Best of 2017: “Baby Driver” & “Lady Bird” Offer a Fresh Take on Old Tropes

Best of 2017: “Baby Driver” & “Lady Bird” Offer a Fresh Take on Old Tropes

In 2017, two films featuring young protagonists broke the mold to give same old same old tropes a fresh take. In “Baby Driver,” the creative use of music made it an extraordinary heist film, while the unlikely focus of “Lady Bird” on mother-daughter relationship set it apart from other coming-of-age movies. The two films are among the best and most original of last year’s crop of films.

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38 Lines from Novels and Movies You Won’t Soon Forget

38 Lines from Novels and Movies You Won’t Soon Forget

Whether it’s your kid offering a slice of pizza to his sibling or your friend volunteering to babysit, the person might say, “I’m gonna make you an offer you can’t refuse.” Many people know the line though they have never seen Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 movie, “The Godfather.” The dialogue has taken on a life of its own. There are many movies and novels like that; they are famous for zingers and memorable dialogues.

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14 Lessons for Writers from 3 Classic Foreign Films

14 Lessons for Writers from 3 Classic Foreign Films

Film is a universal art form. Those of us who write novels can learn a lot from the storytelling techniques of filmmakers, especially masters like Federico Fellini, Akira Kurosawa, and François Truffaut. Their films defied Hollywood norms and yet found a global audience.

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15 Most Memorable Lines from Movies

15 Most Memorable Lines from Movies

Not all great movies have memorable lines, and not all memorable lines come from great movies. But the latter stand the test of time because the quotes themselves live on. If you love films as much as my family does, then you’ll understand why our conversations are filled with lines from movies.

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Ryan Gosling & Emma Stone’s “La La Land”: Perfect Antidote to Gloom of 2016

Ryan Gosling & Emma Stone’s “La La Land”: Perfect Antidote to Gloom of 2016

“La La Land,” released at the end of 2016, was the right movie at the right time for many Americans like me in want of hope and inspiration, no matter how fleeting. Only the truly cynical and jaded heart would remain untouched by Damien Chazelle’s beautiful film.

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Brie Larson’s “Room” Captures the Novel’s Extraordinary Voice

Brie Larson’s “Room” Captures the Novel’s Extraordinary Voice

When I read Emma Donoghue’s brilliant novel a few years ago, I thought its claustrophobic setting and 5-year-old narrator made the book impossible to turn into a movie. Thank goodness, I was wrong. Lenny Abrahamson’s film succeeds in capturing the book’s positive spirit and the young protagonist’s sense of wonder.

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Natalie Portman’s Feminist Western Deserves More Attention

Natalie Portman’s Feminist Western Deserves More Attention

The Hollywood western is the ultimate American film genre, full of maverick heroes and brutish villains amid a sprawling frontier landscape. “Jane Got a Gun” delivers all of that—from the perspective of a young woman protecting her family and home.

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“The Martian” Makes Science Fiction Fun with its Huge Dose of Humor

“The Martian” Makes Science Fiction Fun with its Huge Dose of Humor

Ridley Scott’s “The Martian” opens with a real downer. Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is left behind on Mars by his crew, believing he’d died in a storm. I almost expected a gross scenario to follow in the style of “Alien” and “Prometheus,” the other science-fiction films by Scott. But, no, happily this movie is a lot more fun than those two films combined.

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