Bedford Falls. … Continue reading It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Antman and the Wasp

Ant Man and the Wasp rejects the high stakes of Infinity War to tell a playful, good-hearted, family story. Scott Lang/Ant Man (Paul Rudd) enjoys fathering his young daughter, though under house arrest due to fallout from the events of Captain America: Civil War. He is starting his own company and is anxious to stay on the right side of the law. This proves more … Continue reading Antman and the Wasp

First Reformed

Sitting in a grey room on a bleak winter day, the Reverend Ernst Toller (Ethan Hawke) listens as a despairing member of his flock asks, “Will God forgive us for what we’ve done to this world?” This ominous question sets the general mood for Paul Schrader’s First Reformed and lingers over the reverend’s head as he personally wrestles with a life caught between hope and … Continue reading First Reformed

Crazy Rich Asians

Directed by Kevin Kwan, Crazy Rich Asians flaunts the extravagant lives of Asian elites and the ongoing battle between heritage and cultural assimilation. Set in Singapore, the comedy centers around Asian aristocracy and Asian-American ideals. Lead heroine and NYU economics professor Rachel Chu (portrayed by Constance Wu) finds herself caught in the midst of an all-out Asian socialite war because she is unwittingly dating “Asia’s … Continue reading Crazy Rich Asians

On Space and Grace

“We are a wandering people, even now that we have a dwelling place; as human beings, we are never fully at home; ultimately nothing belongs to us, we are always on the move. And for that very reason, everything we have we share, and we belong to one another.” —Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger Cardinal Ratzinger writes the above words in a reflection on Holy Thursday, capturing … Continue reading On Space and Grace

At Home in a Transient City

I stood on the confetti-covered pavement, shoulder to shoulder with strangers. Behind me, blankets and people covered a lawn sloping downward and south. Over the hillside-house roofs peaked the ocean horizon at sundown. Before me, a lit stage was set in front of the Santa Barbara Mission, a sandstone Spanish church. Festival-goers of all ages, from old men and teenagers to babies on their parents’ … Continue reading At Home in a Transient City