January 2018 Viewing Log

  1. Dawson City: Frozen Time (17, A-): Y’know how It’s a Wonderful Life is about the historical power of one person? – ½/18
    1. Imagine that over a city, an industry, and the people living in it. An essay rippling with emotion. The path to immortality is so precarious.
  2. Lucky (17, C): Epitaph for Stanton the most substance it has. Has its moments, but sorely lacking in ambition or individuality. – 1/3/18
  3. Menashe (17, B+): Pairs well with After the Storm in parsing a man’s self-perceptions and communal standings. Handsomely shot. – 1/3/18
  4. Lady Bird (17, B+): No tweet, but I saw it with my family and it was the loveliest thing in the world. Talking about it after was even better. – 1/3/18
  5. I, Tonya (17, B+): Tilt-a-whirl of tones and POVs not always stable but endlessly risky. And when it works, it fuckin’ works. – 1/5/18
    1. Smart perspectives on personal and tabloid “truth”. Keeps track of individual culpability amidst the deck(s?) stacked against you.
    2. The best coincidence in the world was watching I, Tonyathe weekend of all these skating trials for the Winter Olympics.
  6. Casablanca (41, A+): The roses are thornier than I expected. Moral, romantic, political landscapes deeply intwined, beautifully layered. – 1/8/18
  7. Confessions of a Nazi Spy (38, C): Historical value supersedes artistic merits, but it’s a fascinating object. Can we get a remake? – 1/9/18
  8. Three Billboards (17, C-): Fine, write characters you hate. Hire and direct actors who hate them too. Be lazy about it. Spout politics years behind on police discourse. Have a childish notion of hate and racism. And win awards for it too, why don’t you? Fucker. – 1/9/18
  9. The Post (17, B+/A-): Fine, I walked in with the film’s politics, but fuck was that tense and galvanizing. Ace direction. Kay! – 1/11/18
  10. Nashville (75, A+): How can a film this massive have such a full view of everything and everyone it looks at, and shoot it so casually? – 1/12/18
    1. I forgot Haven Hamilton straight up performed a song about a man telling his mistress they can’t run away together cuz of his kids. Absolutely wild.
  11. The Force (17, B): Fuller examination of police POV than I’m used to seeing, if less personalized than Whose Streets?. Nice sound. – 1/14/18
    1. There’s one fantastic scene in the middle of trainees debating if a police shooting was justified. Never reaches that level of complex dynamics again
  12. Valerian & 1000 Planets (17, C-): Visual concepts impress, can’t overcome astonishing flat leads, plot, “romance”. – 1/14/18
    1. Dane Dehaan’s voice is way too deep and masc for how skinny and gaunt he is
    2. A smart film would have DeHaan mingling in the crowd as a prostitute
    3. Hollywood is so afraid of black characters/actors in major roles they’ll kill off an amorphous blob with barely any explanation
    4. @tsodeman13 on the romance in Valerian: “That’s straight nonsense”
  13. Paddington (15, B): Quick as a whip and completely, repeatedly hysterical. Quality stylization. Lovely cast (Kidman!) – 1/15/18
  14. By the Time it Gets Dark (17, B-): Formal, generic storytelling conventions singular & unexpected. As a whole, not much I’m jazzed about. – 1/16/18
  15. Call Me By Your Name (B+/A-): Imperceptibly shifts from good to great, nimbly realized and so vibrantly, powerfully felt. A miracle. 1/18/18
    1. And yes, @tsodeman13 and I did immediately single out Michael Stuhlbarg as soon as we walked out of the theater. Everyone and everything in that film was incredible. Beautiful in every way.
  16. The Exorcist (73, A-): Age reveals technical seams, yes, but also proves what a scary, sturdy, thematically dense film this is. – 1/19/18
  17. Bataan (42, B): Refusal of spectacle in battle, death sequences has visceral impact. Characters never materialize, dialogue weak. Unusual mood. – 1/20/18
  18. Phantom Thread (17, B+): Not all of it’s new, not all of it’s flexible, but the final synthesis is really something to behold. – 1/21/18
  19. The Meyerowitz Stories (17, B+): Squid and the Whale all grown up, with interwoven strands of familial resentment. Cast, writing a huge boon. – 1/22/18
    1. Adam Driver’s pouty, emotive musician is already my favorite cameo of Meyerowitz Stories. What a lovely ensemble this is
  20. Gloria (14, B+): Could’ve also been called Good Time. Bewitching look at rocky courtship, with stellar leads. Leaves a refreshing aftertaste. –  1/23/18
  21. Félicité (17, A-): Deeply specifies its story and region, complicates a winding narrative with characters who refuse easy readings. – 1/23/18
  22. The Selfish Giant (13, A): Synthesis of formal intimacy, specificity of environment, shaping of character, yields a fucking masterpiece. – 1/26/18
  23. The Post (17, B+/A-): Even sharper and more graceful on second viewing. Amazing that this film in this year only limped to two nominations. –  1/27/18
  24. Paddington 2 (18, B): The boyfriend and I cried a little at the end. Warm, absurd, hilarious, stretching in new ways. Lovely and lovable. – 1/27/18
    1. @tsodeman13: “Why didn’t you give that an A. You said you loved Paddington and didn’t give it an A? What kind of bourgeoise bullshit is that”
  25. Evangelion 1.11 (07): No tweet, but lord was that an experience. 1/27/18
  26. Happy Death Day (17, B): Roethe’s a star in the making. Would that more genres flex so much inventiveness by Groundhog Daying it. 1/31/18

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