Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (20)
| Top Critics (8)
| Fresh (16)
| Rotten (4)
| DVD (1)
It does offer an appreciably even-handed, non-judgmental panorama of teens and adults flailing their way toward a place of greater empathy and understanding ...
Even with sections recalling both "The Crucible" and an "Afterschool Special," it still fashions a story that's fairly fresh and often absorbing.
The film has an odd pace to it, relying on genre expectations to hurtle headlong into the story initially, but it ultimately ends up defying those expectations with its messages about online bullying, predatory media and more.
Caryn Waechter's debut feature is instead a piercing portrait of adolescent rebellion and alienation.
It's not quite The Crucible, but this Sisterhood works, creating a bit of poignant witchcraft of its own.
A spry, heartfelt first feature ...
The uplifting ending is not necessarily in keeping with Millhauser's pensive, downbeat tone. But it's a hard-won redemption that trumpets exuberantly in favor of young womanhood's need for shouting, singing and silence in equal measure.
The Sisterhood of Night actually holds enough interesting ideas for several movies, but they aren't always well served by Waechter's flashy, hyperkinetic style.
There are no cartoon Mean Girls here; instead, we get striking portraits of girls in pain, desperately grasping for coping mechanisms.
The plot's central elements are ones we've seen before, but Waechter's film puts a fresh, tautly wound spin on them.
At its core, Sisterhood wants to be about reaching out and getting beyond the walls of misperception and miscommunication, but if you play too many shell games, finding that heart goes from being a genuine emotional odyssey to a cheap parlor trick.
While very nicely fashioned, winds up as an oddly prosaic cautionary tale dressed up in quasi-literary duds [with] the air of an upscale afterschool special.
Very good. An interesting film that makes you question your initial interpretations of the film. I love its style and narration. I also enjoy how the message of the movie changes throughout.
Imagine the Salem witch trials adapted for the Facebook, and by extension all of social media, age and this is the film you have on your hands. That's not to say the film doesn't succeed on its own merits, because it does, it's just that it's a point of comparison for people to know what to look forward to. Here's the thing, though, and this is coming from someone who thought the film was actually really fucking good, this whole mass hysteria regarding the Sisterhood and what they are, or aren't, just feels incredibly sensationalized, like almost an after school special about the dangers of cyber-bullying, gossiping, etc. It's not that it's unbelievable, it's just the fact that I do think people were somewhat overreacting to the Sisterhood and what they thought the group was. Fact is, and this might sound a bit condescending, but people are smarter nowadays than they were during the Salem witch trials. At least in terms of persecuting people for the 'crime of witchcraft.' Part of me feels that a lot of the film simply overstates the point because, when you look at everyone's claims against the Sisterhood, there's absolutely no proof of any wrongdoing from their part. Emily's cut on her hand, at first, might've been reason enough, but when all of these other girls, who were jealous that they were not part of the Sisterhood itself, came out and accused the Sisterhood of molesting them, giving them away to men, etc without any proof. That's make it a little bit hard to buy into, since everyone is simply buying into the paranoia without any actual proof of any wrongdoing. Then again, just 20 years ago, the West Memphis Three were incarcerated for murders they did not commit and that was all due to paranoia that the three may have been involved in a Satanic cult. So I guess it might be believable in this film. With that said, I really thought the story progression was really damn good in this film. It's not like it doesn't cover the typical teen stuff, such as alienation and the need to belong, but it does so in a way that feels fresh and very relevant in this day and age. It also has some social critique on people's dependence on social media, or blogs, to express their thoughts. It's not that this isn't a problem, it's the fact that it's out there for everyone, if you don't have the right privacy settings, to consume and then make up their own conclusions about the opinions you may express. So, this film, in turn, focuses more on the need for some semblance of privacy in these girls' lives. Somewhere where they can express their thoughts without being judged by everyone. The film pulls this off very well. There's also this interesting subplot with Emily, the one who started the entire witch hunt against the Sisterhood due to her not being allowed in the group, builds her entire blog based on a complete lie. She did it for the likes and followers. Yet, at the same time, even with her own fucked up motivations, she does bring a group of girls, who were actually molested, together and gives them the courage to speak out and share their stories. So, in spite of her doing it for the wrong reasons, her lie does bring about something good. Same thing with Mary and the Sisterhood. She's giving girls her age an outlet to share their thoughts without being scrutinized or judged. This does lead, in the case of Emily, to a really funny moment. So she's going to be interviewed on this radio show. They show a photo of her and next to the photo it says her name and, I quote, "Teenage healer in the digital age." And I just laughed and laughed. I mean the gall that this girl has to call herself a teenage healer. It was actually really funny, even if it wasn't intended that way. Well, partly, I'm sure they wanted you to laugh at this bitch's nerve to push her own blog based on the misery of others who rally around her 'story'. Granted, meeting the girls who were inspired by her blog does bring about a change in her. The film is very well acted and written. I cannot complain on that front at all. The narration can be a little goofy at times, but I think it works. Most importantly, I do think the film, in spite of one heartbreaking moment, does send a positive message to girls, particularly in this day and age, about the importance of togetherness. I think the ending illustrates this point perfectly. It might've been a little sentimental, but it's not undeserved and it doesn't undermine the film's story or its characters. It's just the right ending and the right time. Not much in the way of complaints from me. I think the film is very well-paced and it's very easy to watch, in spite of it dealing with some very tough subjects, mostly in the last act or so. With that said, I think this is an easy recommendation. Intriguing story with strong writing, character work and acting. If you're a Men's Rights Activist, and why the fuck would you be such a ridiculous thing, then you'd hate this film. This is a very good movie from top-to-bottom.
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