Cynthia Nixon

Sundance 2015: ‘James White’ is an intimate portrait of desperation

The edge is where you find it. For James White, the jarring first feature from director Josh Mond, the edge is the only home he knows. Unrelenting and formless, Mond’s character study explores the toll that life can take if you aren’t paying attention. This isn’t a grand epic with plot twists and moments of self-revelation; just a story about a good son careening toward self-destruction. Simple, yet powerfully effective.

Sundance 2015: ‘Stockholm, Pennsylvania’ fascinates but leaves you cold

Stockholm, Pennsylvania is a perfect example of an interesting film that doesn’t work on a cinematic level. It starts out from the perspective of a kidnapping victim, only to switch midway through to that of a victimizer. It’s an ambitious device that writer-director Nikole Beckwith doesn’t quite pull off. There are some terrific elements in play but they never coalesce into something more powerful. Much like its protagonist, we watch this film through a window that never lets us inside.

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