- Quo Vadis, Aida?: This harrowing tale of one woman’s choice to save her family or save as many people as she can during the Bosnian War is as powerful as a film can get.
- Mass: Two sets of parents meet after one of their sons has killed the other in a school shooting to figure what happened. Along the way, they are forced to answer questions that are painful and difficult.
- Spencer: This fictional take on Princess Diana (Kristen Stewart) and what might have occured during Christmas in the early 1990’s is a unique take on the myth of the late royal.
- Belfast: A young boy is growing up during the Troubles in Northern Ireland in the late 1960’s. As he starts to transition from a child to a young adult, he begins to realize that nothing is ever a simple as it seems to be.
- Black Widow: After ten years, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) finally gets the movie she should have gotten. Trying to atone for her past while living in the present, she must face reality and make up for mistakes.
- Framing Britney Spears: This Hulu documentary took viewers in the life and career of Britney Spears and how it has changed since her father took control over both.
- West Side Story: Steven Spielberg’s adapation of this beloved musical takes it into the 21st century while retaing its message about prejudice and lack of opportunity.
- The Eyes of Tammy Faye: Jessica Chastain not only brings Tammy Faye Bakker back to life, she reveals the real person behind the punchline.
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: This latest addition to the MCU is more than just the first all Asian cast. It is the story of a complicated father/son relationship and a young man who cannot run from his fate.
- Moxie: A shy teenage girl stands up to the sexist bullshit at school and empowers her fellow female students in the process.
The new movie, Mass, takes this all too familiar event and makes it personal. Written and directed by Fran Kranz, it tells the story of two couples who lives have been upended by one student killing his classmate. Jay and Gail (Jason Isaacs and Martha Plimpton) are the parents of the victim. Richard and Linda (Reed Birney and Ann Dowd) are the parents of the shooter. They meet in a church basement to iron out what led to the shooting and how they can live with their new normal.
This film is important and timely. Kranz’s script is deep, emotional, and speaks to the harsh truth of the reality that comes with an experience such as this. It explores question that lead to school shootings. It is due to mental health, the lack of gun control laws, a combination of both, or perhaps something else that has not even been considered?
Though the screenplay is not as strong as it could be, the interrogation of what leads to one young person killing another on school grounds and its aftermath is potent and unfortunately still too relevant.
Do I recommend it? Yes.