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  • Won't You Be My Neighbor?

    Won't You Be My Neighbor?

    ★★★

    I never really watched Mr. Rogers while I was growing up (the puppets creeped me out) but he first made an impression of me when his defense of PBS was making the rounds online. Here is a man who very fundamentally believes that children are worth listening to, must be nurtured with kindness, and that all people should be treated with compassion.

    The documentary doesn't shy from Rogers' weaknesses, insecurities, and less flattering moments (it took him years, for example,…

  • Summer 1993

    Summer 1993

    ★★★★★

    We kind of forget how harrowing childhood is. Not being able to understand what is happening all the time, and why, is a little scary. It's not always clear what's your fault, what's someone else's, whether there's an invisible moral hand guiding you or whether you're totally alone. And often, you just want to be comforted. And communicating any of this is really hard.

    Frida is, make no mistake, a little shit. She's a spoiled brat who has a hard…

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  • Love, Simon

    Love, Simon

    Simon is bad and so are his rich, selfish, attractive friends.

    Parts of it are pretty charming (the film has a better cast than it does a script), but the melodrama of the last half-hour or so is cringe-inducing. Homosexuality as a spectacle is apparently a joke if you like dancing to Whitney Houston, but it's sweet and acceptable if your entire high school class crowds around a ferris wheel waiting for a student to out himself in public—by the…

  • Sing Street

    Sing Street

    ★★

    What a disappointment.

    For a film I wasn't expecting much from, Sing Street begins with promise. The very first scene sets a great tone. Our White Teen Nerd Boy protagonist meekly plays the guitar in his room, mocking his parents to himself as their shouts fill the house. It's a mundane bummer that feels natural and relatable, and it's dryly funny. The lead, like many of the characters in the film, is clearly a genuine, awkward kid as opposed to…