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  • Man Rots from the Head

    Man Rots from the Head

    ★★★★

    strange and dark black and white comedy about a man who is selling knives (or is he)?

  • The Disaster Artist

    The Disaster Artist

    ★★★

    I'm not sure why the film exists and James Franco does a really solid Tommy Wiseau impression and they carefully recreate scenes (and indulgently share them at the end of the film in a split-screen presentation) from the cult film, but why? There were some fun moments, but I found it less funny and with less love for filmmaking than Tim Burton's Ed Wood.

  • The Little Hours

    The Little Hours

    ★★★★½

    A fun ensemble comedy that had a bit of a 70s vibe to it for some reason. From the widescreen frame to the non-period accurate language, it's a fun and goofy comedy with people fighting against the constraints that they live within.

  • The Match Factory Girl

    The Match Factory Girl

    ★★★★½

    A simple and precisely constructed character study that begins showing the entire process of making a match from the trunk of a tree to the matches in the boxes. The sequence is the template for the film which shows how a woman who is unhappy with her life takes a series of steps that are shocking, but logical to change her life around. A remarkable a achievement as the carefully constructed scenes establish her character and life to provide the context what she does. Kaurismäki is the master of understatement and this film is a stunning achievement.

  • Beach Rats

    Beach Rats

    ★★★★½

    Shot in a casual and impressionistic style with a documentary feel, Beach Rats is a coming of age story about a young man in Brooklyn who is figuring out who he is within the context of his friends and family. Stunningly filmed by Hélène Louvart and directed with sensitivity by Eliza Hittman, it's a film that allows us to see parts of his life in a way that doesn't judge or try to impose a narrative on it. It's observational and fascinating to watch this young man balance the expectations placed upon him as he thinks about the person that he wants to be.

  • Lady Bird

    Lady Bird

    ★★★★★

    This is a film that really grows on me. Even though I loved it the first time, the second time watching I was able to appreciate the craft of it a lot more as I paid more attention to the structure and supporting roles in the film. The cast is fantastic and all of the elements are well-balanced in a coming of age story that is comfortable within the world that it creates and doesn't try to be something that it is not. So wonderful to watch a great cast tell a personal story with sensitivity and grace.

  • Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds

    Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds

    ★★★★

    A look at the intense and complex relationship between Debbie Reynolds and her daughter Carrie Fisher and her son Todd Fisher. An overview of professional and personal lives, it's heartwarming and shows the strange and insulated world of celebrity.

  • My Happy Family

    My Happy Family

    ★★★★½

    A slow-burn character drama that starts out crowded and loud and ends with the wind blowing with the main character at a window. The film rewards patience as the story emerges with some remarkable moments between the characters as we see a woman assert her independence. Understated and beautifully shot, directed, and acted, it's a lovely discovery for me late in the year and is a glimpse of filmmaking from the nation of Georgia.

  • The Conversation

    The Conversation

    ★★★★★

    Solid thriller with a stylized approach and fantastic sound design from Walter Murch.

  • App: The Human Story

    App: The Human Story

    ★★★★½

    An entertaining documentary that looks at the indie developers who make iPhone apps. Tightly edited, I recognized many of the people who make the apps that I use every day. A great glimpse of the people behind the apps in the magical devices that make so much possible for us in the world today.

  • Craig Ferguson: Tickle Fight

    Craig Ferguson: Tickle Fight

    ★★★★

    Solid standup from Ferguson that is funny and topical without being too specific which makes it a bit more timeless.

  • Paris Can Wait

    Paris Can Wait

    ★★★½

    Light road movie that goes through France in an entertaining way with Diane Lane giving a solid performance at the heart of the film.