James Wilson

James Wilson Patron

Favorite films

  • Vertigo
  • McCabe & Mrs. Miller
  • Zodiac
  • Twin Peaks: The Return

Recent activity

  • Maestro


  • The Boy and the Heron


  • May December


  • Priscilla


Recent reviews

  • The French Connection

    The French Connection


    The first time I saw this, I found it to be a solid procedural with some splashy sequences and a last-minute swing-and-miss for profundity. On second viewing, I was just as superficially entertained while being even more impressed by the atmosphere and technique: Friedkin's on-location shooting conjures a grimy, dour vision of early '70s New York that squares with reality, and yet his relentless pacing is still obsequious to the yarn above all else. This, I think, is the film's…

  • A Woman Is a Woman

    A Woman Is a Woman


    Too overtly conceptual to be a great time at the movies, but simultaneously too vivacious to feel like a screed. I'm mostly indifferent to Godard's metatextual critique of/homage to the Hollywood romcom, but I concede that he does manage to draw out some franker truths about romance in the modern age by more overtly sexualizing (and Frenchifying) the proceedings. And though Godard the philosopher may be aggressively pretentious, he's still a hell of a filmmaker. I would gladly watch this movie a few more times simply to soak in its saturated colors and formal panache.

Popular reviews

  • Raging Bull

    Raging Bull


    Martin Scorsese detests boxing. He's said so himself, but the level of his revulsion becomes clearer to me on each rewatch of Raging Bull. The film's stature as an American classic has cloaked it with an air of respectability, and its classical, romantic photography and score have undoubtedly contributed to the mythos. Yet it's the disconnect between all that gorgeousness and the rampant brutality with which Jake LaMotta approaches any and all conflicts in his life that reveals Scorsese's m.o.…

  • State and Main

    State and Main


    Not just Mamet's most underrated film, but arguably his best. Its sole flaw, other than being visually blah, is that it's very aware of its own cleverness, which has the unfortunate effect of making the few flailing jokes and obvious digs at Hollywood all the more clunky. Barring that, though, this is just an onslaught of precisely calibrated repartee, delivered by a peerless A-list ensemble. Every actor here is afforded at least one sublime moment for their career clip reel,…