Movie Diary 10/5/2020

I’m on the FIPRESCI jury (that’s the international critics’ jury) for the Heartland International Film Festival. We haven’t given our award yet, so I make no critical comments here, but I’ll keep track of the movies I’ve seen.

The Last Shift (Andrew Cohn, 2020). Richard Jenkins is a long-serving employee at a fast-food place in small-town Michigan; Shane Paul McGhie is the flippant young ex-con replacing him. Some kind of road trip may be in the offing, but maybe not.

Best Summer Ever (Michael Parks Randa, Lauren Smitelli, 2020). A kind of quasi-parody of the High School Musical formula, created by and starring a group of disabled people (and non-disabled people, too), full of honest-to-gosh production numbers and an abundance of spunk.

Breaking Fast (Mike Mosallam, 2020). Gay Muslim doctor survives breakup, meets new non-Muslim beau, and riffs on religion, The Sound of Music, and Superman.

Freeland (Kate McLean, Marco Furloni, 2020). The legalization of pot means new bureaucratic complications for a longtime freelancer in the business (Krisha Fairchild), a white-haired ex-hippie in Northern California.

Gossamer Folds (Lisa Donato, 2020). In the Kansas City suburbs, a 10-year-old boy whose family is breaking apart finds agreeable companionship in the transgender designer (and her mixed-up family) next door.

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