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  • The Two Faces of January

    The Two Faces of January 2014

    ★½ Watched 15 Jun, 2015

    Amini's style is glossy to the point of abstraction, with theoretically interesting characters - and usually strong performers - struggling to make any impression. The movie is palpably uninterested in Dunst's character except in the impact she has on the men who desire her. Overall, some interesting ideas that are mostly left drowning by a writer-director that doesn't seem to know how to handle them. (D+)

  • The Trial

    The Trial 1962

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 13 Jun, 2015

    One of those rare movies that is equally evocative through its visuals and screenplay. The screenplay has the speed and absurdity of a screwball comedy, forcing laughter with its roundabout dialogue even as it keeps the viewer aware of its main character's plight. Stylistically, it veers between long takes which emphasise the actors and screenplay, and heavily stylised shots which emphasise the characters' insignificance in the film's absurd world. Anthony Perkins is perfect in the central role, simultaneously faltering and indignantly aggressive as an everyman struggling to make any leeway in solving his problems, or even understanding his situation. (A)

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  • Before Sunset

    Before Sunset 2004

    ★★★★ Watched 09 Jun, 2013 2

    The only sequel I've ever seen that not only betters the original, but also makes the original better in retrospect. Linklater brings his usual excellent sense of time and place to Before Sunset, and the second encounter between Celine and Jesse is even more poignant than the first.

    Hawke is just as excellent here as he is in the first: he's fantastic with the dialogue, but my favourite moment of his performance is on the boat, with Hawke watching Delpy…

  • The Shining

    The Shining 1980

    ★★★★ Rewatched 18 May, 2013 3

    There's been enough commentary on The Shining that nobody needs to hear my thoughts. So I'll just say that Duvall is absolutely brilliant in it, despite her reputation, and leave it at that. (A-)