Reviews

‘Sunday Beauty Queen’ and Their One Day of Freedom

Baby Ruth Villarama’s Sunday Beauty Queen is set in the urban landscape of Hong Kong, with its high-rise buildings, four-lane roads, and modern walkways. We witness Filipino domestic helpers gather on a Sunday—their usual day-off—for a beauty pageant they organized. With glittery make-up, expensive-looking costumes, and a noisy audience, they seem to be having the… Continue reading ‘Sunday Beauty Queen’ and Their One Day of Freedom

Reviews

‘A Secret Love’: Seven Decades of Lesbian Romance

Netflix, with its string of endless content, delivers a heartfelt documentary about two women, Terry Donahue and Pat Henschel, and their secret relationship of nearly seven decades. Directed by Donahue’s great-nephew Chris Bolan, A Secret Love dives into these women’s love story, from how they met around the end of World War II to how… Continue reading ‘A Secret Love’: Seven Decades of Lesbian Romance

Reviews

‘The Half of It’: A Love Story in More Ways than One

From the beginning of The Half of It, our protagonist, Ellie Chu (Leah Lewis), warns us that this is not a love story. Or at least not the kind where everybody gets what they want.  Ellie Chu, a Chinese immigrant and straight-A student, lives with her father in the small fictional town of Squahamish. In… Continue reading ‘The Half of It’: A Love Story in More Ways than One

Reviews

‘The Silence of the Marsh’: A Hollow Attempt

All crime stories have similar components: questionable characters, secrets kept, and a hero dedicated to stopping it. Establishing these parts look easy enough but watching any bad crime film quickly reveals how hard it is to execute. Such is the case for The Silence of the Marsh. The film focuses on the life of a… Continue reading ‘The Silence of the Marsh’: A Hollow Attempt

Reviews

‘Never Rarely Sometimes Always’ and the Secret Language of Women

One thing that sets apart stories by men filmmakers from stories by women filmmakers is that female characters from the latter speak their own language, one that transcends the fickleness of words. Those oppressed by the capitalist-patriarchal system are continuously silenced; and because their voice never reaches outside them, they develop a lingua franca unique… Continue reading ‘Never Rarely Sometimes Always’ and the Secret Language of Women

Reviews

‘Onward’: A Heartwarming Family Adventure

Pixar and Disney are prone to repetitive, formulaic storytelling. That’s why seeing last year’s Oscar for Best Animation be taken by Sony Animations is so refreshing; until Disney took back the prize this year. Dan Scanlon’s Onward, from the surface, appears to be another feature that follows the same formula, but with mythological creatures this… Continue reading ‘Onward’: A Heartwarming Family Adventure

Reviews

‘I’m Drunk, I Love You’ and the Inevitable Sting of Growing Up

JP Habac’s I’m Drunk, I Love You tells the story of two friends on a journey, albeit separate and unaware of it. Carson (Maja Salvador) has been in love with her best friend, Dio (Paulo Avelino), for the last seven years, and in three days, she was graduating—both from college and from her feelings for… Continue reading ‘I’m Drunk, I Love You’ and the Inevitable Sting of Growing Up

Reviews

‘Happy Old Year’: On Decluttering Ghosts

It's always the pain in our childhood that defines us later in our lives. It's the weight of the memory in our hearts that we carry around, like ghosts. And then at times, it manifests into our own relationships and how we handle it. Eventually it comes to a two-way decision: do we exorcise it… Continue reading ‘Happy Old Year’: On Decluttering Ghosts