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  • La Chienne

    La Chienne

    ★★★★½

    It’s a testament to Renoir’s evocative power that almost his entire art seems to be present here in miniature, despite the fact that the moneyed classes—his favorite sport—remain largely out of view in this tragicomedy of quiet desperation. The pacing reminded me, oddly, of Flowers of Shanghai, the story unfolding and building through a series of discrete, unhurried scenes in which interactions between different combinations of characters gradually expand our understanding of their circumstances. One character’s assumption is revealed to…

  • The Hole

    The Hole

    ★★★★½

    Decaying buildings, toxic water, clouds of poison, ailing machinery, litter everywhere—plague. Tsai welcomed the 21st century with a bitter hymn to the accumulated rot of the 20th. Everything spoken in Red Desert is merely observed and felt here. The Hole is what we're left with.

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  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

    Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

    A truly fitting conclusion to the 2010s.

  • Chimes at Midnight

    Chimes at Midnight

    ★★★★★

    The great irritation of Chimes at Midnight is that it inevitably leads commentators to observe that Welles “created a new Shakespeare play” by centering (per Criterion) on the “comic supporting figure” of Sir John Falstaff. Falstaff, who speaks the most lines in both parts of Henry IV, is as much a supporting figure in his plays as Iago is in Othello, exerting a field of gravity so great that it warps the fabric of the history genre around him. Although…