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  • Monsoon Wedding

    Monsoon Wedding

    ★★★★½

    A superb reflection of the chaos of aspirational middle class India -- and it's not that different today, though Aditi would be WhatsApping her sleazy beau rather than calling him from an STD ISD box. I particularly liked how Nair marshals close-ups in the service of her many story threads. They could all easily have gotten away from her -- you could argue that some of them do -- but in bringing the camera in tight, in both talky and…

  • Lovesong

    Lovesong

    ★★★★

    Eighty-four minutes of heartache, perfectly acted.

    Aside: I'm finding it increasingly difficult to ignore the effects of inequality on film, and this feels right, similar to the impossibility of separating artists' real-life misdeeds from their work. The estate setting of the second act reminded me of the setting of GET OUT, and while LOVESONG has none of the overt politics of that film, the reality is that this is a drama of financially comfortable people with time and space on…

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  • Tanna

    Tanna

    ★★★★

    The Romeo and Juliet comparison is obligatory, so let's get that out of the way.

    But no, really, Tanna is a *lot* like Romeo and Juliet. Except it's set in tribal lands in Vanuatu, where residents have rejected money, Christianity, democracy, and t-shirts, instead choosing a traditional life. And this story really happened, only a few decades ago.

    And instead of going all in with the tragedy, it ends with hope -- the hope that if you look at the…

  • Tokyo Story

    Tokyo Story

    ★★★★★

    It is our nature to disappoint ourselves, and each other; to fall short of expectations, over and over, until we accept our flaws and lower the bar. We cannot bank on others to be there when we need them; to act nobly and selflessly in times of trial. Likewise, we cannot hold ourselves up as paragons of humanity because in the end, we all have a limit at which we give up and go back to looking out for ourselves.…