DallasFrance

DallasFrance

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My favorites are four of my favorites, not my four favorites. Cause who makes a top four list?

Favorite films

  • The Red Shoes
  • Imitation of Life
  • Fargo
  • Pickup on South Street

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  • The Late Show

    ★★★★½

  • The African Queen

    ★★★★

  • Killing Them Softly

    ★★★★

  • Working Girls

    ★★★★½

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  • The Long Goodbye

    The Long Goodbye

    ★★★★★

    Only Robert Altman can create worlds that feel surreal and off kilter, but also plausible and lived-in. The grumbling bars and opium-fogged brothels in McCabe and Mrs. Miller.  The countryfied propaganda and clueless star-chasers in Nashville. The naive to nasty Pinky and the invisible to invincible Millie in 3 Women.

    In The Long Goodbye, Altman doesn’t remove LA’s beautiful people and glamorous architecture. He filters them all through Philip Marlowe’s gauzy gaze, and the symbols no longer signify what they used…

  • Happy-Go-Lucky

    Happy-Go-Lucky

    ★★★★½

    At the beginning of Naked, Mike Leigh presents David Thewlis’s character as wholly malicious, attacking everyone and everything he sees. At the beginning of Happy-Go-Lucky, Leigh presents Sally Hawkins’s character as relentlessly perky, attacking everyone and everything she sees. Both protagonists  seem impossible to develop into round characters, but Leigh does it. His insight into human nature and his control of tone make his films feel lived in but profound, mundane but magical.


    Mike Leigh Ranked

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  • The African Queen

    The African Queen

    ★★★★

    Bogie and Huston getting tanked, Bogie and Hepburn getting filthy, Bogie and gin getting separated. I prefer Hepburn’s “I’m the captain now” scenes to her “My Caked With Mud Heart Will Go On” ones, and while Bogart is great in this film, he gets even dirtier and crazier in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. This film is still fun and rewatchable, though, despite a slightly goofy ending.

    I’m excited to go through more of Huston’s films in the new Criterion Channel bundle!


    Humphrey Bogart Ranked

    John Huston Ranked

  • Moneyball

    Moneyball

    ★★★★½

    I’ve been a New York Mets fan for so long. With a few exceptions, I’d say it’s akin to logging Manchester By the Sea daily for the past few decades. With tightwad owners more likely to be connected to the Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme than a World Series run, they’ve often been a big market team acting like a small market one. 

    I currently live in the Bay Area, and through the years, the Oakland A’s have been almost the…

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  • Arrival

    Arrival

    ★★★★

    This is basically what this semester has been like trying to teach high school English via distance learning.

  • Nomadland

    Nomadland

    ★★★★★

    Chloe Zhao has got it. I am loving this crop of directors that are putting one, maybe two professional actors in their films, then filling out the cast with non-actors that can’t help but be authentic and real. Sean Baker’s Tangerine and Florida Project, Andrea Arnold’s American Honey, Eliza Hittman’s Beach Rats and Never Rarely Sometimes Always, and Chloe Zhao’s The Rider and now Nomadland.

    You find actors like Willem Dafoe (Bobby in Florida Project) and Frances McDormand (Fern in Nomadland) that are incredibly talented, but…