Kathy Fennessy

Kathy Fennessy
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
97% First Love (Hatsukoi) (2019) Viewers scarred by Miike's more extreme entries may be surprised. It's not so much that he's never made a a film as zippy as this one, but that the more outrageous fare attracts more attention. - Seattle Film Blog EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2019
63% The Sound of Silence (2019) Sometimes you have to hit bottom to see your life clearly for the first time. It's a relatable (if somewhat clichéd) sentiment... - Seattle Film Blog EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2019
87% Depraved (2019) The writer-director-producer's interest in father-son relationships isn't, I don't think, merely theoretical. If Depraved is a lesser work in his canon, it adds to a larger conversation around his abiding interest in this area. - Seattle Film Blog EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2019
86% The Nightingale (2019) Set 194 years in what should be a remote and distant past, The Nightingale feels timely in ways that should make all of us uncomfortable. - Seattle Film Blog EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 30, 2019
94% Klute (1971) Klute is a cool film about a cool customer, but it's all a façade... [I]t's more of a character study in thriller garb, and Bree's cool affect is mostly a well-honed act. - Seattle Film Blog EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 26, 2019
79% Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love (2019) Marianne & Leonard is a lovely, touching film that never dares to suggest that a relationship that didn't follow the conventional romantic template doesn't deserve as much respect as those that do. - Seattle Film Blog EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 2, 2019
100% Barbara Rubin & the Exploding NY Underground (2019) In Chuck Smith's bittersweet profile, critics, filmmakers, and friends pay testament to Rubin's talent, energy, and startling lack of inhibition. - Seattle Film Blog EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2019
79% Pasolini (2019) From its velvety opening frames, in which his subject speaks slowly and thoughtfully to a radio interviewer, Abel Ferrara's 20th feature film feels like something the Italian-American iconoclast was born to make. - Seattle Film Blog EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2019
93% Carmen & Lola (Carmen y Lola) (2018) Arantxa Echevarría's assured debut revolves around two Roma teens... The potential for tragedy comes from their patriarchal community's inability to accept same-sex romance, but the possibility for triumph lies with their stubbornness and strength. - The Stranger (Seattle, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 10, 2019
83% Go Back to China (2019) The film is almost more interesting for what it isn't than for what it is, i.e., one devoid of white leads and a love interest. - The Stranger (Seattle, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 10, 2019
92% Monos (2019) Recommended mostly for the jaw-dropping topography, Mica Levi's synapse-scrambling score, and the Apocalypse Now-level cinematography. - The Stranger (Seattle, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 10, 2019
77% Swinging Safari (2019) There's a lesson here about the limits of permissive parenting, but it's mostly a Martin Parr-like evocation of a cartoonishly narcissistic time. - The Stranger (Seattle, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 10, 2019
86% Burning Cane (2019) When I say that Pierce lights up the screen: I mean it literally. Here's hoping Youmans achieves that level of mastery someday. - Seattle Film Blog EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2019
89% Rocketman (2019) It's better than most music biopics, and not so much for what it has to say -- it's a fully authorized motion picture, after all -- but for the visual flair Fletcher brings to it. - City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2019
94% Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (2019) It wouldn't work if Lumbly didn't capture Davis's grumble, so it's fortunate that he does. - Seattle Film Blog EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019
90% Q Ball (2019) Tolajian has made a worthy film about a worthy subject, but it wasn't quite as involving as I hoped... - Seattle Film Blog EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
59% Charlie Says (2019) I'm not sure it's possible to make a completely successful film about the Manson Family, and the director dances around the edge of disaster at most every turn, but [the final] moment -- and Hannah Murray's ability to sell it -- is worth the wait. - Seattle Film Blog EDIT
Read More | Posted May 17, 2019
83% Her Smell (2019) There's something about watching a filmmaker go for broke that's simultaneously fascinating and frustrating, even if this one leans more heavily on the negative side of that equation. - Seattle Film Blog EDIT
Read More | Posted May 3, 2019
100% Babylon (2019) This 2019 release feels uncomfortably apt. - Seattle Film Blog EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 23, 2019
93% Diane (2019) This Martin Scorsese-produced film has a plainspoken, slightly hypnotic feel, which fits his seemingly quotidian subject matter. - Seattle Film Blog EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
100% A Bread Factory, Part One: For the Sake of Gold (2018) Daly gives the kind of lived-in performance that rarely generates awards consideration, though it really should. - Seattle Film Blog EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
60% Greta (2019) The film has nothing to say about loneliness that you haven't heard before, i.e. it's for losers and loonies. Except that it isn't. And I wish the very talented Neil Jordan had made a film about that. - Seattle Film Blog EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2019
96% On Her Shoulders (2018) s a filmmaker, [Alexandria] Bombach (Frame by Frame) treats her with respect, but stops short of full-fledged worship. - Seattle Film Blog EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2019
93% Toni Erdmann (2016) If the 162-minute film threatens to wear out its welcome, [director Maren] Ade brings everything home with a humanist's light, loving touch. - Seattle Film Blog EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2019
90% Capernaum (Capharnaüm) (2018) [Director Nadine Labaki] paints a multi-faceted portrait of life among Beirut's underclass. - Seattle Film Blog EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
74% Destroyer (2018) As set-ups go, it's a familiar one, but it's always a pleasure to watch Kusama shape genre to her own ends as she did in Girlfight. - Seattle Film Blog EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
88% Love, Gilda (2018) The result is an unavoidably slight, if touching portrait of a talented woman who deserved more time to find a creatively fulfilling second act. - The Stranger (Seattle, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2018
78% Bad Reputation (2018) No one-not even Cesar Award-winning actress Kristen Stewart-is better at being Joan Jett than Joan Jett. - The Stranger (Seattle, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2018
91% Support the Girls (2018) [Bujalski's] found a sly way to make his most political film, since he weaves current issues, like racial equity and illegal immigration, into the narrative without sapping the energy from the workplace comedy on the surface. - The Stranger (Seattle, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2018
100% Half the Picture (2018) It's a lot of talk, but as on-screen conversations go, it's an essential one. - The Stranger (Seattle, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 17, 2018
81% That Summer (2018) Those who can't get enough of the Beales are likely to feel as if they've discovered a long-lost family photo album. - The Stranger (Seattle, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 9, 2018
93% Sorry to Bother You (2018) Riley's ability to transfer his leftist politics intact from turntable to screen is truly miraculous. His film has a distinct look that ranges from pop-art bright to demonically dark, and Stanfield's lightly absurdist performance holds it all together. - The Stranger (Seattle, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 6, 2018
94% Angels Wear White (2018) Remarkable youth performances anchor Vivian Qu's rigorous procedural Angels Wear White, about the adults who exploit children-and the systemic misogyny that protects them. - The Stranger (Seattle, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2018
97% 1945 (2017) If [Ferenc] Török takes his time identifying the characters and their relationships to each other, his seventh feature offers a particularly rewarding payoff, and Elemér Ragályi's daguerreotype-like cinematography stuns at every turn. - The Stranger (Seattle, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted May 3, 2018
76% Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc (Jeannette l'enfance de Jeanne d'Arc) (2018) Unfortunately, his G-rated Bresson-as-poptimist approach is surprisingly dull, and the two Jeannes aren't exactly the best singers. - The Stranger (Seattle, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2018
21% Submergence (2018) Chances are good that he cast McAvoy and Vikander because he thought they were right for the film... Unfortunately, [Wim] Wenders is unable to capture much chemistry when they're together or suspense when they're apart. - The Stranger (Seattle, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 13, 2018
88% Claire's Camera (La caméra de Claire) (2018) Though [Isabelle] Huppert's billing is sure to garner the most attention, the film belongs to Kim as much as Hong's On the Beach at Night Alone. - The Stranger (Seattle, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2018
14% All I Wish (A Little Something for Your Birthday) (2018) All I Wish feels like the kind of thing designed to flatter its intended audience, i.e., it's okay to spend most of your life without a man, middle-aged ladies! On second thought, that isn't the world's worst message. I just wish this was a better film. - The Stranger (Seattle, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 3, 2018
75% After Louie (2018) As an actor, [Zachary] Booth can't quite keep up with [Alan] Cumming, but Braeden is likable in ways that the cynical Sam is not, so it evens out in the end. - The Stranger (Seattle, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2018
100% The Departure (2017) As a filmmaker, [Lana] Wilson must have a similar knack for putting people at ease since it's quite remarkable how many of those in her film agreed to appear in such a vulnerable state. - The Stranger (Seattle, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 23, 2018
89% A Ciambra (2018) If the ending, which recalls Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardennes' wrenching La Promesse, is overly schematic, Carpignano's sympathetic lead imbues the scenario with genuine intrigue. - The Stranger (Seattle, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2018
100% Aida's Secrets (2017) In the end, this isn't just a story about one family fractured by the Holocaust, but about the German nurse and the South African kindergarten teacher who would affect the trajectory of the clan. - The Stranger (Seattle, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 12, 2018
96% Félicité (2017) [Véro Tshanda] Beya is an unvarnished talent, but she holds the scenario together through the sheer force of her presence - The Stranger (Seattle, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2018
92% On the Beach at Night Alone (Bamui haebyun-eoseo honja) (2017) [Hong Sang-soo's] sympathetic, purposefully episodic film privileges [Kim Minhee's] point of view as she talks to other people about the relationship. - The Stranger (Seattle, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2017
50% Der Nachtmahr (2015) As the tiny monster becomes more visible, though, it also becomes more sympathetic. - The Stranger (Seattle, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 1, 2017
95% The Breadwinner (2017) [A] gorgeous animated feature. - The Stranger (Seattle, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2017
100% Signature Move (2017) [Jennifer] Reeder finds the perfect note on which to end. - The Stranger (Seattle, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2017
88% First They Killed My Father (2017) It's rare, but not unprecedented, for a director to follow up their worst film with their best. - The Stranger (Seattle, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2017
85% Beach Rats (2017) Though the trailer portends vapid soft core, [Eliza] Hitmann has a sure and sensitive hand as a director. - The Stranger (Seattle, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2017
56% Lemon (2017) [Janicza] Bravo and [Brett] Gelman may have been aiming for comedy, and they come close with a spliff-saturated barbecue sequence, but Isaac's bumbling often seems more tragic than not. - The Stranger (Seattle, WA) EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 28, 2017