Movie Review: ‘Malcolm & Marie’ is a Masterclass in Character Study and Escalating Conflict

Movie Review: ‘Malcolm & Marie’ is a Masterclass in Character Study and Escalating Conflict How do you begin to review a film that is focused on the notion of having a leading character, Malcolm, having a negative impression on film critics? How would he view the words that I am writing right now, judging the film and giving it an arbitrary grade that may influence the way that people view Sam Levinson’s work? Well, despite Malcolm’s dismay when he reads the L.A. Times review of his film which

PIECES OF A WOMAN Review - Netflix Puts Vanessa Kirby Officially Into the Oscar Chase w/ guest film critic Amy Smith of Film For Thought - The NOMCAST - Netflix Original Movie Podcast

Netflix adds another PIECE to their Oscar chase puzzle with their latest drama, PIECES OF A WOMAN, starring Vanessa Kirby ("The Crown"; Hobbs & Shaw; Mission: Impossible - Fallout). Host Andrew Morgan is joined by film critic Amy Smith of Film For Thought & InSession Film to break down this personal story of mourning & living with loss after a terrible tragedy. They discuss how Kirby prepared for her role, the buzz around her performance for awards season, the momentum for Ellen Burstyn, the rec

What "Parasite's" Best Picture Win Means For The Academy Going Forward

​On the 10th of February 2020, history was made at the Academy Awards when " Parasite ," a South Korean black comedy thriller, won the prestigious Best Picture award. It became the first non-English language film to win the award, changing the perspective of what a Best Picture winner could be. This was generally well-received, with many film fans praising the Academy for awarding what was one of the most beloved films of the year and awarding an international film the big prize for the first ti

Op-Ed: 2020, the Year of Anya Taylor-Joy

Whilst 2020 was a year that many actors seemed to appear in so little, there was one actress that seemed to work harder than anyone else. It was easy to see who was my most-watched actress across new releases of the year, and that is Anya Taylor-Joy. She is someone that continued to prove to be a strong actress after her debut in Robert Eggers’ The VVitch (2015) but has only improved upon her craft since then. Even when excluding her television work in what has become one of the biggest shows o

List: Amy Smith’s Top 10 Films of 2020

It has been a strange year for film releases, but it has certainly been one that has been filled with quality. This has been a strong film year with me, not only being able to access more films than I have done previously through writing with screeners and festivals but in terms of the films that I watched. Whilst I have made my voice heard about my top ten films of the year on Twitter and my own site, I am glad that I have the space at InSession Film to write about the films in the awards seaso

Movie Review: ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ is Not a Scratch on its Predecessor

Movie Review: ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ is Not a Scratch on its Predecessor Over the past few years, the DCEU has been a rollercoaster of solid films, not-so-great films, and an imbalance of tones with a lack of direction for the universe. However, one thing that was consistent for me throughout that was the character of Wonder Woman. Not only is her film the strongest of the DCEU films to date, but she was easily the best part about Justice League. Whilst I will start by admitting that this sequel,

Movie Review: ‘Totally Under Control’ is a Dark Reminder of the US Government’s Handling of the Pandemic

Movie Review: ‘Totally Under Control’ is a Dark Reminder of the US Government’s Handling of the Pandemic I want to start this review off by pointing out a few things for clarification. This is a review coming from somebody who lives in the UK and did not have to go through the pandemic under the ruling of Trump and his administration. Sure, the UK has been far from perfect when handling this situation, but it has been even more insane to watch the cases rise in the US and the lies that Trump wa

Chasing the Gold FYC: Mads Mikkelsen, Best Actor – ‘Another Round’

We have just come off a year when international films were finally accepted outside of their own category this awards season. Not only were people talking about the likes of Portrait of a Lady on Fire and Pain & Glory as some of their favorite films of the year, with the latter getting a Best Actor nomination for Antonio Banderas, but Parasite ended up being the big winner come Oscar night, taking away International Picture, Director and Picture. While 2020 has been a year in which foreign cine

Movie Review: ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ Cannot Be Saved by Strong Performances

Movie Review: ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ Cannot Be Saved by Strong Performances This has become a film that, along with others such as 2019’s Cats, has been a punching bag for those on Twitter to roast and spread hate towards. Whilst I am certainly not here to defend the film, with it being of poor quality, I do want to spend this first part sharing the positives from my experience of watching Hillbilly Elegy. The performances in this film for the most part are decent, but it is Amy Adams and Glenn Clo

The End of the Road – A Wrap-Up on Supernatural and Fandom Culture

The hit show Supernatural is airing its final episode after fifteen years, so it is time to look back and see what impact it made on fan culture. Back in 2005, Eric Kripke came up with a concept for a show, based on two brothers who go out and hunt creatures. Not just serial killers or murderers, but monsters. Zombies, werewolves, shapeshifters, ghosts, you name it. Never did anyone expect this little CW show would gain thousands of fans across the world and have the show go on for fifteen full

Movie Review (Raindance): ‘Stardust’ is Lacking in Music, Heart and Soul

Movie Review (Raindance): ‘Stardust’ is Lacking in Music, Heart and Soul This may be a bio-pic about David Bowie, but I want to start this review by making a disclaimer. Unlike other biopics in the past two years, particularly Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman, Bowie’s family had no involvement with the project. In fact, Bowie’s son Duncan Jones has been open about not supporting this project from the start. In 2019, it was confirmed that this film was not granted the right to use Bowie’s music i

Movie Review (Raindance) – ‘Here Are the Young Men’ is a Tough, Mostly Important Watch

Movie Review (Raindance) – ‘Here Are the Young Men’ is a Tough, Mostly Important Watch When looking through the films that were showing at the 2020 Raindance Film Festival, there were some standouts that I knew I had to watch. Even in a line-up that had the publicized bio-pic Stardust showing at the start of the festival, it was the closing film that had me the most intrigued. Here Are the Young Men does not only have an incredible cast of actors that I have loved over the past few years and de

Chasing the Gold: Best Cinematography Analysis (2021)

If there is any below-the-line category that I personally love, it is Best Cinematography. Unlike most other categories, this is the one that feels like it takes risks and picks more artistic choices for the nominations (with last year alone nominating The Lighthouse in this category). Even with the smaller amount of films that are releasing this year, there are some fantastic choices for what can be nominated in this category. Here is what I have predicted right now – most sight unseen – to get

"REBECCA" Review w/ film critic Amy Smith of InSession Film & Film For Thought - The NOMCAST - Netflix Original Movie Podcast

How do you begin to reimagine a legendary piece of art? Do you want to update it to modern times? Do you think it can be improved upon after such critical success? Or do you simply want an older story to be told to a fresh audience? We examine all of this when host Andrew Morgan (@jokesondrew) talks with film critic Amy Smith (@FilmsWithAmy) of InSession Film & Film For Thought about the latest adaptation of the Daphne Du Maurier best-seller, REBECCA, starring Lily James, Armie Hammer, & Kristin

Chasing the Gold: Best Adapted Screenplay Analysis (2021)

It seems like every year there are fewer choices for the Adapted Screenplay category. Whilst I admire the Academy for going bold and supporting original filmmaking, it does make this category hard to actually be certain what they will put forward. This is also a much scarcer year for nominations, due to the ongoing pandemic. However, I feel like I found five fitting nominees and I certainly feel confident (sight-unseen for the most part) about predicting these right now. It won the TIFF People’

Movie Review (LFF): ‘After Love’ Struggles to Live Up to Its Opening Sequence

Movie Review (LFF): ‘After Love’ Struggles to Live Up to Its Opening Sequence The opening sequence of this film appears to set-up a normal household in their daily lives. The kettle is brewing, the couple are chatting and life moves as normal. However, it does not take long into this opening scene to realize that something major has happened, and life changes within that moment for Mary Hussain. Not only is this scene so incredibly impactful, but beautifully done and respectfully handled. After

Movie Review (LFF): ‘New Order’ is the Most Shocking Film of 2020

Movie Review (LFF): ‘New Order’ is the Most Shocking Film of 2020 Before I start the review, I want to highlight some information that you should know going into the film. This story is incredibly dark and has some triggers which may upset viewers and I think it is vital to warn you of them. If you are somebody that wants to avoid films involving graphic rape, false imprisonment, gun violence, and mass murder, I would say to avoid watching New Order. Whilst the choices made shows the dark natur

Movie Review (LFF) – David Byrne’s ‘American Utopia’ is a Concert Experience Unlike Any Other

Movie Review (LFF) – David Byrne’s ‘American Utopia’ is a Concert Experience Unlike Any Other As someone from Scotland, I should be ashamed that I am unfamiliar with the works of David Byrne, a fellow Scot. Whilst I have obviously heard of him, as well as Talking Heads, I could not name a single song or album. I did not know a single thing about the American Utopia production either, and only became aware of it when I heard that Spike Lee was set to direct the filmed production of it. This film

Brilliant bombs: box office flops that became classics

It is hard to think that some of our most beloved films of the past century have done poorly at the box office. Being a box office failure does not necessarily mean the film is bad, as I will be proving here with two very different, yet well-loved, films. Whilst there are many films that started out as flops but became classics, such as Blade Runner (1982) and The Thing (1982), I ended up settling on It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) and The Shawshank Redemption (1994) tp explore in detail. These two
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