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  • Can You Ever Forgive Me?

    Can You Ever Forgive Me?

    ★★★★

    I'm so excited to see Marielle Heller's other movies. This was a terrifically directed film and she's a major new talent. The script was wonderful. The fact that after forging her first letter Lee Israel uses the money to pay for her cat's vet appointment and her rent was a brilliant storytelling decision. Melissa McCarthy's performance was stellar, with a million different layers. She was both prickly and vulnerable, sometimes at the very same moment. Richard E. Grant's performance captured…

  • Roma

    Roma

    ★★★★★

    Every day life turned into poetry. Cleo is someone who would normally be overlooked. She's introverted and actively tries to make herself small; in the many crowd scenes she gets swallowed up. On top of all that she's a servant. But we are granted the opportunity to step into her world and exercise empathy. Her problems are our problems. The camera work is gorgeous. Oftentimes it feels like it's just you walking through the house. Yalitza Aparicio's performance is phenomenal.

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  • The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

    The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

    ★★★★★

    From the first melancholy strains of music and the overhead shots of brightly colored umbrellas in the rain this movie knows what it's going to be. Romantic, beautiful and melancholy. Demy's control over the audience's emotions is masterful. The colors are beautiful. No one else would think to have a dingy apartment complex wall painted green. The music is gorgeous. The ending is emotional and the textbook definition of bittersweet.

  • Pan's Labyrinth

    Pan's Labyrinth

    ★★★★★

    A fractured fairy tale. Fairy tales as an escape from reality. Fairy tales as a means to explain and process the world around you. Fairy tales as a way to overcome fear. Fairy tales as freedom and emancipation.