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  • Wine Country

    Wine Country

    ★★½

    Gets to some truths about aging from a woman's POV, a refreshing perspective and one not without some laughs. They're few in number though and with a cast comprised of seven SNL veterans that's kind of a disappointment. They're equally let down by lazy writing, with characters inhabiting archetypes in ways that telegraph exactly how their weekend get together is going to transpire. As if to acknowledge this there's an early scene where a tarot card reader basically predicts their fate. Might be your cue to bail. It'll spare you the groan worthy generational showdown with cliché millennials - yeeesh.

  • Destroyer

    Destroyer

    ★★★½

    Intense character study with a focus on the toll regret wreaks, featuring a fantastic Nicole Kidman performance as a tortured police detective coming to terms with her past. As a crime thriller this could have been tighter and more illuminating, especially in regard to flashbacks of time spent undercover with the cult-like gang that led up a life-altering event, but Kidman is so captivating in her single minded effort to atone that it forgives many of the narrative flaws.

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  • Paris, Texas

    Paris, Texas

    ★★★★★

    One of the finest examples of guilt and atonement put to celluloid. Harry Dean Stanton wears his shame like a heavy cloak throughout and caps off arguably his best performance in a storied career with an absolutely heartbreaking monologue. Wim Wenders' use of open space is, in a word, humbling.

  • Antichrist

    Antichrist

    ★★★½

    John Waters (bless him) wrote my favorite blurb about this movie:

    "If Ingmar Bergman had committed suicide, gone to hell, and come back to earth to direct an exploitation/art film for drive-ins, Antichrist is the movie he would have made."

    Lars von Trier by his own admission wasn't quite sure all the allegory works in this and I tend to agree, although the throughline of feminine subjugation at the hands of men, well-meaning or not, remains my strongest takeaway. Unpacking the rest is probably above my paygrade. Still a gorgeous film - Anthony Dod Mantle got some great shots in this one.