Check out Converge’s top media recommendations from last year.
Getting to the theatre, I expected to be entertained by the antics of first-time parents and troubled kids portrayed on screen. I was pleasantly surprised to find that “Instant Family” is substantially more than that; it’s a realistic look at the foster care community made by people who clearly have first-hand experience, and a story full of reminders of why investing in fostering or adoption is a worthwhile adventure.
Wender’s film shows us that, contrary to what media pundits have reported, the Pope is not a liberal ideologue but a voice for the voiceless, a lover of the unloved, and one who is gently and clearly calling out in the wilderness for us to emulate the life of Christ in the world.
Annihilation is more like visual poetry than conventional narrative — an intense sensory experience that asks the viewer to question the nature of self-destruction, changes in our personality, and the reality of death.
There is a scene in the film Lady Bird where the title character, played by Saoirse Ronan, stands on a sidewalk in Sacramento with her best friend, staring up at a big, beautiful, blue house imagining they lived inside. Her real house is shades of brown—from the carpet and kitchen cupboards to the wooden paneling of the den. It looks familiar—a little drab and well worn.
Its self-awareness is an asset. At one point it makes direct homage to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off; Donald Glover is given a medium sized cameo role in response to a massive internet campaign to make him the new Spiderman; and Michael Keaton, with previous superhero affiliations to both Batman and Birdman, makes an excellent and nuanced supervillain. But self-awareness is also its downfall. In the laborious attempt to introduce Spiderman into the MCU, Spiderman’s richer themes and potential get lost amidst its frequent reference to self.