Dani and Christian are a young American couple with a relationship on the brink of falling apart. But after a family tragedy keeps them together, a grieving Dani invites herself to join Christian and his friends on a trip to a once-in-a-lifetime midsummer festival in a remote Swedish village....Read more
Sun shines darkly on horror tale 'Midsommar'
'Hereditary' director hits another home run with unsettling horror fest
Adam Graham - Detroit News Film Critic
Nighttime is scary. When done right, daytime is scarier.
"Midsommar" gets it right. This twisted daylit nightmare is a masterpiece of mood, all the more disturbing since it's set entirely underneath the bright, beating sun. Anyone can be scared of the dark. Ari Aster makes you scared of the light. Aster is the writer-director who last year made "Hereditary" and established himself as a sophisticated purveyor of wickedness. With "Midsommar" he doubles down. He's dealing in extremely messed up pagan rituals, and the plot can very loosely be described as "Hostel" by way of "The Wicker Man." Yet Aster's vision is so singular that "Midsommar" feels entirely original, a compliment to both his style and his ability to build atmosphere. Florence Pugh, entirely convincing as WWE grappler Paige in this year's "Fighting With My Family," is dazzling as Dani, a college student who suffers an unspeakable family tragedy as the movie opens. Things get worse from there. And Aster doesn't lose sight of the story he's telling. Though there's a superfluous side story about competing research papers, he's focused on telling the story of Dani, and her emotional reawakening and enlightenment. Pugh does so much in tiny gestures and below-the-surface emoting that her performance looks effortless, and Aster makes her glow. And the sunshine has rarely looked so sinister.
Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) is a struggling singer-songwriter in a tiny English seaside town whose dreams of fame are rapidly fading, despite the fierce devotion and support of his childhood best friend, Ellie (Lily James). Then, after a freak bus accident during a mysterious global blackout, Jack...Read more
What was it like to hear the Beatles for the first time? ‘Yesterday’ almost gives you that feeling.
2 1/2 stars (out of four)
Ann Hornaday - The Washington Post
The British actor Himesh Patel plays a musician in that precise ethical dilemma in “Yesterday,” wherein a brief worldwide blackout results in no one remembering who the Beatles were. For the first hour of its too-long running time, “Yesterday” keeps the balloon in the air, sending Jack on a giddy trip to stardom with the help of the real-life Sheeran and a hilariously insensitive L.A. manager played by Kate McKinnon, in all her cockeyed deadpan glory. Written by Richard Curtis — best known for the treacly holiday romcom “Love Actually” — “Yesterday” evinces the screenwriter’s love-it-or-loathe-it sentimentality, which here starts out modestly enough until finding full florid expression in an over-sweet third act. Patel, who spends most of the movie scowling and looking anxious, has a simple, pure voice that perfectly captures the mix of naivete and virtuosity that beguiled the Beatles’ fans in the first place. Of course, the entirety of “Yesterday” is improbable, so suspending disbelief is required from the jump, when it’s clear that the self-absorbed Jack is grouchily unaware of Ellie’s obvious unrequited love. That might be the biggest stretch of all in “Yesterday,” which at its least convincing inspires more than a few eye rolls, but at its best invites the audience, along with the characters on screen, to hear some of the finest songs ever written for the very first time.
An understated and wonderful St. Louis gem, the Hi-Pointe Theatre was built in 1922 at the incredible intersection of Interstate 64, Clayton Road, Clayton Avenue, McCausland Avenue, Forest Avenue, Oakland Avenue and Skinker Boulevard, today also the home of the world’s largest Amoco sign and just at the southwest corner of Forest Park. Continue Reading