• Moana (2016 film)

    Moana (also known as Vaiana[4] or Oceania,[5] in some markets) is a 2016 American 3D computer-animated musical adventure film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 56th Disney animated feature film. Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, co-directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams, the film introduces Auliʻi Cravalho as Moana and features the voices of Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Jemaine Clement, Nicole Scherzinger, and Alan Tudyk. The film features songs written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Opetaia Foa'i and Mark Mancina, and an orchestral score also composed by Mancina.

    The film tells the story of Moana, the strong-willed daughter of a chief of a Polynesian village, who is chosen by the ocean itself to reunite a mystical relic with the goddess Te Fiti. When a blight strikes her island, Moana sets sail in search of Maui, a legendary demigod, in the hope of returning the relic to Te Fiti and saving her people.

    Moana was released theatrically in the United States on November 23, 2016 to positive reviews from critics, with particular praise going towards its animation, music, and vocal performances. The film went on to gross over $690 million worldwide. Along with Zootopia, it marked the first time since 2002 that Walt Disney Animation Studios released two feature films in the same year. It received two Academy Award nominations at the 89th Academy Awards: one for Best Animated Feature and another for Best Original Song ("How Far I'll Go").[6]


    On the Polynesian island of Motunui, the inhabitants worship the goddess Te Fiti, who brought life to the ocean using a pounamu stone as her heart and the source of her power. Maui, the shape-shifting demigod and master of sailing, steals the heart to give humanity the power of creation. However, Te Fiti disintegrates, and Maui is attacked by another who seeks the heart: Te Kā, a volcanic demon. Maui is blasted out of the sky, losing both his magical giant fishhook and the heart to the depths of the sea.

    A millennium later, the ocean chooses moana movie 123 movies, daughter of Motunui's chief Tui, to return the heart to Te Fiti. Tui takes Moana away, causing her to lose the heart. Tui and Sina, Moana's mother, try to keep her away from the ocean to prepare her for ascension as the island's chief. Sixteen years later, a blight strikes the island, killing vegetation and shrinking the fish catch. Moana suggests going beyond the island's reef to find more fish and figure out what is happening, but Tui forbids it. Moana tries conquering the reef but is overpowered by the tides and shipwrecked back to Motunui with Pua the pig.

    Moana's grandmother Tala shows her a secret cave of ships, revealing that their people were voyagers until Maui stole Te Fiti's heart; the ocean was no longer safe without it. Tala explains that Te Kā's darkness is poisoning the island, but can be cured if Moana finds Maui and makes him restore the heart of Te Fiti, which she gives to Moana. Tala falls ill and, on her death bed, tells Moana that she must depart to find Maui.

    Setting sail on a camakau from the cavern, Moana is caught in a typhoon and shipwrecked on an island where she finds Maui, who boasts about his achievements. She demands that Maui return the heart, but he refuses and traps her in a cave. She escapes and confronts Maui, who reluctantly lets her on the camakau. They are attacked by Kakamora – small, coconut-armored pirates – who seek the heart, but Moana and Maui outwit them. Moana realizes Maui is no longer a hero since he stole the heart and cursed the world, and convinces him to redeem himself by returning the heart. Maui first needs to retrieve his magical fishhook in Lalotai, the Realm of Monsters, from Tamatoa, a giant coconut crab. While Moana distracts Tamatoa, Maui retrieves his hook but discovers he can no longer control his shape-shifting. He is overpowered by Tamatoa, but Moana's quick thinking allows them to escape with the hook. Maui reveals that his first tattoo was earned when his mortal parents rejected him. After reassurance from Moana, Maui teaches her the art of sailing, regaining control of his powers, and the two grow closer.

  • Sundance 2020: reviews from the annual indie film festival

    This year’s Sundance buzz was difficult to parse, with a range of movies pleasing various contingencies at the festival, but one breakout pleased critics and jurors alike. Director Lee Isaac Chung’s “Minari,” the 1980s-set tale of a Korean-American family struggling with their new life in rural Arkansas, topped IndieWire’s annual critics poll just days after the movie won Sundance’s Grand Jury Prize.

    A record 187 accredited critics and journalists participated in the survey, with results showcasing many of the most acclaimed titles at the festival. Kirsten Johnson’s “Dick Johnson Is Dead” won Best Documentary with 25.8% of all participants casting a vote for it, while “Minari” dominated Best Film with 31.2%. The runner-up in the Best Film category, the Carey Mulligan drama “Promising Young Woman,” topped the Best First Feature category with 17% of the vote.

    “Minari” was the consensus choice at this year’s Sundance for many audiences. Chung’s fifth feature scored raves from critics for its understated storytelling and performances, including Steven Yeun as the conflicted man of the house. In addition to Best Film, the movie topped categories for Best Director and Best Screenplay. A24 releases “Minari” later this year, and the wins mark a second year in a row that the distributor topped the survey, following its 2019 pickup “The Farewell,” which didn’t win any awards at the festival.

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    Meanwhile, the results for Best Documentary diverged from the Sundance documentary jury’s big winner. Kirsten Johnson’s “Dick Johnson Is Dead,” an intimate and comical look at the filmmaker’s anxieties surrounding her father’s imminent demise, won raves from critics at the festival and topped the category. The formally inventive Netflix summer release marked Johnson’s second time at the festival following her 2016 debut “Cameraperson,” and her first time in documentary competition.

    The movie was awarded a special jury prize for “Innovation in Nonfiction Storytelling” at this year’s festival, though both grand jury prize winners for documentary — Garrett Bradley’s U.S. winner “Time,” and world cinema winner “Epicentro” — were shut out of this year’s top vote-getters. Instead, the runner-up in this category was another Netflix production, “Crip Camp,” directors Jim LeBrecht and Nicole Nenham’s look at the impact of a disabilities camp in the Catskills that screened on the festival’s opening night.

    Participants were also asked to vote on Best First Feature. As a part of the Premieres section of the festival, “Promising Young Woman” wasn’t eligible for any jury awards, but critics still found much to appreciate about “Killing Eve” showrunner Emerald Fennell’s first feature, which stars Mulligan as a woman contending with the trauma of her best friend’s death through creative means, while also forging a bond with an old classmate (Bo Burnham). Focus Features releases the movie on April 17.

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