May 2019 Viewing Log

The Last Seduction (94, A-): Nasty, sexy noir stays slick even as its morals and manipulations build layers. Fiorentino’s perfection. 6/1/19 Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (94, B-): Energetically grooves to its own beat. Dated and uneven in different ways, some more fun than others. 6/5/19 Never liked the dancing in the drag performances. Costumes…

April 2019 Viewing Log

I Am Legend (07, B-): Neville/Sam stuff more interesting than I expected. Anna stuff less so. Not the book, which is mostly fine. 4/2/19 Gloria Bell (19, B/B+): A close remake with its own, unique textures. A total blast with sad edges. A lovely Julianne Moore carrying it to glori(a). 4/2/19 Melancholia (11, A-): Conjures…

March 2019 Viewing Log

Speed (94, A-): Fun as fuck, fantastically made, with charisma to burn and action movie smarts. Perfect payoffs. 3/2/19 Sandra Bullock in Speed > most of last year’s Oscar nominees Border (18, B+): Poignant, utterly weird designs on isolation and community, performed with total and heartfelt commitment. Fuck everyone who didn’t vote for Border in…

February 2019 Viewing Log

They Shall Not Grow Old (18, C-): Greatly admirable intention. Frequently moving but emotionally limited. Editing, colorized restoration, POV inconsistent. 2/1/19 Destroyer (18, B): Forceful construction never fully gels with sidewinding, tragic ambitions. Still, impressive build. Whitford! 2/3/19 Cold War (18, B): Most complicated, fascinating politics in first third. Songs last. Threads get lost in…

Personal Ballot for 2018, List Version

* – original nominee that subsequent became a runner-up^ – runner-up that was originally a nominee^^ – runner-up that was a nominee and then became a runner-up again” – film seen after original ballot was posted Picture If Beale Street Could Talk, dir. Barry Jenkins Western, dir. Valeska Grisebach Zama, dir. Lucretia Martel Life and…

Supporting Actress Smackdown 2018

Amy Adams, Vice: Hard to love, since I didn’t buy her first big scene and cuz McKay never gives her a scene that big ever after. One wonders why no one went full Nixon and let Lynne be just as scheming and stiffed as her husband. Still, she’s compelling with Bale, interesting to watch, and…

Wildlife (18, B)

There’s something vaguely precarious in trying to describe Wildlife. The premise of a teenage boy (Ed Oxenbould) watching the dissolution of his parents’ (Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal) in real time could hardly be easier to sum up, yet it does a disservice to Wildlife and the textures that its artists have given it in…