Review: ‘A PELOTON OF ONE’ – a long road to healing through the ride of a single survivor.

A PELOTON OF ONE

 “A Peloton of One” is a documentary film about surviving Childhood Sexual Abuse, focusing on the next chapter in the Survivors’ story – what happens after victims come forward. The film follows Dave Ohlmuller who conducts a solo bicycle ride from Chicago to New York, meeting a variety of other Survivors and legal advocates along the way.


Trauma, the Catholic Church, politics, mental health, justice, and sexual abuse, A Peloton of One is a film about awareness for victims and the truth. #IRideWithDave Know the hashtag and understand its immense power and message. Dave Ohlmuller‘s emotional and physical journey as a survivor and an advocate is breathtaking and inspiring. 

I attended Catholic parochial school for eight years. My Mother thought it would be a better education. And while that element ended up being a blessing, the stress and fear instilled in me at the age of 6 were not. While I’m not the victim of sexual abuse by the church (that would happen in college by an acquaintance), I fully understand the emotional stronghold that the church has on families. After college, I tangentially worked on a few campaigns. Because of this, have a greater understanding of the protection politicians provide for specific institutions. This pushback is entirely about greed and votes. 

The metaphor of a peloton is perfect. The lack of safety as Dave (mostly) rides alone represents every survivor who felt dismissed, who lived in fear, who kept it inside from childhood to adulthood. His unadulterated honesty and bravery connect people of all ages across the country. A Peloton of One is an important watch. Pay attention to those who are blocking laws. Ask why they stand in the way of justice. Audiences have heard the news, but the A Peloton of One puts faces to stories. It further personalizes the truth and the long road to healing. 


** IN THEATERS FRIDAY FEBRUARY 18 **


FESTIVALS & AWARDS

 

Greenwich International Film Festival

Winner: Audience Award for Best Film

 

Golden Door International Film Festival

Official Selection

 

New Jersey Documentary Film Festival

Official Selection

 

Jersey Shore Film Festival

Official Selection


 

DOC NYC review: ‘A Better Man’ is an emotionally raw healing session.

A BETTER MAN

US PREMIERE  While they were a couple, Steve exposed Attiya to terrifying daily verbal and physical abuse. Twenty years later, they revisit their relationship in an intimate, therapeutic context, walking through the physical — and emotional — spaces they once inhabited together. As Steve is put in a position to acknowledge and take responsibility for the abuse, will Attiya complete her long process of healing and be liberated from her demons? A Better Man explores the revelatory potential of involving the abuser in domestic violence prevention.

If you’ve ever been a victim, A Better Man feels surprising and cathartic. While this is  Attiya and Steve’s story, Attiya becomes our emotional surrogate. With so many victims coming forward in this tumultuous climate, especially over the past year, this film is very timely. 1 in 2 women has experienced physical, verbal, emotional and/or sexual abuse in her lifetime. To have the opportunity to revisit an old relationship in a safe and constructive environment might not be on everyone’s bucket list, but I know from firsthand experience that I would gladly take part in such a chance… but perhaps that is a hasty statement. Until it is real, these are just words. Attiya is a brave woman. Steve is a remorseful man. Let it be known, I am not a fan of Steve here, but do acknowledge that not every abuser would be so open and willing to offer a public apology and seek counseling sitting directly across from his victim. A Better Man is a film that is important for audiences to see and I for one hope that they absorb it for the powerful piece it truly is.

Official Site: https://abettermanfilm.com/

On Twitter: ABetterManFilm
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ABetterManFilm/
Director: Attiya Khan, Lawrence Jackman
Producer: Christine Kleckner, Justine Pimlott
Cinematographer: Iris Ng
Editor: Lawrence Jackman
Music: Lesley Barber
Running Time: 78
Language: English
Country: Canada
Year: 2017

Review: ‘Shelter’ is Paul Bettany’s personal cry for us to wake up.

 

SHELTER

A film by Paul Bettany

ShelterPosterIn NYC, the homeless are a huge problem. If we’re being honest, most of us ignore them or wave them off and go about our lives. Paying $5 for a cup of coffee but turning our noses up at giving spare change to a person in need. It’s a cultural problem. It’s an epidemic that we have to face rather than pretend doesn’t exist. In Paul Bettany‘s brilliant directorial debut, SHELTER, we are brought into the lives of two homeless people who could not seem more different on the surface. 
Shelter-1

Tahir is a Nigerian immigrant making ends meet, whatever that means for a man who lives on the streets, by drumming on buckets in the park. He stumbles upon Hannah, a woman alone, gaunt, drug addicted, desperate to end it all. Tentatively, Hannah allows Tahir to be her protector and partner. The two fight their demons as a pair, struggling to keep their heads above water among the dangers of illness, judgement, the rules of the NYC shelter system, and the night. As the pair become closer, their stories become the anchors that keep them together but could just as easily tear them apart.

shelterAnthonyMackie

Bettany‘s beautiful script comes from real life inspiration. Two homeless individuals, one black man and one white woman, lived outside his apartment in Tribeca. Each morning he would greet them until hurricane Sandy rolled into town. Bettany never saw them again. SHELTER was inspired by his longing to create the story of these two people who had now disappeared completely. Working with the Homelss Coalition NYC, he and Jennifer Connelly, who also happens to be his wife, learned what life is like for the more than 50,000 men, women, and children that slip through the cracks of a very broken system. With the gap between the rich and the poor widening at a pace that’s out of this world, this population is only going to grow exponentially as the months and years roll on. The script is incredibly bold and totally raw. Issues of faith and philosophy, human connection, and anonymity all come into play in a perfect storm of story-telling.

Shelter-4110.NEF

Shelter-4110.NEF

Anthony Mackie brings Tahir to life with a subtle power. He has a confidence and gentleness that is a gorgeous balance to Jennifer Connelly‘s more manic survivalist existence. Her effortless portrayal of Hannah will haunt you. The chemistry between Mackie and Connelly is played at the perfect pace as the story glides along. Both give a physically unafraid and impactful performance. You truly believe the two need one another to survive their own emotionally draining pasts. As one is introduced as caregiver and the other more victim, the film slowly and poetically evolves and the two switch places. Once again, as a directorial debut, this is an immaculate first go and should not go unnoticed. SHELTER will both bring you hope and ravage your heart. With a seductive score, effective script, and outstanding cast, the film will draw you in and perhaps cause you to lift up your head from your phone and pay attention a bit more often.

SHELTER comes to theaters today.

Written and directed by Paul Bettany

Produced by Robert Ogden Barnum, Paul Bettany, Katie Mustard, Daniel Wagner

Starring Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Mackie 

RT: 105min

Hannah and Tahir come from two different worlds. But when their lives intersect, they’re at the same place: homeless on the streets of New York. How did they get there? As we learn about their past, we begin to understand that to have a future, they need each other. There are more than 50,000 homeless people living on the streets and in the shelters of New York City. To most of us they are nameless and faceless, and occasionally a nuisance. But every single person has a story. And Hannah and Tahir are no different. And theirs is a story of loss, love, hope and redemption.

Review & Press Conference: ‘BURNT’ is a tasty dish we’ve had before

Burnt_Poster2_FINAL2Chef Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) had it all – and lost it. A two-star Michelin rockstar with the bad habits to match, the former enfant terrible of the Paris restaurant scene did everything different every time out, and only ever cared about the thrill of creating explosions of taste. To land his own kitchen and that third elusive Michelin star though, he’ll need the best of the best on his side, including the beautiful Helene (Sienna Miller). BURNT is a remarkably funny and emotional story about the love of food, the love between two people, and the power of second chances.

BRADLEY COOPER stars in BURNT.

BRADLEY COOPER stars in BURNT.

Cooper is strong as ever, there is no denying that. Not only do you absolutely buy him as a skilled chef but you also find yourself engrossed in the background story of addiction. Not to mention he gets to show off his impeccable and charming French skills. Miller, once again, gives a solid performance as single mother Helene. Her great balance of strength and vulnerability make her a lovely foil for Cooper. There chemistry seems truly organic. This film is really an ensemble piece. You cannot create an environment such a kitchen without relying heavily on your entire team. Daniel Bruhl reads as one of the most passionate characters in the film, by far. Sam Keeley and Omar Sy, both inject life into this eclectic group of chefs. Other noteworthy performances come from Matthew Rhys and Emma Thompson. The cast was put through kitchen boot camp. they had become chefs on set. That is clear and wonderful to watch.

(L-R) BRADLEY COOPER and SIENNA MILLER star in BURNT.

(L-R) BRADLEY COOPER and SIENNA MILLER star in BURNT.

The film should do well with cooking enthusiasts and foodies alike. While the script is nothing revelatory, it does  give the audience an easy peak into the aftermath of addiction. BURNT is very much a film about second chances and self respect. The cast is strong, the food porn aspect is delightful. The comment on building the perfect meal and building the perfect relationship was certainly not lost on me. Go for Cooper, go for the acting, and definitely go for the food.

Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller attended the film’s press conference with fellow stars Daniel Bruhl, Uma Thurman, and Sam Keeley. Moderated by the gregarious and world renowned chef Mario Batali, the press conference took place at The London Hotel in New York.

Burnt press conf table

NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 20: (L-R) Mario Batali, Daniel Bruhl, Sienna Miller, Bradley Cooper, Uma Thurma and Sam Keeley attend the “BURNT” New York Press Conference at The London Hotel on October 20, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company)

Burnt photo call

NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 20: (L-R) Mario Batali, Daniel Bruhl, Sienna Miller, Sam Keeley, Uma Thurman and Bradley Cooper attend the “BURNT” New York Press Conference at The London Hotel on October 20, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company)

Check out our audio from the conference. You can hear me make a comment and ask a question around the 22:00 minute mark. And yes, that is Bradley Cooper reacting to my profound statement. As for Mario Batali… I’m going to need him to moderate more often. What a gem.

BURNT is in theaters now!