Michael Almereyda’s Escapes is a rough sketch compared to polished Hollywood portraits like The Kid Stays in the Picture. That’s partly because Hampton Fancher is not a well-oiled raconteur like Robert Evans.
The coming-of-age movie is the go-to genre for directors in their twenties and thirties still feeling the reverberations of those excitable years. But an octogenarian? Terry Sanders embraces naïve wisdom in the wispy drama Liza, Liza, Skies Are Grey.
By taking a low-key approach to a high-stress situation, Joshua Tunick turns a familiar romcom premise into a treatise on commitment. Tunick uses an impending wedding as occasion for his characters to peel away well-manicured identities and confront the parts of their lives that aren’t Instagram-perfect.
Although it’s been used repeatedly as a movie title, Alive and Kicking perfectly captures the joyous enthusiasm of Susan Glatzer’s debut documentary, which presents swing dance as a vibrant, living art form.
In the trying relationship drama Between Us, a thirtysomething couple addresses commitment pressures with a childish display: a discussion about marriage builds to frenzied chanting and flailing dancing that dissolves into exhausted giggles.