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  • Mother's Day

    Mother's Day 2016

    ½ Watched 26 Apr, 2016

    If you’re fortunate enough not to know, 'Mother’s Day' is the third holiday-set multi-narrative rom-com from director Garry Marshall, following 2010’s 'Valentine’s Day' and 2011’s 'New Year’s Eve' (a template clearly inspired by 'Love, Actually,' and if that’s not incontrovertible proof of that picture’s ultimate evil, I’m not sure what is). Those two films were insufferable, maudlin bullshit; they’re both better than this film by a factor of ten. It’s marketed as a twinkly rom-com, but it’s about as depressing as 'Requiem for a Dream'.


  • Brief Encounter

    Brief Encounter 1945

    ★★★★★ Watched 12 Apr, 2016

    “What exciting lives we lead,” jokes Dr. Alec Harvey (Trevor Howard) when he bumps into Laura Jesson (Celia Johnson) as they’re both running errands, and the screenplay (adapted from Noel Coward’s play Still Life) is full of references to the very ordinariness of the lives of these two married people who suddenly find themselves drawn into a powerful attraction. David Lean’s direction beautifully details the keenly felt moments and small interactions that accumulate first into intimacy, and then into anguish;…

Popular reviews

  • Mistress America

    Mistress America 2015

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 24 Jul, 2015

    “In one instant, her behaviors turned from charming to borderline psychotic.” So notes Tracy (Kirke) of Brooke (Gerwig), the title character of Noah Baumbach’s latest chronicle of the bohemian facades and generational navigation in New York City. Free of much of the cynicism but none of the bite of last spring’s 'While We’re Young,' Baumbach and co-writer Gerwig’s screwball treat beautifully captures the way a slightly older, seemingly together mentor-type figure can first seem to be everything you hope to…

  • Under the Skin

    Under the Skin 2013

    ★★★★ Watched 21 Mar, 2014

    A beautiful, bizarre, and occasionally troubling bit of abstract art-house sci-fi in the Beyond the Black Rainbow vein from director Jonathan Glazer (Sexy Beast, Birth). Scarlett Johansson (who appears in just about every frame) plays a well-disguised alien creature who picks up men and devours them; some have dismissed the picture as an indie riff on Species, but if the narrative is derivative and a tad monotonous, there’s something intoxicating about the fluidity of Glazer’s striking images and the mood he manages to sustain throughout the peculiar tale.

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