Favorite films

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  • Two Days, One Night

  • Under the Skin

  • The Imitation Game

  • Hard to Be a God

Recent reviews

  • Two Days, One Night

    Two Days, One Night

    It’s rare that the weakest of female characters makes such a strong on-screen presence as Marion Cotillard’s Sandra in the Dardennes’ latest film. Earlier this year, in James Gray’s The Immigrant, Cotillard performed as another beaten-down woman seeking a sense of purpose. Neither film necessarily offers an uplifting story about women, but there’s a certain perceived assertiveness to the actress’ embodiment of those characters. In this unsentimental tale of solidarity and self-worth, the lead star glibly switches between desperation and…

  • Under the Skin

    Under the Skin

    A film that at once invokes and inverts tropes of the predatory nature of female sexuality, Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin is as remarkable for what it gestures toward as for what it shows. Implicated by the film is the patriarchal structure under which Scarlett Johansson’s Laura works; the character’s sexuality is instrumentalized and commodified by a system that the viewer sees only hints of in the film’s mysteriously indefatigable motorcycle-riding men. Rather than functioning as some autonomous predator, devouring…

Popular reviews

  • Angel Dust

    Angel Dust

    A latchkey kid with two secondhand VCRs and an RF cable, I spent most of my preteens running a one-man video piracy operation. I became an omnivorous videohound, scoffing at FBI anti-piracy warnings and shaking my tiny fists at Macrovision. With virtually no oversight from my parents (who either didn’t know or care), I regularly scoured the shelves of my local Mom & Pop video rental place for all manner of video oddities — usually horror films — and soon amassed…

  • Blue Is the Warmest Color

    Blue Is the Warmest Color

    In spite of the film’s slightly clunky transitions or awkward class-commentary, Kechiche is consistent about his literal, primitive approach; close-ups mean intimacy and an exchange of looks means desiring. Whatever the director’s flaws, co-leads Exarchopoulos and Seydoux succeed in channelling the kind of love he wanted to depict: absolute and cosmic.

    Read Christine Jin's full review at The Missing Slate.