A Hidden Life

As the Nazi guards beat him, Franz Jägerstätter smiles. It’s a moment that’s unexpected and almost lost among successive scenes of violence, but one that briefly shines the light of Christ within the cracked, water-stained walls of the Nazi prison.  In director Terrence Malick’s newest film, A Hidden Life, Franz Jägerstätter and his wife Fani live with their three young daughters in the Austrian village … Continue reading A Hidden Life

Star Wars

Star Wars closes out its newest trilogy and the entire Skywalker saga, delivering an enjoyable adventure with loads of nostalgia.   We enter the story not long after Last Jedi left off as the Resistance rallies on a jungle planet. Rey, under Leia’s guidance, grows stronger in the Force despite lingering uncertainties about her identity. The brooding Kylo Ren returns, this time with a red-streaked helmet … Continue reading Star Wars

Music Review: Brittany Howard, Jaime

In late September, Brittany Howard released her first solo album and embarked on a two-month international tour. The album, Jaime, takes its name from the older sister who taught Howard to play the piano and who died of cancer as a teenager. A short half-hour and eleven tracks long, Jaime artfully unfolds its maker’s history: her loves, perspective, anxieties and wounds.  To work on this … Continue reading Music Review: Brittany Howard, Jaime

Holiday Inn (1942)

Though cars, planes, and trains contrive to bring all your holiday guests around the table, circumstance doesn’t necessitate community. The black and white 1942 Holiday Inn understands this all too well. When the holiday performance trio of Jim Hardy (Bing Crosby), Ted Hanover (Fred Astaire), and Lila Dixon (Virginia Dale) collapses into a love triangle, Jim heads for the country to escape the hectic pace … Continue reading Holiday Inn (1942)

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