BeBraveMorvern

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  • The Boys in the Band

    The Boys in the Band

    ★★★★

    An essential queer film, if not a perfect one, this retains much of its power 50 years later. It starts out cautiously festive and grows steadily more bitter as the jungle-red claws come out. 

    I haven’t seen this since sometime last century, and it actually hasn’t dated as poorly as I’d feared. It has a self-awareness that the binge drinking, internalized homophobia, and racism were problems back then, and they’re explicitly commented on, not merely depicted. 

    Freidkin does a great…

  • The Secret of Kells

    The Secret of Kells

    ★★★★½

    Clean geometry and intricate patterns, architectural lines and organic textures, the cute and the eerie — all visual contrasts just perfect for an epic tale told with remarkable concision. 

    The narrative is a by-the-books Hero’s Journey, but as my eyes were darting all over the screen to keep up with the breathtaking details, it felt anything but predictable. Moore and his co-director, Nora Twomey, do amazing things with silhouettes and split screens, with abstractions of nature, the rune-shaped snowflakes and the swirl-printed flames. 

    On top of all the gorgeousness, there’s a wily white cat with heterochromia. So there’s much to love here!

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  • Vivarium

    Vivarium

    ★★★

    Chilling almost to the point of hostility, this cutting horror film seems all the stranger for being set in a sunshine-perfect subdivision apparently devised by MC Escher’s evil twin. 

    The second act is consumed by a horrid little monster in the form of a child. His too-tidy grooming, his stiff posture, and the ill-suited voices dubbed over his own all place him in the uncanny valley. He makes for an aggressively difficult watch, so job well done, I suppose. 

    Eisenberg…

  • The Surrogate

    The Surrogate

    ★★★★½

    Jasmine Batchelor reminded me of Sally Hawkins in Happy-Go-Lucky through much of this movie. Her Jess remains breezily optimistic through circumstances that have those around her folding into themselves, and the movie functions partly as a morality tale, at least for me, as I found myself wanting to approach life more like she does. As her options narrow, her fierce fighting side emerges; so do some insecurities. It’s a tremendous feature debut. 

    The movie around her is layered with complicated…