Favorite films

  • Marcel the Shell with Shoes On
  • After Yang
  • Memoria
  • What Do We See When We Look at the Sky?

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  • Playground

    ★★★★½

  • Shadow in the Cloud

    ★★★½

  • This Is Martin Bonner

    ★★★★½

  • Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris

    ★★★

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  • Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

    Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

    ★★★★★

    [Second viewing... not to mention the second A24 movie I've seen this year to feature Jenny Slate and make prominent mention of an Everything Bagel.]

    I wonder how different this experience would be for me if I had ever heard of Marcel the Shell before. Friends all around me were apparently totally tuned in to the early Marcel successes, and even though I feel like I live online I somehow missed the trending videos until now.

    So, this hits me…

  • Last Days in the Desert

    Last Days in the Desert

    ★★★

    The highest compliment that I can give this film about Jesus is that it is never for a moment predictable. Strangeness is a rare achievement for a Jesus film, and this one is very strange indeed.

    McGregor gives a surprisingly complicated performance as both Christ and the Devil. His Devil in particular is wonderfully unstable — leering and sneering one minute, blinking blankly the next, and sometimes stumbling into moments of profound loneliness.

    But the more we watched this Jesus's…

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  • Playground

    Playground

    ★★★★½

    Once upon a time, this movie would have torn me to pieces and then moved me to tears and gratitude with its conclusion.

    It says something about how the world has changed, and how bullying has become the out-in-the-open strategy for so many people in power, that the movie, as I watch it today, tears me to pieces and then leaves me struggling to decide whether or not I can actually suspend my disbelief enough to accept its final grace…

  • Shadow in the Cloud

    Shadow in the Cloud

    ★★★½

    [Streaming on Hulu and Kanopy, for now.]

    I was tempted to call this a 3-star movie, but then I remembered that I gave Top Gun: Maverick 3 stars, and Moretz's performance is far better than anything in that film.

    Here's my full review at Looking Closer.

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  • Gosford Park

    Gosford Park

    ★★★★★

    16 THINGS ABOUT GOSFORD PARK

    1. Still my favorite Altman film.
    2. Still head and shoulders above the entirety of Downton Abbey.
    3. Still the most virtuosic choreography of a large ensemble cast I've ever seen.
    4. I miss Clive Owen.
    5. That scene with Tom Hollander eating jam in the cellar. That scene.
    6. I believe that when he goes home from work, Richard E. Grant dresses and behaves just like this.
    7. All of the moments with Claudie…

  • The Innocents

    The Innocents

    ★★★★

    Name one movie that is

    a) directed by a woman,
    b) filmed by a woman,
    c) about women, and
    d) deeply concerned with matters of faith.

    I can think of many films directed by men, and focusing on men, that rigorously wrestle with questions about God and the problem of evil. But The Innocents is a remarkably rare event.

    Here's my full review.