The Oberlin Review

Captain Marvel: A Solid Superhero Movie, But Nothing More

Captain Marvel: A Solid Superhero Movie, But Nothing More

March 15, 2019

As a die-hard Marvel fan and a general superhero buff, I was more than merely excited to see the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first female superhero-led movie. Yet, perhaps spoiled by last year’s Black Panther, I was somewhat disappointed by the movie. Captain Marvel is a fine film, and a much-needed step in the right direction in terms of female representation within the MCU, but it never truly excels, instead feeling like a by-the-numbers superhero movie with nothing special going for it. Pa...

Ti Ames, Director of Kander Lab Series Show “The Brothers Size”

Ti Ames, Director of Kander Lab Series Show “The Brothers Size”

March 8, 2019

Ti Ames is a fourth-year Africana Studies and Theater major from Charlottesville, Virginia. They are directing The Brothers Size for their senior capstone project. The play is a part of The Brother/Sister Plays, a trilogy by Tarell Alvin McCraney, who co-wrote the 2017 Oscar Best Picture Moonlight. The play explores Yoruban spirituality and the Orishas, who are the personification of forces in nature and human endeavors. Their spiritual roles have been translated through different cultures and are promin...

Final “How to Train Your Dragon” Installment Warms Hearts

Kabir Karamchandani, Staff Writer

March 1, 2019

Editor’s note: This review contains major spoilers for How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. The How To Train Your Dragon franchise has always held a special place in my heart, largely because it’s very loosely based on Cressida Cowell’s book series, which I loved as a child. With stunning visuals, one of my all-time favorite scores, and unusually mature themes for children’s movies, How To Train Your Dragon is undoubtedly one of the best animated series of the last decade. Although the latest installment, The Hidden World, pales slightly in comparison to its predecessors, it is still a thoroughly enjoyable movie and provides an emotional end to a fantastic trilogy. A large part of the franchise’s a...

OMTA Ushers in Hilariously Self-Deprecating “[title of show]” This Weekend

Delaney Kelly

February 22, 2019

What affords us the ability to create? What can we learn from our artistic idols? [title of show], a one-act musical with a book by Hunter Bell and lyrics by Jeff Bowen, demonstrates that the creative process isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It’s a realistic, self-aware, and hilarious look at what happens when four friends with a dream set out to write an original musical. The finished product is, of course, the very show that audience members have come to see, which frequently pokes fun at this meta narrative. The show also features “Nine People’s Favorite Thing,” an anthem for the creative underdogs, asserting that they’d rather be “nine people’s favorite thing than a hundred people’s ninth ...

Best Picture Countdown: “Vice”

Kabir Karamchandani, Staff Writer

February 22, 2019

Vice tells the story of Dick Cheney, allegedly the most powerful vice president in American history. Despite being scattered at times, Vice is overall an engaging film for its target audience, taking the viewer through Cheney’s highs and lows and painting a picture of one of the main powers behind the Bush administration. For an alleged satire, Vice is low on laughs and instead focuses on the development of political rhetoric during Cheney’s time in Washington.  Christian Bale impresses as Cheney, showcasing his journey from a bumbling, aggressive college dropout to a collected and reserved politician. Bale plays the part well, yet one of the film’s biggest issues is its written portrayal of Cheney. The film mak...

Student-Written OSTA Play Discusses Yiddish Culture

Student-Written OSTA Play Discusses Yiddish Culture

February 15, 2019

Dressed in their 1920s best, Oberlin Student Theater Association actors took the stage last night for the opening performance of College senior Claire Abramovitz’s original period piece play A Nacht A Sheyne. The Yiddish-inspired dramatic comedy explores the generational tension between traditionally minded parents and their assimilationist children as both groups attempt to navigate early 20th-century America.  A Nacht A Sheyne revolves around a night in the Resnik family home and is filled w...

Best Picture Countdown: “Green Book”

Kabir Karamchandani, Staff Writer

February 15, 2019

Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen shine in Green Book, a by-the-numbers film about a Black pianist and his white valet on a tour through the Deep South. Oscar-bait through and through, what the movie lacks in innovation it makes up for in execution. Director Peter Farrelly deftly handles the film’s sensitive subject matter, making the movie feel cliché at points, but never heavy-handed or forced. Green Book is character-driven from the start, opening with a scene that has no relevance to the plot but sets up Mortensen’s Tony Lip as the stereotypical Italian-American New Yorker of the 1960s. When this rough-talking, hot dog-guzzling club bouncer is hired to drive and protect Black pianist Dr. Don Shirley on hi...

Best Picture Countdown: “The Favourite”

Liz Stewart

February 15, 2019

The two posh period dramas of the year, Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favourite and Josie Rourke’s Mary Queen of Scots, both focus on female royalty from a feminist perspective but do so in opposite ways. The former refreshingly reframes historical material while deconstructing the genre’s high-brow elitism — most period-pieces are suffused with snobbish dialogue. The latter, unfortunately, falls relatively flat.  There was a time when Mary Queen of Scots might have cruised to major nominations because of its traditional, theater-inspired style, leaving Lanthimos’ absurdist film stranded on the outskirts of awards season. The Favourite is ultimately enticing “anti-Oscar bait” that may yet garner a win in at least o...

Best Picture Countdown: “Roma”

Liz Stewart

February 15, 2019

 Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma has the potential to become the first ever foreign-language film to win Best Picture. Its simple yet touching story, skilled camera work, and sound design set it apart from its competitors, boasting the kind of pedigree the Academy craves. It thoughtfully caters to an intellectual audience while remaining digestible enough for anybody to enjoy.  And perhaps these are the qualities, along with its release on Netflix in addition to the big screen, that have allowed Roma to break the curse that sometimes inhibits foreign language films from receiving Best Picture nominations, as they tend to be unfairly overlooked or pigeonholed into a single category. With a whopping ten nominations, Roma...

Oberlin Emeritus Professor Recognized for Grafton Productions

Roman Broszkowski, Senior Staff Writer

February 8, 2019

 The Ohio Arts Council recently announced that Phyllis Gorfain, Oberlin Professor of English Emerita, had won its 2019 Ohio Arts Administration Award. This award is one of several categories of the Governor’s Award for the Arts in Ohio. Gorfain was nominated for her role in founding Oberlin Drama at Grafton, a theater group that operates within the Grafton Correctional Institution, located about 20 minutes from Oberlin.  ODAG helps to put on inmate-acted plays inside Grafton, providing incarcerated people the opportunity to engage with theatrical works in collaboration with Oberlin students and volunteers. While the group grew from Gorfain’s earlier work, she is quick to insist that its roots come from all it...

Best Picture Countdown: A Star Is Born

Liz Stewart

February 8, 2019

In today’s cinematic era riddled with countless mediocre remakes and sequels, Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut A Star is Born has refreshed Hollywood’s current creative dry spell by subverting the standard remake. Cooper knows how to properly recreate a timely classic, adding even more purpose and heart to a screenplay that was already laden with emotion — A Star is Born is a necessary deviation from our tragic status quo. Cooper presents familiar material with a new twist, allowing the film to stand alone from its predecessors. It still tells the story of an impulsive rockstar, whose fame declines while his formerly working-class girlfriend ascends to stardom. However, 2018’s A Star is Born is more int...

Best Picture Countdown: Black Panther

Kabir Karamchandani

February 8, 2019

Marvel Studios is notorious for churning out movies that are fun to watch but lack substance and depth, which makes Black Panther a pleasant surprise. The film sets a new bar for the genre, with a compelling villain and a semi-nuanced debate of a politically relevant issue. In a time rife with xenophobia and immigration issues, Black Panther tackles serious questions about whether a country’s responsibilities extend beyond its borders and whether those in power have a responsibility to help those who are not. The film handles these issues with surprising tact, painting them as a debate rather than the black-and-white depiction of disagreements usually found in superhero films.  Despite this, the film still remains somewhat hamstrung by its g...

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