Legally Blonde was released in the US on July 13th, 2001, and in the UK on October 26th, 2001.

Even after 20 years, Legally Blonde’s feminist legacy still perseveres in empowering women by dismantling the blonde stereotype through a strong female character. In 2017, Reese Witherspoon told the Wall Street Journal, “At least once a week I have a woman come up to me and say, ‘I went to law school because of Legally Blonde.’” Witherspoon stars as Elle Woods, a sorority president studying fashion merchandising at the fictional California University Los Angeles, who is deeply in love with her…

This originally appeared on The Simple Cinephile on December 20, 2019.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) — source: Neon

At the end of the 18th century, Marianne (Noémie Merlant) is teaching portraiture to a group of young women when one of them asks her about a painting they discovered at the back of the class — the titular ‘portrait of a lady on fire.’ We then jump to a flashback, which takes precedence for the majority of the film, as Marianne recalls one of the most defining moments of her life.

While travelling to the isolated island of Brittany in France, Marianne’s canvasses fall overboard and, without hesitation…

This originally appeared on The Simple Cinephile on October 30, 2019.

It’s no secret that short films don’t get the attention that they deserve. Despite big award shows such as The Oscars having categories for them, most shorts don’t see the light of day afterwards — at least not by an ordinary audience. However, some of these eventually make their way onto platforms like YouTube and Vimeo for us to enjoy for free. Plus, there are millions of other filmmakers out there who are always putting out great content!

Horror is the perfect genre to translate into the short film…

This originally appeared on The Simple Cinephile on May 28, 2019.

For the end of the world, press play.

A.T. White’s debut feature Starfish follows Aubrey (Virginia Gardner), whose reality begins fraying at the edges as she struggles with the death of her best friend, Grace (Christina Masterson). The film opens at Grace’s funeral and her gravestone reads ‘Always Right,‘ which is the first insight we get into the deceased character.

Aubrey heads to Grace’s apartment, which helps to fill in the other parts of who Grace was: she left behind three jellyfish and a pet turtle. There’s old technology…

This originally appeared on The Simple Cinephile on April 10, 2019.

Brie Larson’s feature-length directorial debut has been long anticipated. First premiering at Toronto International Film Festival in September 2017, Netflix only picked up the distribution rights to Unicorn Store in January 2019. The film follows Kit (Larson), a failed artist who moves back in with her parents (Joan Cusack and Bradley Whitford), and gets a job at a temp agency after feeling like a disappointment. Kit starts receiving mysterious letters from The Salesman (Samuel L. Jackson), inviting her to The Store which sells “what you need“. …

This originally appeared on The Simple Cinephile on April 9, 2019.

The term ‘Scream Queen’ refers to actresses who are associated with the horror genre, either through recurring roles or one significant performance. Jamie Lee Curtis is regularly regarded as the ultimate Scream Queen and is usually who people first think of when they hear the term. Known mostly for her role as Laurie Strode in the Halloween franchise, Curtis has appeared in countless horror films since the 70s and has more than earned her title her reigning Scream Queen.

Having been around during the transition from silent film to…

This originally appeared on The Simple Cinephile on March 27, 2019.

After the success of his critically acclaimed horror, It Follows, David Robert Mitchell takes risks with his highly anticipated follow-up. Under the Silver Lake is an ambitious and unique neo-noir that is full of twists and turns. The story begins with Sam (Andrew Garfield), a lazy and unemployed young man with nothing better to do than masturbate, spy on his neighbours and uncover hidden messages on TV.

Things change when Sam gains a new neighbour: the beautiful and mysterious Sarah (Riley Keough), who he sees frolicking about in cute…

This originally appeared on The Simple Cinephile on March 21, 2019.

As the first female-led superhero film from Marvel Studios, Captain Marvel has not had it easy. There has been plenty of support, as well as some fair criticism, but otherwise there’s mostly just complaint after complaint from the same people; the group of white men that set out to condemn the film after Brie Larson’s comments on press diversity. Whether it is genuine critique or targeted hate, a lot of it seems to be focused on Larson and her portrayal of Carol Danvers. Is Carol really emotionless and lacking…

This was originally published on The Simple Cinephile on March 12th, 2019.

Set in a future where humanity has colonised the Solar System, The Expanse follows a group of characters who find themselves at the center of a conspiracy that threatens the very existence of humanity. It’s based on the science-fiction novels by James S. A. Corey, the joint pen name of authors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, who have created a very rich and entertaining experience with diverse characters.

The main factions are Earth, Mars and the Asteroid Belt. Earth and Mars have their own governments — the United…

This was originally published on March 18th, 2021.

Contains spoilers for I Care a Lot

J. Blakeson’s third feature film, I Care a Lot, follows the life and crimes of Marla Grayson (Rosamund Pike) — a sociopathic con artist who makes her living ripping off old people. It’s an intriguing focus for a film, but one that makes us ask “what’s the real message here?” Marla charms the oblivious Judge Lomax (Isiah Whitlock Jr.) to appoint her as legal guardian over elderly people, under the guise that they can no longer look after themselves. She does none of the actual…

Toni Stanger

A freelance film and tv writer from England, who enjoys horror films, cats and middle-aged actresses.

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