Peter Debruge

Peter Debruge

Sundance 2023 Winners Announced — Updating Live

Back in Park City, Utah, for the first time since 2020, the Sundance Film Festival concluded with an in-person awards show. “This year taught me to never forget the magic we make here on the mountain,” festival director of programming Kim Yutani said at the ceremony. “Every single one of these films has had a […]

‘Jamojaya’ Review: An Aspiring Rapper Clashes With His Manager-Father in Justin Chon’s Slippery Drama

Age-old stories of entertainment industry corruption and suffocating stage-parenting are given a freshly off-kilter perspective in writer-director Justin Chon’s “Jamojaya,” which zeroes in on a few days in the life of a rising Indonesian rapper as he attempts to cut professional ties with his former manager, who also happens to be his father. In many […]

‘Cat Person’ Review: Adapted from the Hot Potato New Yorker Story, This Divisive Romance Is No Date Movie

In the wickedly ambiguous Sundance conversation-starter “Cat Person,” two singles a half-generation apart see their relationship quite differently. Even the word “relationship” is relative. Margot (Emilia Jones), a 20-year-old sophomore, works the concession stand at a repertory theater, where she flirts with a patron (Nicholas Braun of “Succession”) who looks kinda like a young Nicolas […]

‘The Persian Version’ Review: Can Recounting a Mother’s Past Lead to Reconciliation?

With her tart direct address, Leila makes a cheeky protagonist in “The Persian Version,” a Sundance-blessed dramatic comedy about the wide rift between an immigrant mother and her Iranian American daughter. Layla Mohammadi and Niousha Noor portray Leila and her mother, Shirin. They also carry the weight of writer-director Maryam Kesharvarz’s third feature, which braids […]

‘Cassandro’ Review: Gael García Bernal’s Lovable Luchador Is the Queer Hero You Didn’t Know You Needed

For nearly a century, exóticos have been the clowns of Mexican wrestling: silly, queer-coded characters in flamboyant drag who pranced about the ring for the amusement of homophobic crowds. These hoary stereotypes have long been a part of the tradition of lucha libre — the country’s second-most-popular sport after soccer. Since Mexican wrestling matches are […]

‘Earth Mama’ Review: Savanah Leaf’s Feature Debut Offers Tough but Sensitive Look at Single Mother’s Struggle

As movie titles go, “Earth Mama” has a nice ring to it, though “Birth Mother” probably would have been a better fit for former Olympian turned filmmaker Savanah Leaf’s feature debut. Building on questions asked in her award-winning 2020 short “The Heart Still Hums” — an artful inquiry into the social challenges that made possible […]