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  • Never Fear

    Never Fear 1949

    ★★½ Watched 06 Apr, 2016

    In execution, Ida Lupino's Never Fear is a pretty typical melodrama--at least one impassioned monologue along the lines of "TELL ME, AREN'T I STILL A WOMAN?!" gave me the giggles--but the subject matter is interesting. Dancer Sally Forrest's career ambitions are derailed when she's diagnosed with polio and tucked away at a rehabilitation center. She struggles to come to terms with the fact that she may never dance again, and the subsequent depression makes trying seem pointless. Lupino and her co-writer/husband Collier Young get some good mileage out of the sensitive material, even if there's not much here that exceeds the standards of the time.

  • Middle of Nowhere

    Middle of Nowhere 2012

    ★★★★ Watched 05 Apr, 2016

    Ava DuVernay's Middle of Nowhere is a film of raw, honest relationships. Emayatzy Corinealdi, playing a medical student who has put her life on hold waiting for her husband to be released from prison, expresses so much without saying a word. She shows dignity in the face of her mother (Lorraine Toussaint, later of Orange Is the New Black, here exhibiting the bitter disapproval that comes from holding someone you love to higher standards than they hold themselves), as well…

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  • Ruby Sparks

    Ruby Sparks 2012

    ★★★★½ Watched 24 Oct, 2012 4

    I've written ten screenplays and several short films. The most widely read script of mine has been read by about half-a-dozen people, but I still consider myself a writer first and foremost. As you're writing, your work is solely yours. Once you've finished, it remains yours. But as soon as you release it into the world, as soon as you share it with one friend or colleague, that changes. It doesn't belong to you anymore. Sure, if your work is…

  • Donnie Darko

    Donnie Darko 2001

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 05 Apr, 2012

    A lot of people seem to be backing away from Donnie Darko nowadays, distancing themselves from it like it's a particularly painful memory, an unwelcome flashback to their high school days. Well, maybe so. But don't blame that on the movie. I'm not going to give it credit for profundity that it doesn't have, except that it kind of does. A mysterious puzzle of a film, but pleasingly straightforward about its oddness. Gyllenhaal, Barrymore, and Swayze doing the best work of their careers.