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  • Her 2013

    ★★★★½ Watched 20 Jan, 2014

    Spike Jonze once again wowed me with this subtly dystopian exploration of isolation and connectedness in a near-future world. The pace is unrushed, the ideas razor-sharp, and the story somehow utterly believable - I think because it focuses microscopically on the inner thoughts and feelings of the characters, whose faces (those who have one, anyway) the camera seems to want to sink into, the close-ups are so devoted. The set design too is inspired, as is the acting, perhaps most…

  • Much Ado About Nothing 1993

    ★★★ Rewatched 25 Jan, 2014

    Joss Whedon's 2012 version of Shakespeare's famous comedy got good of word of mouth, so I thought I'd revist Kenneth Branagh's early-90's version before taking in the most recent adaptation. It is as I recall it: entertaining enough, with some great acting, but a bit forced-feeling. The merry-making seems staged to distraction at points and the repeated use of the "Sigh no more, ladies" verses as song becomes a bit tedious. Denzel Washington, Branagh and (his then-wife) Emma Thompson are…

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  • Cairo Time 2009

    ★★★½ Watched 10 Aug, 2012

    Thanks to a little help from Atom Egoyen and Christine Vachon, Canadian director Ruba Nadda's intimate script got the backing to become this luxuriating award-winning feature. Patricia Clarkson makes 50 look enviable, and Alexander Siddig (Syriana, Deep Space Nine) matches her beguiling physical presence with an alert litheness that pulses off the screen in unhurried Egyptian stretches. Similar to Lost in Translation, the movie is about being alone in an unknowable foreign metropolis, and experiencing a place and short period…

  • Sexy Beast 2000

    ★★★★ Rewatched 08 Mar, 2012 2

    What title better describes a film? This British-Spanish heist stunner is irresistible and dangerously determined. Even after my third viewing, I still feel like the story is forever two steps ahead and jaw-droppingly unforgiving. Kingsley said he based his mesmerizingly sociopathic character on his grandmother ("a vile and extremely unpleasant woman"), and it's a miracle the picture got an R rating with literally hundreds of "fucks" and "cunts" being uttered; maybe because the accents are as inscrutable to yanks as…