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  • High Life

    High Life

    ★★★★

    The damn swagger Juliette Binoche brings to the line "You're just a bunch of common criminals, petty thugs. My crime was the only one worthy of the name."

    Could’ve woken the dude lightly snoring in HIGH LIFE, but I was oddly fond of that atmosphere. It’s a very sleepy, dreamy glide towards oblivion. Melancholic & mournful in mostly the nastiest ways. I think of Gloria Obianyo's final moment, a statement of disgust that feels like a testament to her own flawed…

  • Moonlight

    Moonlight

    ★★★★½

    Sometimes you need to hear someone's language telling a different story to understand their language in the first. 'Beale Street' substantially opened up my view on Jenkins; there's a busy sophistication there that makes the smooth simplicity here all the more alluring & impactful.

  • Us

    Us

    ★★★★½

    Jordan Peele channels M. Night Shyamalan in the best ways - comically lame domesticity, bold, blunt symbolism and obvious twists that don't dilute the primal fury & yearning underpinning them. Carries a massive underground of pain that I'll spend a lot of time unpacking.

    Lupita Nyong’o is such a vicious, wrenching presence here! Her doppelgänger feels like someone broken in voice, but not in spirit, from years of begging on the street. Given the central visual motif, I feel certain Peele had this in mind. The final showdown is such a masterful feat of motion and editing. Peele's a legit master, delivering something disturbing, hilarious and heartbreaking.

  • Girl

    Girl

    ***SPOILERS BELOW*** -- I know there's a tab for that, but given I wanna caution against seeing this, it's maybe better to be spoiled
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    "Do you want to cut your dick off?"

    I don't remember when my dad asked me that, but I know for a fact he once did. For him, that's what me being trans most immediately meant. He didn't ask about the positive effects of transition on…

  • Toy Story 3

    Toy Story 3

    ★★★½

    You, boring: There shouldn't be a 'Toy Story 4'. They ended the trilogy perfectly.
    Me, probably also boring: I don't see how they can do a 'Toy Story 4'. They've already gone through the last stage of life, from disuse to abuse, disposal, decay, obliteration and afterlife. They're all dead.

  • Greta

    Greta

    ★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Maybe my favorite scene is the last, when Frances asks "what happens now?" - in a way that suggests her trauma's long-lasting impact - and Maika Monroe runs us through the basic logistics of calling the police & explaining the situation. It actually makes it feel like Frances is re-entering the world, but with emotional damage that'll take years for her to process. It's not just her & Erica walking out the door towards a bright future, like many average horror. It's them preparing themselves for the aftermath of this nightmare.

  • Captain Marvel

    Captain Marvel

    ★★★

    The cis-het definition of punk feminism. I had fun & their were some exhilarating visual & editing choices that signal Boden & Fleck's stylistic touch, but the line "you had me fighting with one hand tied behind my back" couldn't feel more self-referential.

  • Juno

    Juno

    ★★★★½

    Tired: the dialogue is so dated
    Wired: it was dated upon release & only now is the film old enough to realize that all teens cultivate their own bizarre, mediocre language to sift through the circuitous tiresomeness of this world in a way that feels unique to them.

    Sincerely holds up better than 'No Country' or 'There Will Be Blood', imho. Probably because it doesn't feel so methodically synthesized that it neuters its own emotional life. It's also a relief to…

  • Lost in Translation

    Lost in Translation

    ★★★★½

    That moment where Charlotte bunches her hair up behind her head to imagine herself with a pixie cut? I feel that.

    'Lost in Translation' could be any massive city. It could be New York, which isn't far from Tokyo in terms of its overwhelming sensory stimuli & detached social signals. What matters is that Charlotte is sitting above a city she can barely bring herself to adventure out to. If she's to feel a confounding nothing out there or a familiar…

  • The Hours

    The Hours

    ★★★★½

    "You hungry? I'm a little hungry myself."

    Negotiations between life & death, as they should be. Love to see a film with respect for someone's right to decide; to go on living, to start living, or to stop. Not at all what you expect from the guy who gave us 'Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close'. The music is insistent & the emotions are vividly dramatic, but there's an element of quiet & furtive curiosity to it. Helps that it's hardcore serving all the lesbian feels.

  • Maya

    Maya

    ★★

    More like Mia Hansen-Didn't-Care-Før-It, amirite?

    If you rolled your eyes at that, the film's not much better. Hansen-Løve's measured, light-kissed style can't inflect passion into so many stiff, stale half-formed ideas. She dodges addressing so many points of racial, class & age conflict that it feels like she's avoiding storytelling at every turn. That extends to the characters, who all feel empty & without distinct identity. Admittedly a whole lot of Hansen-Løve's work is about people avoiding major life or emotional shifts, but here that resistance comes through on her end as well. The eye is there; the heart is very misplaced.

  • Change Your Mind

    Change Your Mind

    ★★★★½

    Rebecca Sugar capped the main arc of her series to date with a profoundly cathartic work of trans-cinema, and I'll forever cherish her & 'Steven Universe' for that. So many layers of personal & inherited trauma are worked through in direct, confrontational ways, dismantling the obsessive ideologies at their core motivation, one by one. It's not easy, and each heirarchal figure of abuse needs to see the unjustifiable consequences of their violence in order to let that go.

    As long as they…