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  • The Front Page

    The Front Page

    ★★★

    Lacks the breakneck pace of the later adaptation but makes up for some of that with greater thematic consistency and flashy yet thoughtful camera movement - some truly impressive shots in here. O'Brien is outstanding (though once again hurt by the inevitable comparison). However, the political players slide into exaggerated caricature, deflating much of the otherwise smart satire, and the choice of one's career over a boring marriage is a much ickier resolution when the genders conform to patriarchal stereotypes. It is a product of its time, not necessarily outright malicious but certainly dull as dishwater.

  • His Girl Friday

    His Girl Friday

    ★★★★½

    It is fascinating how the addition of the romance element is both a literal (and very obvious) afterthought and the fulcrum on which this whole movie turns, adding just enough extra tension and bite to every minor plot development and complication. The only exceptions are the rare moments of outright tragedy - see the beautifully staged interview sequence in the jail or the suicide attempt. The different scales clash head-first into each other, requiring some conscious mental recalibration to get…

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  • Fahrenheit 451

    Fahrenheit 451

    ★★½

    There are three really good performances at the core of this (Shannon in particular is at his most Shannoniest), and whenever the film just dials it back to two of those actors interacting with each other, it suddenly jolts to life. The rest oscillates between middling and bad, with a dip into the outright offensive when it comes to the treatment of an autistic character and the inexplicably post-racial America the script still kind of tries to explain. It is…

  • The Duke of Burgundy

    The Duke of Burgundy

    ★★★★½

    look, if your movie doesn't have a "perfume by" credit, what is even the point