Category Archives: Movies

Review: Casting By

As everyone knows, movies are a collaborative art form, and while critics tend to judge their quality based on reductionist criteria concerning direction, writing, and acting, more often than not our opinions are shaped by more prosaic choices. As Martin … Continue reading

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Review: A Hero

It’s interesting that Asghar Farhadi’s movies are appreciated by so many people from so many different countries since they address legal and cultural matters so specific to Iran. In fact, I’ve often had problems navigating his plots because I’ve missed … Continue reading

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Reviews: Annette and Titane

If Cannes is, as its organizers claim, the greatest film festival in the world, it’s probably because the French film industry dutifully treats it as such. In fact, it’s impossible to distinguish the French film industry from the Cannes sensibility—just … Continue reading

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Review: Nightmare Alley

The Hollywood melodramas of the late 40s and early 50s had a discomfiting story-telling quality that seems exclusive to that particular era, meaning right after a war that many deemed “good” but which nevertheless haunted those who had seen it … Continue reading

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Review: Belfast

Kenneth Branagh’s semi-autobiographical feature isn’t the first movie to depict an historical tragedy through the filter of heartwarming nostalgia, but it definitely feels as if it sets out to be the standard for such depictions. Branagh’s avatar is Buddy (Jude … Continue reading

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Review: Sing 2

Talking animals have always been a staple—if not the default subjects—of cartoons, their appeal reduced to a confluence of familiar species behaviors and anthropomorphic acting out. This particular credo became even more pronounced as CGI made those behaviors more lifelike, … Continue reading

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Review: Stray

What is it about Istanbul and stray animals? In 2016 we had the documentary Kedi, which celebrated the famous stray cats of the city. Now, we have director Elizabeth Lo, who grew up in Hong Kong and studied film in … Continue reading

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Review: Apples

Greek directors have in recent years coopted that species of European ennui that used to be associated with Scandinavia, but filtered through a more mordant sensibility. There’s a fatalism inherent in the work of the most celebrated of these filmmakers, … Continue reading

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Review: Where Is Anne Frank

Moviegoers who approach this animated feature about the famous teenage memoirist because it was written and directed by Ari Folman should be warned that it is very different in tone and substance from his most famous movie, Waltz With Bashir … Continue reading

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Review: Possessor

Brandon Cronenberg’s sci-fi thriller will be, as one critic whose name escapes me at the moment once said of another film, “strong meat” for a lot of people. Extremely violent and cynical about our present capitalist situation, the movie posits … Continue reading

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