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Top 10 Standouts from TIFF 2022

Louisa is the chief critic for Screen Zealots, a champion of independent film, and attends film festivals around the world.

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1. THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN

"The Banshees of Inisherin"

"The Banshees of Inisherin"

McDonagh, Farrell, and Gleeson should continue to make movies together because something magical happens when they do. Backed by strong performances and a superbly written script, this is an outstanding piece of accomplished filmmaking.

— Louisa Moore, Screen Zealots

Writer and director Martin McDonagh is no stranger to creating stories that find humor in darkness. In fact, it’s arguably what he does best. With his latest film “The Banshees of Inisherin,” McDonagh captures the sadness of a breakup between two longtime friends with his signature darkly comedic, cynical tone. It’s an emotional character study about loneliness and isolation that expertly blends humor and cruelty, and it’s one of my favorite films so far this year.

Set on a fictional remote island during the Irish Civil War of 1922, the film tells the story of buddies Pádraic (Colin Farrell) and Colm (Brendan Gleeson), two men who find themselves at an impasse. It all starts one day when Colm unexpectedly and abruptly decides to end their friendship, offering no explanation and leaving his former pal stunned and saddened.

With the help of his sister Siobhán (Kerry Condon) and the troubled islander Dominic (Barry Keoghan), Pádraic plans to do whatever it takes to repair the estranged relationship. His repeated efforts to reconcile annoy Colm to the point that he delivers a shocking ultimatum, which in turn escalates the petty feud to an alarming standoff that could have violent consequences.

Working from an outline of a sad breakup, McDonagh’s script flows with a natural rhythm that’s brimming with sharp wit and wry, dark humor. This isn’t a complex narrative, but the dialogue is impassioned and poignant with a genuine understanding of the human condition. McDonagh’s writing is like no other, with a natural talent that’s enviable. The script plays directly to the specific strengths of his cast, too.

Featuring Oscar-caliber performances, Gleeson and Farrell strike the perfect harmony as Colm and Pádraic. Their rapport is natural and relaxed, and there’s a comfortable feeling between the two actors which no doubt stems from being reunited with McDonagh. This trio should continue to make movies together because something magical happens when they do. Condon and Keoghan are also excellent in this story of conflicts, as Siobhán grapples with the realization that she may risk dying from an unhappy and unfulfilled life if she continues resisting her her urge to flee, and Dominic must deal with the mental suffering of being worn down by his abusive policeman father.

The strongest supporting turns come from the scene-stealing animal actors, who represent loyalty and unconditional friendship in a story that’s peppered with a dark undercurrent. Even as the humans around them struggle with their worlds falling apart (and a civil war raging nearby), their equine and canine companions keep them grounded. One of the most memorable scenes features a touching moment between a miniature donkey and a horse, and it is one that absolutely destroyed me. It’s moments like these that add up to a fiercely affective film that is adept at delivering a highly emotional experience to the audience.

Not only is McDonagh an effective writer, but he is also a talented director with a knack for capturing and creating a mood. Working in tandem with his cinematographer Ben Davis, the film is filled with stunning photography and astonishingly gorgeous scenery of coastal Ireland. These desolate landscapes lend a natural beauty that in turn creates a strong sense of place, providing the perfect backdrop for the story.

“The Banshees of Inisherin” is an example of that increasingly rare instance where a film fully and completely achieves its desired effect. Backed by two of the finest performances of the year and a superbly written script, this is a piece of accomplished, outstanding filmmaking.

2. THE FABLEMANS

"The Fablemans"

"The Fablemans"

Made for and by people who love films on the purest level. If you make movies, write about movies, or simply love movies, this one’s for you.

— Louisa Moore, Screen Zealots

Steven Spielberg is one of the greatest, most revered, and most beloved directors of all-time. His legacy and movies have touched most of our lives in some way, both large and small. This makes it even more of a pleasure to watch “The Fablemans,” a semi-autobiographical film about his experiences growing up and his love for the filmmaking craft. It’s a project that feels deliberately crafted to cause a major manifestation of starry-eyed joy in both movie lovers and Oscar voters. I’ve never been so happy to be manipulated.

Sammy Fabelman (Mateo Zoryon Francis-DeFord, Gabriel LaBelle) has loved the movies since the first time his pianist mom Mitzi (Michelle Williams) and computer engineer dad Burt (Paul Dano) took him to a theater. Inspired by popular films at the time, young Sammy begins making his own, often using his friends and family as actors. While his mom always encouraged his artistic side, his dad only considered it a hobby, but Sammy never stopped creating. The film explores the boy’s life from child to teenager, including the rough adolescent years where he was bullied in high school for being Jewish, with one common thread: a kid’s love for and desire to make movies.

It’s wide in scope but intimate in story, especially as Spielberg explores the family dynamics that have continued to influence his work. The parental figures are at the heart, but it’s complicated when the Burt’s coworker Bennie (Seth Rogen) becomes so close to the family that he is basically considered a blood relative. The tension between everyday life in their household is told through a whirlwind of childhood memories and parenting imperfections, through missteps and mistakes and the highs and lows of being alive. It’s almost impossible to write a concise plot summary of this film, because it’s something you have to experience.

There’s an honesty to the storytelling as Spielberg recounts his formative years, especially in the creativity department. You may get chills when you see Sammy directing his first war movie, or when he shows his work publicly to rave reactions. The film is entertaining and endearing, but you may want to step back and ask yourself one thing: would this be interesting at all if it wasn’t about Spielberg? There are flaws that are easy to ignore, but a huge part of that is simply because it’s the story of one of the most famous film directors of all time.

LaBelle isn’t a highly charismatic actor, and it’s not easy to develop a strong emotional relationship with the character. Williams gets to cry a lot and flit about as Sammy’s nontraditional mother, but I often found her performance to be distracting. The real rock comes from Dano’s subtle turn as a father struggling emotionally while trying to provide for his family. Here’s hoping his non-flashy performance isn’t overlooked come awards season.

Spielberg obviously views his characters through a sentimental lens, but that’s expected when the story is built from memories of his own life. His free spirited mother’s imperfections sometimes look perfect, while his science-minded father is seen as being at odds with the artists in the family. I suppose that’s how he viewed his family as a boy, but it feels plodding and predictable.

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Thankfully, he also captures the imagination, craftsmanship, and joy that comes from making your own art, and Spielberg’s talent of telling a story through a visual medium shines. The original score (by longtime collaborator John Williams) is a polished accompaniment to the film, and Janusz Kaminski‘s rich cinematography aids in creating a cohesive vision.

“The Fablemans” is a coming-of-age drama that’s so much more than irresistible Oscar bait (although it’s absolutely, unequivocally that). It’s a project that’s made for and by people who love films on the purest level. If you make movies, write about movies, or simply love movies, this one’s for you.

3. GOOD NIGHT OPPY

"Good Night Oppy"

"Good Night Oppy"

An irresistible American success story of teamwork, dedication, brainpower, and resolve. I can’t remember the last time I was so emotionally invested in a documentary film.

— Louisa Moore, Screen Zealots

I can’t remember the last time I was so emotionally invested in a movie, especially a documentary, than I was with “Good Night Oppy,” director Ryan White’s inspirational and entertaining tale of NASA’s Opportunity rover. In the summer of 2003, the space agency launched twin robots on a journey to Mars to search for evidence of life. This film tells the true story of “Oppy,” her sister Spirit, and their incredible adventure on another planet.

It’s an irresistible American success story of teamwork, dedication, brainpower, and resolve. After carefully planning and designing the rovers, NASA sent the twins to the Red Planet on a groundbreaking mission — with a life expectancy of only 90 days. With a stroke of luck, Oppy ended up surviving for 15 years, sending back incredible data and photographs that changed the shape of astronomy and history.

Through photo-real visual effects and animation by Industrial Light & Magic, the film captures the exploration with eye-popping wonder. And by talking with the scientists, engineers, operators, and the amazing team of people behind the scenes, White beautifully expresses the emotional bond that was formed between Oppy and her humans back on Earth.

It’s incredible how easy it is to get emotionally invested in Oppy’s mission. From the original blueprint to the rover’s very first steps, I found myself cheering along with mission control when things were going well, and sharing in their disappointments when they faced major obstacles. The story is fascinating and almost unbelievable, as Oppy and Spirit mange to survive disaster after disaster, from getting stuck in sand to weathering months-long solar and dust storms. I was on the edge of my seat as I waited to see the fate of these rovers, watching and waiting and holding my breath along with the folks back at NASA.

By combining the true stories of the folks that lived them with CGI scenes that play like an action film, White makes this story of robotic geologists fun. It’s an engaging and sentimental documentary, and one that surprisingly runs the gamut of emotions. It doesn’t hurt that Oppy and Spirit have an adorable, WALL-E like quality and appearance, either. The two rovers start to feel human, especially when current and former employees at NASA refer to Oppy’s age-related conditions after years on Mars. She begins to develop “arthritis” in her “arms,” her vision becomes blurry, and she begins to have problems with memory and forgetfulness. It’s only a matter of time before she powers down and doesn’t wake up, and it’s a gut punch when that day finally arrives.

“Good Night Oppy” is an exemplary documentary that had this astronomy nerd smiling from ear to ear. It’s a story about curiosity, exploration discovery, the ingenuity of humans, and their love for the little rover that could.

THE WHALE

our-top-10-most-anticipated-films-at-tiff

Fraser’s lead performance absolutely ripped my heart right out of my chest to the point where I found it difficult to breathe. He’s that good.

— Louisa Moore, Screen Zealots

When thinking about “The Whale,” I feel it’s important to start at the end rather than the beginning because the melodramatic finale almost ruins everything that’s good about the film. The finale is grossly manipulative, corny, excessive, and if what came before wasn’t so great, it would diminish director Darren Aronofsky’s entire project. Thanks to a heartbreaking script (from writer Samuel D. Hunter) and a once-in-a-lifetime lead performance from Brendan Fraser, it takes little effort to overlook the film’s more negative aspects.

Based on Hunter’s 2012 play of the same name, the psychological drama tells the story of Charlie (Fraser), a reclusive English professor who is living with severe obesity. Weighing over 600 pounds and unable to leave his home, Charlie spends his days alone in his small, dingy apartment with intermittent visits from his friend and nurse Liz (Hong Chau), who is his only companion. It’s been an interesting week for the man, as he’s had two additional unexpected visitors: a religious missionary (Ty Simpkins) who is compelled to continue his visits, and Charlie’s estranged and hostile teenager daughter, Ellie (Sadie Sink).

With his health in grave decline (he repeatedly refuses to seek care at a hospital), Charlie decides to do everything in his power to gain one last chance at redemption in his daughter’s eyes, and every ounce of time he has left is spent reconnecting with her.

The film takes place in a confined space, and the lead character spends the majority of his time sitting on a sofa. This cramped setting feels suffocating, which in turn conveys the feelings that Charlie is also experiencing. This is a story about empathy, and it’s admittedly challenging at first glance to feel a ton of compassion for Charlie no matter how accepting you may think you are or claim to be. His outward appearance is shocking and repellant, and it’s part of human nature to look at him as if he were a freak show attraction. What’s interesting about the film is that it digs deeper beneath Charlie’s obesity and lets you into his heart. I was surprised to find by the end of the story just how much I had grown to care so deeply for him.

Folks who have seen the film and are crying that it is “fat shaming” are missing the point. This isn’t a story about humiliation or degradation, it’s a film about actually seeing the person inside a repulsive exterior and giving them humanity. This is not a project that mocks obesity, as has so often (and sadly) been the case with many Hollywood films. This is a story with substantial and challenging themes about depression, mental illness, and addiction. In this case, Charlie has spent years self-medicating his despair and unhappiness with food, and is now suffering from an eating disorder that has raged out of control.

None of this would be so emotionally touching if not for Fraser’s lead performance. He is impressive and outstanding as Charlie, and it’s one of the greatest cinematic performances in years (and definitely of the actor’s career). It’s not the spectacle of the makeup or fat suit that makes him memorable: it’s how Fraser thoroughly embodies Charlie with a deep, soulful pain in his eyes. His performance absolutely ripped my heart right out of my chest to the point where I found it difficult to breathe. He’s that good.

While there’s been so much talk about Fraser, Chau’s performance is equally heartbreaking. Through her facial expressions and body language, you can see and feel the pain Charlie is causing Liz. Everyone is simply waiting for the man to die, and you’re right there by Liz’s side as she cares for her best friend in a final act of selfless affection. It’s an agonizing thing to watch and experience, and Chau conveys her torment in an understated, poignant way.

If it sounds like this is a tough film to watch, I will assure you that it is. You won’t leave the theater floating on air when it’s over. This is an adult drama that will leave you in tears with its story of resentment, vulnerability, regret, and humanity. That’s also why “The Whale” is one of the very best films of the year.

5. ROSIE

"Rosie"

"Rosie"

An uplifting story of acceptance, self worth, and the art of embracing exactly who you were born to be. That’s a message the world certainly could use a bit more of.

— Louisa Moore, Screen Zealots

The delightful, feel good movie “Rosie” is a sweet story about kindness, friendship, love, and the ability to define your own version of a family. It’s the type of film that leaves you walking on air with terrific performances, a positive message, and a beautiful story with easy to like characters, flaws and all.

Rosie (Keris Hope Hill) is an orphaned Indigenous girl who, after social workers deem her unadoptable because of her heritage, force her to live with her reluctant, rebellious aunt Frédèrique (Melanie Bray), a streetwise artist is on the verge of being evicted from her apartment. Frédèrique lives next door to her colorful, eccentric neighbors and best friends Mo (Alex Trahan) and Flo (Constant Bernard), two glamorous drag queens who work the block to make a buck. Frédèrique desperately searches for jobs and begs the adoption agency to take Rosie back but along the way, they form a real bond.

It’s a beautiful story about refusing to be confined by society’s standards, as Mo, Flo, Rosie and Aunt Fréd check every eccentric box on the form. These lovable misfits find acceptance through supporting each other, choosing to create their own meaningful family while bucking convention. It’s heartwarming and inspiring.

Hill plays Rosie with an irresistible, sweet innocence. It’s impossible not to be charmed by both the actor and her character. Rosie displays kindness at every turn. She befriends a busker in the park, a homeless Cree man, and has an innocence that never questions things like why Flo and Mo always dress in drag or why she and her aunt have a “campout” in an abandoned junkyard car. Showing the world though a child’s eyes is something writer / director Gail Maurice conveys beautifully through her screenplay and vision.

“Rosie” is an uplifting story of acceptance, self worth, and the art of embracing exactly who you were born to be. That’s a message the world certainly could use a bit more of.

6. GLASS ONION: A KNIVES OUT MYSTERY

"Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery"

"Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery"

Craig has succeeded in creating and expanding a now-iconic screen character in Benoit Blanc, and one that is worthy of his own franchise.

— Louisa Moore, Screen Zealots

I wasn’t a huge fan of the original “Knives Out,” writer / director Rian Johnson’s 2019 star-powered murder mystery. He follows a similar formula with “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” a new installment in what the studio hopes will be a franchise of the whodunit films. If this latest project is any indication, Johnson has a bright future with his Knives Out series.

Master detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is back on the case as a guest at an eccentric billionaire’s (Ed Norton) birthday party on an exclusive Greek Island. The rich hippie is throwing a murder mystery soiree for a group of his closest friends, and the guest list is equally unconventional. The crew, known as the “disruptors,” includes a former supermodel and fashion designer (Kate Hudson), a scientist (Leslie Odom Jr.), a Senate candidate (Kathryn Hahn), a TikTok alpha male star (Dave Bautista), and a tech entrepreneur (Janelle Monáe). Each person has a clear motive, but it’s no longer a weekend of fun and games when they discover an actual corpse.

Johnson has constructed a lively, intriguing mystery that is a whole lot more fun than his first film. There are sight gags and zingers that lend a lighter, funnier tone. Craig hams it up as Blanc, further developing the personality of his detective with a Southern-fried accent and retro fashion flair. He has succeeded in creating and expanding a now-iconic screen character, and one that is worthy of his own franchise.

The plot is messy and doesn’t seem to make much sense at first, but don’t worry: it will. Holes are explained (but not always satisfactorily), and there are enough twists, turns, and red herrings that keep it a surprise.

I could see future “Knives Out” films being something that fans will undoubtedly look forward to. With a changing cast full of big Hollywood names, there will always be a draw. By calling black classic films like “Murder on the Orient Express” or even “The Love Boat” with surprise cameos, Johnson is building a brand with unlimited potential.

Thanks to the stellar cast and quirky characters, “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” succeeds as a clever murder mystery. It feels like Johnson did not know how to end the story (the unsatisfying finale can attest to that), but this is still a very fun whodunit.

7. WOMEN TALKING

"Women Talking"

"Women Talking"

The film doesn’t push boundaries as much as it could’ve, but offers a bold statement on the subjugation of women, feminist ideals, and the way a society could be stronger if people would just come together and be willing to listen to each other.

— Louisa Moore, Screen Zealots

Writer / director Sarah Polley brings novelist Miriam Toews‘ acclaimed novel to the screen in “Women Talking,” a story that, despite its secluded religious colony setting, has themes that ring true throughout America’s history of antiquated patriarchal systems.

It’s a film about the strength of women and their ability to work together despite differing perspectives, opinions, and ideas about faith and life. This is a talky film with difficult subject matter, dialogue, and situations (it’s important to note that while the descriptions are vivid, no scenes of abuse are depicted onscreen), but it’s also a story that is hopeful and empowering.

The film takes place in a Mennonite colony where, after learning that they have been repeatedly drugged with cow anesthetic and raped while unconscious by the men in their colony, a group of women meet in a hayloft to discuss their options. They’ve settled on three: stay and fight, flee, or do nothing. None of the choices are easy, and no one can agree on the right answer to this unrelenting, endless cycle of sexual, physical and emotional abuse.

The film is one long conversation about what the women will choose to do as a collective response to the violence they have endured. Some are afraid to leave behind their sons and husbands. Others worry that any act of defiance will prevent them from entering heaven when they die. Their religious leaders have instructed them that if the men ask for forgiveness, it must be given. It’s heartbreaking to watch as many of these mothers, daughters, grandmothers, wives, and sisters debate the difficult and limited options available to them, with their faith playing such a strong role in their decisions.

I loved the film’s dark, vintage look and feel, courtesy of Luc Montpellier’s cinematography. His photography is the perfect complement to the project’s tone, with a muted palette and de-saturated colors that reflect the trauma and emotionally complex nature of the story.

The script is as complex as the performances, and the lead cast (including Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley, Judith Ivey, Ben Whishaw, August Winter, and Frances McDormand) is up to the challenge. There’s no clear standout acting-wise, as all of the cast give sophisticated turns. It’s at first confusing to keep each character and their relationships straight, especially since the film jumps right in and you have to be on your toes to keep up. Prior experience with the source material isn’t necessary, but may be helpful.

Polley’s adaptation of the novel doesn’t push boundaries as much as it could’ve, and the film is not quite as gutsy or fearless as some have claimed, but “Women Talking” is a bold statement on the subjugation of women, feminist ideals, and the way a society could be stronger if people would just come together and be willing to listen to each other.

8. BROS

"Bros"

"Bros"

A conventional romantic comedy with an unconventional twist, this is a film that will make you laugh, tug on your heartstrings, and flat-out make you feel happy.

— Louisa Moore, Screen Zealots

I didn’t expect much out of co-writer and director Nicholas Stoller‘s “Bros,” a film billed as the first mainstream gay romantic comedy. In the wrong hands, a film with such lofty ambitions could feel like an overreach in political correctness or an exercise in forced representation. Thankfully the project is neither, and it makes great strides in further normalizing homosexual relationships onscreen.

Podcaster and new head of the country’s first LGBTQ+ history museum Bobby (Billy Eichner) is a cynical gay man living in New York. He’s never had a relationship that lasted more than a couple of months, and he’s not really out and about looking for love. After some random hookups, Bobby meets a hunky lawyer Aaron (Luke Macfarlane) at a club, and they seem like complete opposites. Neither is the other’s type, and they disagree on things like styles of working out and the best music (Mariah vs. Garth Brooks). Of course, that’s when the sparks fly. The men start spending more time together, and a true love story blossoms.

This is a film where almost every character is gay, transgender, or bisexual, and the R-rated language is as racy as some of the bedroom scenes (there’s no graphic nudity, if you’re bothered by that sort of thing). It’s bold and refreshing, even if some of the material is unapologetically in your face. This may be what makes the film a hard sell for mainline conservative audiences but for those with open minds, there’s something liberating about seeing a universal love story. In fact, one of the best compliments I can give to the film is that you’d actually forget the lovebirds are two gay men if not for the constant reminders in the script (everyone is always talking about it).

Eicher and Stoller (who co-wrote the script) build their narrative from classic romantic comedy tropes, proving that some jokes are universal. It certainly follows a tried-and-true formula, but it works. The film captures with honesty the different stages of new relationships, from the meet cute to infatuation, and on to the awkward phase and the kiss-and-make-up period. There’s something here that everyone can relate to, even if there are a fair share of LGBTQ+-specific one-liners.

It’s great to see a conventional rom-com with an unconventional twist. It’s witty and insightful, has affable characters, and two leads with great chemistry and even better comedic timing. The film has an underlying sincerity and doesn’t feel gimmicky, which is a huge step towards an even greater acceptance for all relationships. “Bros” is a romantic comedy that will make you laugh, tug on your heartstrings, and flat-out make you feel happy.


9. CAUSEWAY

"Causeway"

"Causeway"

A somber story of pain, healing, and friendship that’s painfully eloquent in a way that makes it so much more than just another trauma drama.

— Louisa Moore, Screen Zealots

It’s tricky to tell a story about the impacts of trauma, and director Lila Neugebauer handles the subject with a sensitive, deft hand in her feature film debut “Causeway.” This intimate independent film is one with a narrative of pain, healing, and friendship, culminating in an extremely effective (and very human) drama.

While in Afghanistan working for the Army Corps of Engineers, Lynsey (Jennifer Lawrence) was part of a convoy that was attacked and hit by an explosive device. She suffered significant injuries to her body and brain, and has spent months in a tough rehabilitation program. Now the woman is finally going back to her home in New Orleans, where she is having difficulties adjusting to her return to normal society. As is the case with many veterans, Lynsey wants to redeploy, but her doctor refuses to give her the recommendation she so desperately wants.

To pass the time, she takes a job cleaning pools, and when her truck breaks down on the way to work, Lynsey meets a mechanic named James (Brian Tyree Henry). The two form a bond through their mutual traumatic pasts and wounds both psychological and physical, which turns their relationship into something more complex.

The story is one of anguish, but also one of healing. You can feel the sense of inner turmoil and torment that weighs down on James and Lynsey, sinking their will to live. It’s a deeply intimate drama with a simple, strong story that makes a huge impact.

Neugebauer’s film and storytelling are both beautifully crafted, further refined by the powerful, reserved performances from Lawrence and Henry (which are also among the two actors’ best work to date). Their chemistry is believable and their performances aren’t flashy, which makes for a powerful drama about broken people who need help and find it in each other.

“Causeway” is painfully eloquent in a way that makes it so much more than just another trauma drama. It’s a somber look at the way humans must suffer in order to heal, and the film captures this sentiment and feeling in the most potent way.

10. CATHERINE CALLED BIRDY

"Catherine Called Birdy"

"Catherine Called Birdy"

This cheeky crowd-pleaser about a fiery tomboy who rebels against sexist traditions is a delightful, witty feminist film for tweens.

— Louisa Moore, Screen Zealots

A 14 year old girl comes of age 13th-century England in director Lena Dunham‘s “Catherine Called Birdy,” the big screen adaptation of Karen Cushman’s award-winning young adult novel. Dunham wrote the screenplay with a few tweaks from the original story, and her voice and humor (albeit toned down for a PG-13 audience) shine throughout the project. This cheeky crowd-pleaser is a delightful, witty feminist film for tweens.

The mischievous Lady Catherine (Bella Ramsey), affectionately known as Birdy, is the youngest child of Lord Rollo (Andrew Scott) and Lady Aislinn (Billie Piper). She’s a bit of a tomboy in her Medieval village of Stonebridge, and prefers playing in mud rather than taking baths and wearing dresses. The day after she gets her period for the first time, Birdy’s father takes it as a signal that it’s time to get his daughter married off to a wealthy man, especially since the family is in dire need of money. With a list of potential suitors, the clever teenager uses her wits to outsmart and scare off her unwanted would-be husbands.

Birdy is a strong character, and Ramsey embraces the role with a spirited defiance that’s irresistible. The young woman fights for what she believes in: in this case, her own independence, value, and ability to make her own life recessions. It’s a feminist message that parallels similar themes and challenges that women still face today. Society has changed in a lot of ways but in others, it’s stayed the same. In other words, Birdy feels like a timeless character who is living in the wrong time.

“Catherine Called Birdy” has a great message that encourages women of all ages to rebel against the sexist traditions that still exist in our male-dominated society. Dunham’s script feels current and speaks to the unique struggles that are part of adolescence. The film is lively, funny, and Ramsey’s performance as the fiery and quirky titular character makes this one a true delight.



© 2022 Louisa Moore

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