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  • The Duke of Burgundy

    The Duke of Burgundy 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 12 Aug, 2015

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Ingeniously structured in the way it repeats various incidents in different contexts, illuminating different ways of reading its narrative. Some of the images could read as overly familiar - fragmented and distorted images of people looking at their reflections are nothing new - but Strickland's woozy stylisation is hypnotic. There are clear influences here, from David Lynch to Belle de Jour to classical melodramas, but they combine to create something new. The potentially exploitative premise reveals an exploration on the…

  • The End of the Tour

    The End of the Tour 2015

    ★★★½ Added

    Impressive mostly as a showcase for its writing and performances. Its framing device is limp, struggling to justify a core narrative that speaks for itself. Segel is the stand-out here, presenting an intellectual - but ultimately ordinary - man who has a contentious relationship with his own fame. The halting relationship between the two central characters is well-conceived in the way it grasps repeatedly at camaraderie before settling into a kind of semi-professional combativeness. Clear-eyed depiction of masculine and creative egos. (B)

Popular reviews

  • 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 4

    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-)