Favorite films

  • The Social Network
  • Sweet Smell of Success
  • Magnolia
  • The Act of Killing

Recent activity

  • Contact


  • The Pot-au-Feu


  • Fallen Leaves


  • Anatomy of a Fall


Pinned reviews

  • Hairspray



    It's all about "the New Girl in Town", where the racial and sexual politics underlying music/dance genres are exposed by their contrast. Or the joke right after when Michelle Pfiefer complains to Queen Latifah that they used this same song, and she responds "they wrote it". Or back at the beginning how the ticking clock turns into the beat for "Nicest Kids in Town". Or in addition to being plain catchy and smartly written bangers, the best of the songs…

  • The Trial of the Chicago 7

    The Trial of the Chicago 7


    I watch Sorkin I think the same way others watch schlocky exploitation films or silly rom-coms. As in I think you have to take them on their own terms, quirky banter and sanctimonious centrism and all. Sure this ultimately isn't as radical as it thinks it is, and manipulates certain things to focus on what Sorkin is interested in (although I'm not sure anybody needs Sorkin to give his opinion on the Blank Panthers - "take off your very scary…

Recent reviews

  • Contact



    This works best for me as a propulsive, sincere investigative-thriller about decoding encrypted information and the chains of bureaucracy around world-changing events. Zemeckis shoots that middle section with such sweeping verve, caught up in the paradigm shift of two alien intelligences touching one another through maths and signals and radiowaves. (Also funny that he reused his niche of inserting real Presidents into fictional narratives from Forrest Gump here). So when it slows down and makes its gentle, even-handed conclusion about…

  • Knock at the Cabin

    Knock at the Cabin


    As with Signs or The Happening (or much of M. Nights filmography) shades of post-9/11 panic and how to translate such trauma to your family (especially a young child). Both sides in their own way trying to talk Wen through this situation becomes a very effective node of empathy. Shyamalans other preoccupations with faith and fatalism also turn up here, like a more focused version of Lady in the Water, as does his sometimes strange tonal swings into oddball dialogue.…

Popular reviews

  • A Woman Under the Influence

    A Woman Under the Influence


    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    "Mabel's a delicate, sensitive woman", a co-worker says to Nick. "Mabel's not crazy", he barks back, an aggressive defence that also rings as self-assurance. Mabel is expected to be maternal and accommodating but also to keep her emotions in check, and it feels like the weight of these conflicting gender roles is what sends her into exponential hysterics, rambling out of control from the expectant gaze of others (even if her 'illness' is deliberately vague). Gena Rowland's performance is highly…

  • Babylon



    An orgiastic, decadent ode to pre-sound Hollywood which is honestly closer to Wolf of Wall Street/Elvis than The Artist; even if you can tell Chazelle lacks the authentic coked-up sleaze to quite pull this off. But he comes close a couple times and during the opening half when it leans into a fun extended montage of crazed filmmaking and parties (complete with Intolerance-inspired crosscutting around getting that "One Perfect Shot") Babylon basically sweeps you away. Particularly given that bumping jazz…