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Nick has written 128 reviews for films rated ★★★★½ .

  • Brigadoon

    Brigadoon

    ★★★★½

    Peak sincerity cinema. Not the most outwardly impressive choreography of the era, but the most expressive, most balletic, most emotional. Believes in pain and love, and no one could meld complex choreography with complex and dynamic camera movement and composition like Minnelli. The shot of Cyd Charise and Gene Kelly meeting may be the most beautiful and richest shot in all of American Cinema.

    It may make me a more emotionally healthy and gracious person if I watch it every so often.

  • We Own the Night

    We Own the Night

    ★★★★½

    This was my first Gray and I was meh on it back then. Thought it just a Hawks "three good scenes and no bad ones" movie. What a rube.

    Great male feelings movie with a great Brando performance from Joaquin Phoenix and truly unique rhythms (that opening!). A man rocked by trauma trading one brand of alienation for another. Great brother dynamic (Wahlberg's reactions sell it just as much as Phoenix's bursts), and Duvall nearly steals it.

  • Election 2

    Election 2

    ★★★★½

    Maybe To's best film.

  • Election

    Election

    ★★★★½

    More and more convinced of its perfection with each watch. That camera move/reframing during the "election" gets me every time.

  • Canyon Passage

    Canyon Passage

    ★★★★½

    This shit's a grown-up movie

  • Moonstruck

    Moonstruck

    ★★★★½

    The power of the full moon.

    It's a wonder to watch Jewison play this manic script completely straight, never tilting his style too far in sync with the odd keys of these performances. Very old-school, but only someone relatively close to the Golden Age could've facilitated Nicolas Cage being this hot.

  • Water Lilies

    Water Lilies

    ★★★★½

    The return of Pialat, except it kinda turns out okay. You can sense the scar this will be on all these childrens' lives.

  • Support the Girls

    Support the Girls

    ★★★★½

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

    "No He didn't..."

  • Angel

    Angel

    ★★★★½

    A simple scenario bursting at the seams (I can't hope to give a satisfactory blurb). The way everyone was talking both about and around their issues struck me as incredibly modern (almost like Rohmer? Tho maybe I'm off base), and the brush with contemporary geopolitics adds to the nervy edge of the drama.

    Two prime Lubitsch touches: the secret lovers not eating their meat, but in different ways; the climactic telephone push-in.

  • Cold Water

    Cold Water

    ★★★★½

    Expected an ultimately nostalgic trip of sad teenagers dancing and/or getting in trouble in between parents fighting filled with wall-to-wall 70s rock. I got something much sadder, much more stark, with the malaise of post-68 France hanging in the air and those too young to have participated pining for something more.

    Surprised by a couple things:

    1) Though the parental figures definitely put the kids down, none of them are out-and-out monsters or completely intolerant. This most applies for Gilles'…

  • First Reformed

    First Reformed

    ★★★★½

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

    I don't have much to add here, so I'm gonna gush a bit superficially for a bit.

    Seeing a film this quiet, this honestly engaged with the world, this explicit about using film as a communicative artform at a mall theater (decently projected!) was the kind of special experience that gave me hope for the cinema. I wasn't even sure if I liked the movie or found it annoying for a while, but as it shapeshifted and sidewinded I became…

  • Beau Travail

    Beau Travail

    ★★★★½

    Many more intelligent people have said much more intelligent things than I ever could about this movie. I'll leave it at this. This view was after waking up way too early on a Sunday. The experience, and the headspace that followed, was somewhere between dreaming and having lost my mind.