• Gold Diggers of 1933

    Gold Diggers of 1933

    ★★★★½

    Are Dick Powell & Ruby Keeler the weakest pair to have a run as fantastic as 42nd Street, Gold Diggers of 1933, and Footlight Parade? In a single year?!

  • Menus Plaisirs – Les Troisgros

    Menus Plaisirs – Les Troisgros

    ★★★★

    It should be no surprise that one of our greatest living documentarians is also perhaps our greatest living editor. A stunning first two hours gives loses a bit when we head to the son's restaurant, then returns strong with the cheese tour. How many different people did I think of at various moments, wanting them to watch a scene with me?

  • Sabotage

    Sabotage

    ★★★★

    First act is a marvel of condensed visual storytelling. Image after image conveying both story and meaning. I should go find what the Russian formalists said about it.

    Hitchcock's politics are on full display: terror isn't out there, it's in the home; psychologizing in the third act, but it fails; no real concern with the why of organized terror, only in the response.

  • Fancy Pants

    Fancy Pants

    ★★★

    Not much to recommend it, either as a Bob Hope vehicle or a comedy (watch Ruggles of Red Gap instead), but I was charmed by the big brouhaha that ended the film. The rare time where going big in the third act pays off.

  • Michael Clayton

    Michael Clayton

    ★★★★½

    Clooney, Wilkinson, and Swinton were all Oscar-nominated for their roles (Swinton won), but Merritt Weaver, in her few minutes of screen time, gives the best performance. Watch her eyes during the deposition scene. Later, when she whispers "800 dollars," it's the greatest moment in this film full of great ones.

    At some point, we should discuss how "Milwaukee" is used as a stand-in for rural farm country. (The metro area is 1.5 million people, not cows.) Let’s get out of Milwaukee and we’ll talk about it.

  • Edward II

    Edward II

    ★★★★½

    Now *that's* how you adapt a play.

  • Three Thousand Years of Longing

    Three Thousand Years of Longing

    ★★★½

    While watching, I was struck by how odd the film is in its storytelling structure. Not, of course, because the structure is so unusual, but it is extremely unusual for an Australian/UK/US film with studio financing. Then, in the third act twist, this oddness becomes explicit in a way that is perhaps too obvious or clumsy but which nevertheless heightens its interest. I'll have to think more about this one.

  • Moana

    Moana

    ★★★

    Sometimes it feels like the best of 90s Disney, sometimes it feels like it's chasing DreamWorks.

  • Tenet

    Tenet

    ★★★★

    One of the great myths about Christopher Nolan is that he is an especially smart director, so that you need to be especially smart to understand and therefore appreciate his films. He doesn't make puzzle films. He makes James Bond films that exist for the pleasure of the explosion, only he's realized that by withholding information he can make them seem more complicated than they are. The two key lines in the movie are the scientist's "Don’t try to understand…

  • The Voyeurs

    The Voyeurs

    ★★★½

    A funny movie about why you should avoid beautiful people.

  • Jawan

    Jawan

    ★★★★

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

    [extended cut]

    I've watched a double-digit number of SRK films, and in at least a third of those he plays dual roles, so I should have seen the father-son twist coming. That's on me. In my defense, he's had some work done and they're using a filter, and I thought the film was trying not to comment on that in the time leaps. But explaining it with a reference to Mufasa-Simba? That's art. Dueling silver fox VJS and SRK? That's why movies were created.

  • A Day in the Country

    A Day in the Country

    ★★★½

    Whenever I watch Renoir, I find it difficult to concentrate over all the voices chattering in my head telling me I should be appreciating it more than I am.