AUTHOR | Anthony Francis


“FRYBREAD FACE AND ME,” a subtle film of affectionate moments | FILM REVIEW

Keir Tallman, Charley Hogan and Sarah H. Natani
Directed by Billy Luther

Filmmaker Billy Luther's first film, 2007's "Miss Navajo," was an involving documentary that used the determination of one contestant in the Miss Navajo Nation pageant to examine the importance of keeping culture and tradition at the forefront in the Native American way of life. The honest look at identity was personal to the filmmaker, whose mother won the title in the mid sixties. With his first ... more >

“LAWMEN: BASS REEVES”; series review

The untold story of the first U.S. Black marshall
Starring David Oyelowo and Lauren E. Banks
Series created by Chad Feehan

The television Western genre is long past its heyday. In the fifties and sixties, TV was filled with exciting "Oaters" that glued viewers to their sets and had young kids dreaming to be one of the real-life heroes who fought bad guys with grit, smarts and a six-shooter. While shows like "The Life and Times of Wyatt Earp," "Have Gun Will Travel" and especially "Gunsmoke" would be hard-pressed to ... more >

FILM REVIEW: The Todd Haynes-directed “MAY DECEMBER” is a multilayered film that uses deception to mine deeper truths

Film was presented at the last Cannes Film Festival
Starring Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore and Charles Melton
Directed by Todd Haynes

Written by Samy Burch (from a story by Alex Mechanik), the screenplay for Todd Haynes's latest work, "May December," is filled with wit and irony. Haynes's film maintains that sharp edge throughout, but stands, also, as a striking examination of the complexity of human sexuality and attraction that reveals a shattering emotional core in its characters. The film is not-so-loosely based on the ... more >

One of the most affecting films of 2023; “THE HOLDOVERS” | MOVIE REVIEW

Alexander Payne Payne has crafted a poignant tale of human connection that breathes with realism
Starring Paul Giamatti, Dominic Sessa and Da'Vine Joy Randolph
Directed by Alexander Payne

The seventies were a glorious time for filmmakers. From one film to the next, directors such as Hal Ashby, Jerry Schatzberg, Bob Rafelson (and more) made intoxicating works full of honesty and truth, achieving powerful emotion through rich characters and relatable situations. Through a career of mostly fantastic films, writer/director Alexander Payne has proven he paid close attention to the great ... more >

Daisy Ridley’s in-charge performance as “THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER” | MOVIE REVIEW

She has a secret
Starring Daisy Ridley, Ben Mendelsohn, Brooklynn Prince and Gil Birmingham
Directed by Neil Burger

Beginning the year with a moving turn in the Sundance darling, "Sometimes I Think About Dying," Daisy Ridley continues her quest to carve out exciting performances in absorbing films. The actress ends 2023 with Neil Burger's "The Marsh King's Daughter." As with all adaptations of popular mainstream novels, fans of Karen Dionne's 2017 namesake work will likely lead the the book was better charge. ... more >

With “PRISCILLA” Sofia Coppola offers up an alternative version of history | FILM REVIEW

The honesty in showing the truth is where her film succeeds
Starring Cailee Spaeny, Jacob Elordi and Ari Cohen
Directed by Sofia Coppola

Sofia Coppola has a precise directing style that keeps her unique and solidifies her as one of the most exciting filmmakers working today. The Oscar-winning director gives her films an artfully European aura. Graceful and ambient, her characters are crafted with precision and honesty and exist in an almost celestial cinematic world. For her latest film, "Priscilla" to come up so emotionally empty ... more >

Clashes of cultures and filial bonding in “THE PERSIAN VERSION” | MOVIE REVIEW

Not since "Monsoon Wedding" has a motion picture been this in tune with the culture it represents
Starring Layla Mohammadi, Niousha Noor and Arty Froushan
Directed by Maryam Keshavarz

Using narration, sprightly pop music, animation and a buoyant dance number, Maryam Kesharvarz's semi-autobiographical "The Persian Version" announces its unabashed free spirit from the opening moments. Leila (an electrifying Layla Mohammadi) tells the story of her experiences being an openly gay woman in a Persian-American family. Comparing Iran and America to divorced parents, the young woman ... more >