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  • The United States vs. Billie Holiday

    The United States vs. Billie Holiday

    ★★

    Despite an impressive manifestation from Day, it’s pretty easy to forget. Generic, and far too reliant on the umbrage it should illicit— but it just doesn’t these days, cuz we already know all too well how racist and disgraceful the FBI was historically. This is more the rule than the exception, but the film would presume we’re watching from an inverted perspective. A worthy story for a movie, but told without much of anything in the way of distinctive craft…

  • Phantom Thread

    Phantom Thread

    ★★★½

    I had a film professor who would refer to PTA as a snake oil salesman. In a sense, of course, all filmmakers (like magicians) are, but she didn’t mean it in that broader sense. It was a dismissal. I suppose it all comes down to if the magic trick works for you or not. Do I see the strings? Or am I filled with wonder? In the case of this film, I see the strings... but am wildly impressed by…

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  • The Father

    The Father

    ★★★★½

    Not at all what I was expecting. So powerful. A rare instance where I imagine the film works better than does the play. Worth studying. Come for the Hopkins, stay for everything else.

  • Shiva Baby

    Shiva Baby

    ★★★

    Plays a little like a short film in scope and ambition. Not without contrivance, and kind of one note, but some enjoyable stuff and really cool choices within that note.