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  • The Big Heat

    The Big Heat

    ★★★½

    well-paced and a fun, gritty plot, but you don’t really feel the weight of any of these horrid events, and Glenn Ford is, uh, not exactly the world’s most convincing leading man. Lang’s direction is solid, though, and many of the supporting performances (Brando, MARVIN — MY GOD) are really enjoyable.

  • The Magnificent Ambersons

    The Magnificent Ambersons

    ★★★★

    can’t quite overcome the circumstances of its making. the plotting is also just not super spectacular, and the lead (Tim Holt) is easily the weakest of the main actors (I wanted more Cotten and Moorehead, natch), but Welles’ direction shines through more often than not. the ballroom scene is, as practically everyone says, one of the great sequences of mid-20th century cinema — I feel silly using the word “magical” to describe it, but there’s no better way.

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  • Support the Girls

    Support the Girls

    ★★★★

    this low-budget slice-of-life shit is basically reagancore at this point but my god I was about to start spontaneously weeping in the final scene — SEE THIS ONE, KIDS

  • Booksmart

    Booksmart

    ★★★★

    SXSW #4

    an incredibly impressive first feature from Wilde. the first ten minutes come off real formulaic, but things quickly get a lot funnier and a lot more insightful, and by the time you realize this is one of those trippy, episodic “all in one wild night” movies (see: After Hours, Dazed and Confused) you’ll be all-in. both leading performances are insanely charismatic and instantly likable, the comedy hardly ever falls flat, and the pacing is honestly just tremendous. I…