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2 pages/≈550 words
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Visual & Performing Arts
Movie Review
English (U.S.)
MS Word
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Film review of Jonathan Williams' short film The Portal, 2014. (Movie Review Sample)


Write a 1 page film review of Jonathan Williams' short film The Portal, 2014.
https://www(dot)youtube(dot)com/watch?v=ST1lxNADPhc (Links to an external site.)
Your analysis should include the following information (however, please note that it should be written as one comprehensive review, not as answers to questions):
The themes of the film, what the explicit and implicit meanings are and what cultural invisibility might be present.
An analysis of the narrative elements of the film and how it does or does not fall within the three-act dramatic structure.
An analysis of the acting and what specifically makes the acting performances work.
An analysis of the set design and what it communicates visually and an analysis of the costumes, hairstyling and make-up and what they convey about the characters.
An analysis of the cinematography and how lighting, camera angles, composition, and camera movements contribute to the film’s themes.
An analysis of the editing, using specific examples of cuts and transitions between cuts to illustrate the film’s narrative, physiological or intellectual function.
An analysis of the sounds and music present in the film and how they contribute to the effectiveness of the film and create symbolic import and emotional impact for the viewer.
Remember that the goal is to analyze both the content of the film and the formal elements of the film and to note how the formal elements help express the film’s content. You must be detailed and cite specific examples. For example:
Do not simply state:
There were a lot of great camera angles that helped create the mood of the film.
A stronger statement would be:
In the scene where xyz occurs, low angles were used symbolizing xyz which also contributed to the mood of the scene which is xyz. In the scene where xyz occurs, there is an establishing shot that represents xyz and this is followed by xyz shots/angles that represent etc. etc. etc. These shots contribute to the content of the film by representing xyz…..
Remember that in this class you have been trained to become film analysts. So, you are not stating “In my opinion, I believe…” Pretend you are a film critic and you are submitting a film review that will be published in The Hollywood Reporter. How would you analyze and critique the film in a professional publication?


The Portal is a short film by Jonathan Williams that centers on a dimension-traveling wizard struck in 21st century Toronto. This is because his magic is being interfered with by the radiation from cellphones. Since the homeworld is on the brink of war, the wizard seeks to assist Kim, a travel agent. Kim is mistaken as a sorceress but lacks the powers to prove his identity and has trouble taking believe him. After some time, he agrees to reveal the world's main secrets and assist them after being promised a lunch date. This is a comedy and science fiction film that gained much popularity after its release. Through the film, we can see how robots have the power to transform lives using elements such as mindfulness and providing motivation for action as they embark on the next phase of life.

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