BFI London Film Festival ’18: ‘Beautiful Boy’ Devastates with Bitter Truths about Addiction

Films about addiction are tough. They cut deep and are severe to the point of exploitation, and they’re never as raw or honest as Felix Van Groeningen’s Beautiful Boy. This is an addiction story, but above that, it’s a story about family and the unconditional love borne from such a special, formidable bond. 

Based on David and Nic Sheff’s respective memoirs, Beautiful Boy and Tweak, the film depicts their family’s struggle with methamphetamine addiction. Nic (Timothée Chalamet) is the addict, and David (Steve Carell) is the father trying to save him. This two-hander lends an added openness to confronting America’s crisis: addiction affects not only the user, but everyone around them. It doesn’t attempt to solve the crisis either, because it knows all too well that the road to recovery is long and treacherous.

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IFFBoston ’18 Review: ‘Hot Summer Nights’

High school summer breaks are a lot like Lana del Rey albums: romantic and bittersweet when you wistfully look back on them, but tedious when you’re in the middle of one.

With a title that recalls lyrics from del Rey’s Great Gatsby ballad “Young and Beautiful,” Hot Summer Nights is interested in the former interpretation, offering a rearview mirror perspective on a life-changing summer of 1991 full of sex, drugs, crime and betrayal. Although its an undeniably bold and stylish debut from writer-director Elijah Bynum, Hot Summer Nights, like Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby and everything Lana del Rey has ever written, struggles to break through the confusion of its own excess. It’s a fun vehicle for strong performances by Timothée Chalamet and Maika Monroe, but what, exactly, is it trying to say?

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Timothée Chalamet in “Hot Summer Nights” © A24

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How To Survive Award Season Without Really Trying

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Saoirse Ronan and Greta Gerwig on set of ‘Lady Bird’. © A24

Oh the mighty Award Season! In the second half of every year, fans of cinema everywhere, long forgotten their sufferings in the first half, start to say: “I wish Award Season was here already!”. And then before we know it, it’s here! Oh no… Our favourites are losing. Everyone is angry at each other. Non-Americans are staying up all night to watch red carpets just to see their favourites for 5 seconds then to suffer through bad jokes in award shows themselves. And then before you know it 2-3 awards have passed, three weeks till next one. “We needed a break.” says the fans of cinema, oh no they forgot their suffering and ask “It’s been a week c’mon when’s the next one?!” and the circle of life keeps going until the Oscars. Everyone is exhausted by then, friendships are torn, predictions are off the roof! And then, whoever wins wins. Everyone goes to bed and sleeps off the season exhaustion for 14 hours, wakes up next morning saying: “Did I dream that or did Annette Benning’s husband actually announced Best Picture wrong?”

Well don’t worry, Much Ado is here to give you a little bit of help in this award season of surprises. Here are eight films from some of this season’s best nominees to help you pass the time and help with withdrawals!

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Kinkiest Films of 2017

As Much Ado team, we always try our best to bring you reviews from newest films, coverages from festivals we can barely afford to go and well thought essays that take weeks to write. Right now, you’ll see everyone publishing their top films of 2017, which we plan to do after December 25th. But in the meantime, being the professional young adults we are, we decided to bring you a more important list: Kinkiest of 2017! We can assure you that this list took long discussions and as it happens with any group of mostly LGBT 20-somethings, we came up with a lot of them. But we decided, for our readers’ sake, to do just Top 5!

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BFI London Film Festival ’17 Review: ‘Call Me By Your Name’ is a sun-soaked masterpiece

Like most people on Film Twitter, I first discovered ‘Call Me By Your Name’ after hearing its rapturous reception from Sundance and reading the flurry of tweets hailing it as a masterpiece. I was instantly dying to see it and the thought of waiting until the end of the year bothered me and refused to go away, like an itch that’s impossible to reach. I think I might just be addicted to good cinema, willing to go to any lengths to get another fix. So I did what any person without self-restraint would do — I bought plane tickets to Berlin, and dragged my friend to see the film on the last day of Berlinale, under the pretense of a mid-term holiday. She thought the film was fine, but it affected me far more than I ever anticipated. That very same week, I came out as bisexual. 

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