November 2018 Viewing Log

And hey! There’s a real review here too.

  1. Suspiria (18, C+): I had an impressed but chilled response to Suspiria that I’m just gonna hold onto until I see it again. Had too many turn-around with contemporary horror to trust my initial thoughts, even if I felt less challenged by this than several others. 11/1/18
    1. I do think I can safely say it’s pretty incredibly made in several respects. Jessica Harper has a small scene that warms up the whole film beautifully. Visceral impact of the kills scenes makes the lack of tension in other parts of the film more obvious
    2. If we’re just gonna have to deal with remake after remake of beloved cult classics, I’d be fascinated to see Guadagnino’s take on The Fly, long as it was a queer relationship. This could be the CMBYN sequel we truly need
    3. And much as I love that Tilda‘s been willing to collaborate with very idiosyncratic directors to fulfill crazy crazy tasks, I need to see her play one recognizably human character per film again. Suspiria is sort of past ridiculous with this, and I don’t get why it was necessary
    4. Oh hey. Guess I gave a hot take on Suspiria anyways
    5. I get why Suzie’s supposed to be a big deal and all but that’s just what Ohioans are like
  2. Far From Heaven (02, A-/A): Sirkian pastiche infused with New Queer Cinema themes and aesthetics. Emotionally tremendous and intellectually rich. 11/4/18
    1. This, Michael Clayton, Fargo, and No County for Old Men were some of my earliest Oscar viewings. Holds up beautifully, and I’m so happy I’ve grown enough to see more layers in the film, like the ironies in Quaid’s performance, or the reasons behind its look beyond being pretty
    2. Moore is an absolute revelation, better than I remembered and just as marvelously in sync with Haynes as she’s ever been. What’s better is that every technical artist is operating on her insanely high level, as are her cast mates
    3. Far From Heaven (02, A-/A): One woman watches, with astonishing depth and stillness, and with no hope for escape while others around her find refuge, as her life utterly collapses.
  3. First Man (18, B+/A-): Equally attuned to what’s modest and unsentimental about Armstrong and the grandiosity of his mission. Incredibly crafted. 11/7/18
  4. The Babadook (14, B+): Radiates a profound, dangerous exhaustion from the outset, growing nervier as it goes. Gutsy execution all around. 11/7/18
  5. I Feel Pretty (18, B-): Makes some weird steps but sweet romance, good jokes, skilled cast all keep it moving. Could be a good musical? 11/8/18
  6. Do the Right Thing (89, A): Boldly, bluntly asks us what that is, without pretending to offer an answer, or suggest it might be simple. 11/8/18
  7. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (18, B+/A-): Two middle-aged queers defrauding literary art collectors out of thousands of dollars easily one of the year’s best crowd pleasers. Funny, bitter, marvelously acted and assembled. 11/9/18
    1. If we lived in a better world this would be an easy Costume Design nominee. And I’d loooove if Heller could sneak in somehow. Grant my favorite of an endlessly talented troupe
    2. Can You Ever Forgive Me? is Wolf of Wall Street but for the gays
  8. The Blair Witch Project (99, A-/A): Yikes! Remarkable with so many story and aesthetic risks that other films falter with. Practically defines the uncanny, as its doomed characters are broken down by a powerful, abstract presence. 11/12/18
  9. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (18, B-/B): The goodness of Fred Rogers is a wonderfully soothing thing. Wish the film offered much more than that. 11/13/18
  10. Candyman (92, B-): Lots of interesting ideas, not handled to their fullest potential. Phenomenally scored. Actors not an asset. 11/15/18
  11. Straight Outta Compton (15, B-): You see what’s streamlined and oddly structured about it, but lead performances, music scenes, sense of place in the culture all resonate powerfully. 11/15/18
  12. Let the Corpses Tan (18, B): Totally engaging as visual and sonic pastiche. Would I have stronger feelings if I knew the era it was aping better? 11/15/18
  13. Widows (18, B): Totally compels as heist drama, political study, craft showcase, and character study, even if it has real drawbacks in all areas. 11/18/18
  14. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (18, B+/A-): THIS is how you do a heist, THIS is how you represent The Gays, and THIS is how you make a smart, funny, heartfelt movie about a hilarious and unrepentant criminal without being as unbearable as they are. 11/18/18  (review)
  15. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (18, B+): Why was I so doubtful? Sharp stories vary impressively with tone, united in theme. All Gold Canyon the MVP. 11/19/18
  16. Let the Sun Shine In (18, B): A sad, romantic story whose creators have given it fond, expressive life. Lightweight, in good and bad ways. 11/19/18
    1. Been distracted for twenty minutes now imagining Melanie Lynskey in The Gal Who Got Rattled
  17. The Hate U Give (18, B+): Amazingly pares anti-racist politics for all audiences. Message, commitment never waver even when the story gets sidetracked. 11/21/18
  18. Hi, The Princess Switch is cute as fuck. 11/22/18
  19. We’re watching The Princess Diaries and Paolo just showed up. That bastard Larry Miller played a serial wife murdered on Law & Order so now I’m just scared
    1. This makeover scene looks so painful, all I can think about is poor Judy listening to those men judging her face and how they’ll make her up in A Star is Born
    2. Okay I know the makeup scene was Problematic but shut up Lily she can have a makeover god damn
    3. A Princess Diaries remake that’s also a sequel to Eighth Grade
  20. Golden Exits (18, C-): Actors show promise, Williams keeps it visually engaging, but I rarely believed these people or their neuroses mattered. 11/26/18
  21. Shirkers (18, B+): Excitingly stylized, deeply personal and candid document that still accommodates outside POVs and critiques. 11/26/18
  22. Green Book (18, Whatever): Has absolutely nothing of value to say and doesn’t even say it interestingly. How this is a contender is beyond me. 11/28/18
    1. Takes its tonal and thematic cues from Ali’s uncomfortabl-looking stiffness with Mortensen’s slurred speech. Completely without a point of view on its events
  23. Nancy (18, C+/B-): First 20 minutes expendable. Next hour unexpectedly affecting, especially from Smith-Cameron and Buscemi. 11/29/18
    1. Spent a lot of Nancy imagining what it would’ve been like with Melanie Lynskey in the lead role

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