Deeply emotional and darkly humorous, Three Billboards is a messy drama, designed for one to feel before thinking. It is a dark script, and the humor within makes one question whether they should find it funny or be deeply disturbed. Set in the fictional town of Ebbing, Missouri, Three Billboards focuses on a white, blue collar community in the deep south.
Paul Anderson’s film Phantom Thread is a vivid medley of an imperfect romance with a strong misogynistic layer paired with a dreamy score and exquisite cinematography. Set in postwar London, in the bubble of 50s haute couture, Phantom Thread is filled with crisp visuals and sharp performances centered around the twisted man at the center.
Charming 17th century stone villas, sweltering summer heat and the luscious greenery of the countryside “somewhere in northern Italy”; such a scene is only fit for the most beautiful of summer romances. Luca Guadagnino’s "Call Me by Your Name," based on the novel by André Aciman, encapsulates that very fantasy.
A scaled green creature rises up from the water. Gills down the sides of his neck pulse, and veins along his body light up in blue as he moves. Human-like in form, he stands tall on two feet. To some, this creature elicits fear and disgust. Others, however, are more curious. Director Guillermo del Toro manages to seamlessly blend fantasy and reality in “The Shape of Water,” which has been nominated for 13 Oscar awards.
High school students are possibly the most commonly stereotyped age group, and the tropes are not at all original. "Lady Bird," directed by Greta Gerwig and up for Best Picture at the Academy Awards on Sunday, encompasses many of these cliches, ranging from rehearsals for the after-school musical to awkward teen sex, to crushing on a boy in a rock band. However, it manages to do so in a way that feels veritable and not stilted or over-exaggerated.
Director Jordan Peele masterfully and unconventionally covers important issues of race relations through his Oscar-nominated psychological horror film, "Get Out.” With disturbingly creepy scenes and shocking turns, Peele uses a fictional allegory that traces the story of an African-American man meeting his Caucasian girlfriend’s family to highlight many issues about interracial relationships.
"Venture," Palo Alto High School’s next theater production, is not a contemporary interpretation of Shakespeare, neither is it a cheery tale written by Disney nor a renowned American classic. Rather, "Venture" is an original work full of unique perspectives written by none other than Paly's choir teacher Michael Najar.