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  • Mudbound

    Mudbound

    ★★★

    A sobering, searing portrayal of bigotry during the postwar years in the Deep South, centering on two families, the McCallans and the Jacksons, one white and the other black. As is customary in a period piece like this, expect to be met by a predictable narrative, as well as overblown melodrama aplenty. Despite the awards bait trappings, this is still a genuinely moving film. The story is at its most promising when it explores the unlikely friendship between Ronsel Jackson…

  • mother!

    mother!

    ★★★★

    comedy gold!

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  • Upstream Color

    Upstream Color

    ★★★★★

    Shane Carruth’s alluring Upstream Color is Invasion of the Body Snatchers for the art house crowd, with hogs replacing pods and identity crisis substituting for McCarthyism. That may be an awfully crude comparison but it’s the overall gist I got as I watched this beguiling, beautiful film. One thing’s for sure, the plot’s mind-control science fiction aspect plays only second fiddle to the transcendent yet universal overarching theme of emotional resonance in people in the vein of Henry David Thoreau’s…

  • Post Tenebras Lux

    Post Tenebras Lux

    ★★★★½

    Contemplative cinema can be a bitch. This most elusive of art house varieties has repeatedly rendered me awestruck, but at the same time hopelessly nonplussed all at once. With that said, the sensory experience waiting in store for viewers in Post Tenebras Lux, perhaps the most idiosyncratic and abstract work to date from Mexican, transcendental filmmaker Carlos Reygadas, can be quite overwhelming and intimidating. If one is unfamiliar with the director’s influences—namely Robert Bresson, Carl Theodore Dreyer, Roberto Rossellini, and…