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  • Everybody's Woman

    Everybody's Woman

    ★★★½

    Isa Miranda is the titular woman, and she casts a spell on seemingly everyone she meets, although it's mostly men. The film opens with her attempting suicide, and as she's put under anesthesia, we flash back in time. Most of the film occurs during this flashback. We see several moments from her life, beginning with her school teacher falling in love with her and killing himself because he can't live without her. There are dramatic moments like this throughout, with…

  • Youth Without Youth

    Youth Without Youth

    ★★★★

    I knew I was in for something different after the early lightning strike. The film has a dreamlike quality to it, which is why one of the main criticisms I've seen (that the plot is confusing) doesn't make sense to me. And even then, I don't think it's particularly confusing. Sure there's a lot going on, with people aging forward and backwards, Nazis, spies, strange languages, Roth's double, etc., and it might not be clear as to why everything is happening, but that's not a bad thing. Coppola is dealing with themes in an interesting way, and it's filmed beautifully. There's really nothing else like it.

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  • Phantom Thread

    Phantom Thread

    ★★★★★

    It took until 2018, but 2017 has its first 5-star film for me. Anderson (serving as director and DP) is so precise with his compositions and camera movements, and has cemented himself as one of the best directors of actors out there (Sandler in PDL, DDL in TWBB, Phoenix/Hoffman in The Master, and the list goes on). I like Paul Dano in There Will Be Blood, but he was barely able to hold his own against Daniel Day-Lewis (which I'm…

  • Martyrs

    Martyrs

    ★★★★★

    This is not torture porn. Yes, it's extremely violent and disturbing, but the torture is not exciting and revolting like the Saw sequels or Hostel. It's horrific and depressing. The acting is top notch, and Alaoui is reminiscent of Maria Falconetti in The Passion of Joan of Arc at times. This is an incredibly powerful, disturbing, terrifying, and well-made film, and, if you can stomach it, absolutely worth the watch. It is truly a modern horror masterpiece. Just don't expect to feel good for several days while it's still in your mind.