I had a beautiful time in the desert attending the Palm Springs International Film Festival and had the privilege of seeing some phenomenal films. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to watch the 17 films that I did and so glad I could write about a few of them for FilmEra! Below I will discuss my top five favorite films of the festival, as well as a shoutout to a few honorable mentions.
“Cold War is a brilliant story of love, real and carnal love, which is inescapable. I think about the film with such tenderness; I have never felt more sorrow nor more hope than in the 88 minutes I sat in the theater gripped by Pawlikowski’s creation. All I was left with was a burning desire to see the end of their story and every little moment in between.” Check out my full, adoring review of Cold War here!
Vita & Virginia
My near endless obsession with the relationship between Vita Sackville West and Virginia Woolf has finally been satisfied, at least as much as it can be. I have poured over their letters for hours on end (I own the book which has all of them compiled). With a wildly outstanding performance by Elizabeth Debicki and a tender, the seductive portrayal of such a love story, Vita & Virginia was exactly as fantastic as I expected it to be. I cannot stop thinking about this film and I so wish I could rewatch it immediately. It was utterly intoxicating and beautiful.
BlacKkKlansman was everything I expected and so much more. Spike Lee is an insanely talented director who understands perfectly how to make the best use of everything he is given. The cast was absolutely fantastic, especially Laura Harrier and John David Washington. Brilliant pacing and epic script work truly make the film shine. Every single scene felt impactful and purposeful.
A carefully structured, non-sensationalized, and well-written story about the daily and repetitive sexual assault and harassment which women experience in the workplace constantly. It is often hard to stomach and anxiety-invoking but well representative of the emotional toll such consistent and casual harassment takes on a person. Liron Ben-Shlush gives a wonderful, realistic performance.
The Biggest Little Farm
“The film has easily become one of my most treasured documentaries, right up alongside Blackfish and Chasing Corals (obviously I have a thing for nature-related docs). Beautiful, lush, moving, and rich with life, The Biggest Little Farm is an opulent story of our deep connection to the earth and land that surrounds us.” Read my full review of The Biggest Little Farm here!
Can You Ever Forgive Me?: 4/5 (review here!)
The Quietude: 4/5
The Guilty: 4/5
Ash is Purest White: 3.5/5
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Jenna Kalishman is a freelance writer and cinephile based in Colorado who often focuses on female and queer perspectives as well as female-led projects. She spends much of her free time listening to Stevie Nicks and re-watching Carol. You can find her on twitter @jenkalish.