Antonio Sison

Antonio Sison
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Antonio D. Sison is Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, with a special research interest in religion and cinema studies. His latest book, The Sacred Foodways of Film: Theological Servings in 11 Food Films (Pickwick, 2016) explores the ways by which cinematic images of food nourish the theological imagination. He is also the author of World Cinema, Theology, and the Human (Routledge, 2012) and contributing author to The Routledge Companion to Religion and Film (Routledge, 2009), among others. Paying attention to what the world is watching? Antonio Sison has been reviewing noteworthy releases of global cinema for National Catholic Reporter since 2014.

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
96% La Llorona (2020) In Bustamante's sophisticated storytelling, the real horror seethes and bubbles, be it ever so gradually, in the heart of darkness of a male monster-figure who is to blame for countless crimes against the Indigenous community. - National Catholic Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2021
100% Malni - Towards the Ocean, Towards the Shore (2020) Oneness with earth, water and sky is an audiovisual motif that runs throughout this ethnopoetic, painterly beautiful film, raising a subversive mirror to our consumerist culture blighted by a deficit of spirit and driven by domination. - National Catholic Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2020
87% Yellow Rose (2020) Diane Paragas infuses the story with a convincing realism through unobtrusive camerawork and effortless dialogue, and by maintaining a simple, even-keeled narrative. This is the clear strength of the film - it feels authentic. - National Catholic Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2020
86% The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019) Although the film takes the contextual assignment seriously and casts a critical eye on sociopolitical issues, a good-natured and life affirming counter-narrative is patiently seething and bubbling throughout the dramatic arc. - National Catholic Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2020
80% Indian Horse (2018) If the Canadian film "Indian Horse" is an index of how aggressive assimilation was brought to bear in the real-life context of the country's indigenous peoples, it leaves no doubt that "aggressive" was the operative word. - National Catholic Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2020
97% The Farewell (2019) "The Farewell" opens for us a window into the intriguing cultural particularities on the other shore, but in its heart are the universal themes of love, regret, and forgiveness that families everywhere share. - National Catholic Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2019
No Score Yet Ulam: Main Dish (2018) Partaking from the table of plenty with their bare hands, the multiracial guests who have gathered are relishing the exquisite food experience of "Babette's Feast," Filipino kamayan (by hand) style. - National Catholic Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 1, 2019
92% 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) A film of such symbolic and visceral power as "2001" invites various interpretations, like a prism you can turn at different angles, each revealing a new facet. - National Catholic Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2019
78% Romero (1989) As the story arc unfolds, Romero, in a state of inertia, is drawn into a gradual conversion experience, not just in a general sense, but in the specific trajectory of a "conversion to justice." - National Catholic Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2019
96% After the Storm (Umi yori mo mada fukaku) (2017) This is the latest work of acclaimed director Hirokazu Kore-eda, whose filmic signature is the subtle and small-scale character study in the tradition of the late Japanese film auteur Yasujiro Ozu. - National Catholic Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2019
93% The Eagle Huntress (2016) Watching "The Eagle Huntress" is virtually entering into another world. The audience is ushered into a liminal space, a threshold where past and present are interwoven. - National Catholic Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2019
80% Okuribito (Departures) (2009) In "Departures, life and death are two expressive movements of one musical" piece. Neither is taken as a polar opposite of the other; they dance rhythmically, like the ebb and flow of the ocean tide. - National Catholic Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2019
No Score Yet Ignacio De Loyola (2016) To be sure, the film's heart is in the right place. It feels authentic. But it feels less so when it gets lost in its own pious intentions and opts for a more literal representation of Ignacio's mysticism. - National Catholic Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2019
91% Whale Rider (2003) Filmmaker-writer Caro orchestrates scenes with a lyrical touch, infusing the film with doses of humor, and an effortless, mythic quality consistent with its source material, the eponymous cultural novel by Maori author Witi Ihimaera. - National Catholic Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2019
95% The Mermaid (Mei ren yu) (2016) "The Mermaid" is aptly titled, not just because of its central protagonist, but because it is a magical, genre-bending pastiche of over-the-top comedy and compelling sociopolitical drama; it's a "mermovie" in more ways than one. - National Catholic Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2019
97% Babette's Feast (Babettes Gæstebud) (1987) Nourishing both the senses and the religious imagination with its profound representation of food and eating, the Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film remains the gold standard for food films. - National Catholic Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2019
67% Terraferma (2013) It is not without irony that a film titled "Terraferma," the Italian term for "dry land," would open with an underwater shot. - National Catholic Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2019
94% Force Majeure (2014) Force majeure is a legal term denoting an unforeseen, disruptive event that obstructs the fulfillment of a contract. In the film, it is a synonym for avalanche; the contract in question, marriage and family. - National Catholic Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2019
94% A Simple Life (2012) The understated sentiment is made more eloquent by the calibrated performances of the actors, most especially Deanie Ip, who so thoroughly disappears into the role of Ah Tao that her moments infuse the film with a documentary feel. - National Catholic Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2019
88% Tangerines (2015) You'd find that in investing 87 minutes of your time for "Tangerines," you had viewed not just a poignant anti-war film, but a beautifully realized cinematic parable. - National Catholic Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2019
91% Crazy Rich Asians (2018) When she lands in Singapore, Rachel is like an innocent butterfly emerging from her American middle-class cocoon - into the awaiting mouths of snobbish, bejeweled bullfrogs. - National Catholic Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2019
87% Okja (2017) Truth be told, we do not normally think of the crispy and delicious strips of bacon on our breakfast plates as the flesh of animals sacrificed at the altar of commercial greed. After "Okja," you might. I certainly have. - National Catholic Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2019
91% Brimstone & Glory (2017) The imaginative use of stylistic options interweaves a mytho-poetic layer into a straightforward, albeit astonishing, slice of Mexican religious folk culture. - National Catholic Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2019
No Score Yet The Portrait (2017) If the walls could speak, they would also reveal the family's secrets and lies, which are compounded by the pervading honor-and-shame culture of the time. - National Catholic Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 29, 2019
95% Roma (2018) Much of the narrative plays like a cinematic diary of Cleo's day-to-day life; the camera, a compassionate observer thoughtfully taking note of the moments of transcendence within the ordinariness of a life of devoted service. - National Catholic Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 29, 2019
97% The Lunchbox (2014) Subtle is also the best way to describe Batra's treatment of the characters' emotions in the film, and this is ferried onscreen by the astonishing performances of the lead actors. - National Catholic Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 29, 2019