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  • Aquarius

    Aquarius

    ★★★½

    For a film that's been controversial in its native country (though I gather it's more to do with politics external to the film itself), this isn't quite what I expected. Primarily it's that the tone is so unhurried, and lacking in melodrama. It's a quiet film that takes its time to observe the elderly Clara as she lives her life by the beach in an upscale area of Recife. Recounting the plot (her desire to stay where she is leads…

  • Get Out

    Get Out

    ★★★★

    Being one of the most discussed films in recent years there's little I can meaningfully add to the online discussion (which I can finally read without spoilers), besides saying I also greatly enjoyed its mixture of satire, tense psychological thrills, comedy and gore. It uses the cinematic language of horror to dissect racism, and though some of the later twists seemed a little ridiculous (the grandparents in particular), they nevertheless​ fit nicely into the comedic-absurdist tone created by Jordan Peele's…

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  • Arrival

    Arrival

    ★★★

    There's a sort of sweet hopeful belief in the unifying power of language at work here, and Amy Adams is exactly the face for that, but there's also a mind-bending take on temporal awareness that reminds me of the WTF-ness of Interstellar and which I don't really find quite as fulfilling as the film evidently does. It's all very nice, though muted in its colours and uncluttered in mise en scene, and I sort of want to like it more than I did.

  • Baden Baden

    Baden Baden

    ★★★★

    Trading on all those classic elements of the cinema of self-indulgent continental introspection -- a young woman returns home to her ailing grandmother to tidy up shattered plans, creating new messes to tidy, and reopening some fresh wounds -- but it's done with such verve, such control of the medium, and such fine performances in the lead roles that what initially sounds like it might be drab and unengaging is really compelling. Sure, Ana's life may or may not be…