Ella Taylor

Ella Taylor is a freelance film critic, book reviewer and feature writer living in Los Angeles.

Born in Israel and raised in London, Taylor taught media studies at the University of Washington in Seattle; her book Prime Time Families: Television Culture in Post-War America was published by the University of California Press.

Taylor has written for Village Voice Media, the LA Weekly, The New York Times, Elle magazine and other publications, and was a regular contributor to KPCC-Los Angeles' weekly film-review show FilmWeek.

Pressed upon by a demanding mother and a school principal with an amply stuffed shirt, Selah (Lovie Simone), a black graduating senior, plays queen bee over five warring student factions at a pricey but ethnically diverse boarding school that's quite literally covered in ivy. Each faction has its own subculture, its own exchange currency and its own turf to defend. Selah's group, the Spades, dispenses cash, booze and pills to those who offer fealty, and an occasional roughing up to those who don't.

Note: Resistance will be released on video-on-demand and streaming services on Friday, March 26.

Late in Eliza Hittman's Never Rarely Sometimes Always, 17-year-old Autumn (Sidney Flanigan), who is pregnant and in all kinds of trouble, calls her mother from a public bathroom far from her Pennsylvania coal-town home. Her mother asks where she is in a quavering child's voice. After a pause Autumn hangs up, inspects herself in the bathroom mirror, and squares her shoulders.

As we hurtle closer to a time when little kids will look up from their tablets to inquire, "What was a book, Mommy?" much as they now ask, "What's a record player?," it may cheer you to learn, from a charming new documentary about bookselling, that while the middle-aged tend to play on Kindles these days, millennials are to be seen in droves reading print books on the New York subway.

My first time around with Ordinary Love, I saw two great actors doing their damnedest to breathe life into a pedestrian cancer weepie. I watched it again and saw two great actors bringing grace and depth to an imperfect but affecting chamber piece that takes it for granted that we can handle a de-sanitized drama about a long-married couple doing their best to cope with life-threatening illness. The film is not especially graphic, but unlike most others of its kind, this one trusts us to stick with the slew of treatments that often hurt more than the disease.