starring Katja Herbers, Bram van der Kelen, Claire Porro, Rein Hofman
screenplay by Daan Windhorst
directed by Ivo van Aart
by Walter Chaw Pity the hot-button Film of the Moment that is still somehow not about very much at all. Such is the fate of Ivo van Aart's The Columnist, which tackles Twitter and online trolling with style to burn and a game cast with nothing much to do and even less to say. Femke (Katja Herbers) is a widely-read columnist who's made some enemies by suggesting that Zwarte Piet is racist and that women should be treated as human beings. Addicted to social media, she makes the fatal error of reading the comments, is driven mad, sort of (I think), and starts murdering her trolls after Googling them. There's something about how she's blocked until after she kills someone, at which point she's able to pump out another widely-read piece about some meaningless piffle that keeps her employed. Worse, she's now under a deadline (haha, see what I did there?) to complete a book--a setup for either escalation or piquant irony, though in the case of The Columnist, it's setup for tepid social commentary made instantly impotent by the hellscape of our current reality.