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  • Nymphomaniac: Vol. II

    Nymphomaniac: Vol. II

    ★½

    Just what I dreaded and, unfortunately, expected. A steep decline from an already flawed, if tantalizing, first half—as soon as von Trier went all 50 Shades of Gray on us, though, I knew that Nymphomaniac's boundless promise was going to go mostly unfulfilled. Occasional glimpses of Vol I.'s potential still peek through here and there, but Vol II. mostly just jumps from one strand to another, eschewing any sort of rhythmic power and frequently resorting to cheap tactics to advance…

  • Mary Queen of Scots

    Mary Queen of Scots

    ★★

    Yawn. This could be easily pointed to as the textbook definition of cautious filmmaking; Rourke manages to strip an exciting moment in history of, well, all the excitement. Nicely shot with strong costume design, but Mary Queen of Scots—and where's the comma, yo?—is a dull, drab movie, with stilted dialogue and uninspiring performances from actors like Ronan and Pearce whom I normally like or love. Only Robbie brings any spark to the party, playing Queen Elizabeth with a defiance that…

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  • Call Me by Your Name

    Call Me by Your Name

    ★★★★★

    I'd originally planned to write a lengthy essay on this, probably my favorite film of the decade (only Margaret is otherwise in contention) and absolutely the most personally meaningful, for my dad's soon-to-be-defunct poetry magazine Parnassus, but life got in the way—I switched companies just as the deadline was approaching and simply didn't have the hours in the day to write a 4,000 word piece with the proper checks and drafts to do my father proud. I did, however, begin

  • Call Me by Your Name

    Call Me by Your Name

    ★★★★★

    A movie too perfect and beautiful, too me, to really write much about...so full of glorious minutiae and intricacies, so easily paced that its massive power is almost impossible to comprehend in its entirety during an initial viewing. And while Elio and Oliver's connection/love is impeccably (and exceedingly delicately) portrayed, the father/mother/son dynamic between Elio and his parents might be even more exceptional...rarely have I felt my soul so firmly, magically intertwined with an onscreen relationship like I did here.…