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  • The House in the Woods

    The House in the Woods

    ★★★★★

    “When there’s life...”

    On this day and for many to come, one of the greatest de-abstractions of war, giving face, dignity, and with a forwards stroke of grace and a backwards stroke of irony, life abundant to those it takes without need, running their sincere sacrifice over its fraudulent altar, to those not merely left behind but still alive, forwarding life as not merely the absence of death, and peace, the absence of war. This is the unobscured staying power of Pialat’s “de-abstraction”: six all too short hours sitting with the promise of people, per se animating life per se, not just foddering the battlefield.

  • L'Enfant Secret

    L'Enfant Secret

    ★★★★★

    All the primal sensations and immanent vistas of Le Révélateur transformed by the advent of sound. Not that Garrel’s one-two-four punch run of quasi-to-neo-silent cinema starting with strength and intimacy in Les Hautes solitudes and just as quietly culminating in Le Bleu des origines betrayed any sign of wanting sans cinema’s otherwise key animating force, but re-pairing his steadily perfecting and personalizing flow of images, piercing forms and figures, with sound and without warning plays with such affecting drama and…

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  • The Straight Story

    The Straight Story

    ★★★★★

    Like a warm, elegant, and all too painfully honest and revealing denouement to and look back at all the learned and unlearned lessons of life, at all the people long gone who still had love to give or at least could have used a little more, at all the simple joy, and sorrow, and laughter, and heartache, and lost and found love before arriving at a tender, perfectly understated, perfectly articulated, perfectly human moment, just as quiet as every last…

  • Mommy

    Mommy

    ★★★★½

    Like the fascinatingly and evocatively portrayed main character, "Mommy" abounds in unrelenting energy and joy despite so much underlying sadness and discord. Here is a film, like the titular mother of the film, that refuses to allow itself anything less than unceasing hope and Dolan stunningly captures the bitter difficulty and sweet reward of that effort and process.