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  • Claudine

    Claudine

    ★★★★

    A smart and empathetic portrait of welfare that avoids criticizing assistance in itself, instead focusing on the double bind of white stereotypes about black recipients and the dehumanizing regulations imposed on them in a process marred by systemic racism. berry, recovering from the blacklist, ensures its critique of bureaucracy avoids rightwing gripes about big gov and instead aims at the right's usage of big gov to limit the rights of the black working class, with an ending that literally weds past failure of good behavior in a bad system to still simmering revolutionary fervor. A real gem.

  • My Own Private Idaho

    My Own Private Idaho

    ★★★★

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  • Phantom Thread

    Phantom Thread

    ★★★½

    An interview quote surfaced on twitter this morning* that Anderson intended Alma to be a specifically Jewish refugee, as hinted by the scene in which she reacts with disgust to one character profiting off of selling visas to Jews during wartime. It speaks to something I originally thought of as one the film's strengths, mainly that Anderson gave up his failed attempts at saying something big in TWWB or the Master and realized he's much better at floating signifiers an…

  • Mistress America

    Mistress America

    ★★★★

    I guess i'm a bad leftist cinephile when, after two experimental attacks on fascism and materialism, the screwball comedy where someone earnestly uses the phrase "the good part of capitalism" was the one that spoke to me, but given that's for an enterprise that immediately falls apart, there's still an incisive critique in here somewhere.

    Even though the bagginess of meyerowitz stories was ultimately fine and even useful thematically, the clockwork precision here for a galaxy brain running time of…