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  • McQueen

    McQueen

    ★★★

    Although it waits too long to get into McQueen's depression, this documentary does an adequate job of showing the ups and downs of his life. It was great seeing things I've only read about, like the Voss show.

    Here's the thing though: I'm not a genius, but if I were, I would hope that my closest friends and advisers would be able to articulate what made me great. A little less "We were working sixteen-hour days." A little more "He changed art forever."

  • The Favourite

    The Favourite

    ★★★★

    When assessing The Favourite, the easy temptation is to say that because it isn't stuffy, because of its scabrous wit or its intimate filming techniques, that it "isn't your mother's chamber drama." It is invigorating, but in a lot of ways, the film isn't saying anything that the average Masterpiece Theater production doesn't. Instead it takes cultural touchstones about the emptiness of power and distorts them, much like the fish-eye lenses that Yorgos Lanthimos favors to photograph the palace. It…

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  • Gone Girl

    Gone Girl

    ★★★★

    In a particularly tense scene of Gone Girl, Affleck's character is sipping on Singani 63, a Bolivian brandy obscure enough that I can't get it from the Dorignac's liquor aisles. The character owns a bar--so I guess he's up on his clear brandy made with specific grapes from the mountains of South America--but he's probably drinking it because Singani 63 is Steven Soderbergh's side hustle. And Gone Girl, in its obsession with process, its narrative left-turns, its respect/contempt for the…

  • American Honey

    American Honey

    ★★★★

    I'm still digesting it*, but American Honey is a good example of the difference between story and plot. There's a lot of the former even without much of the latter. It's sprawling, with an adagio tempo that recalls the shifts of the road, and it's unclear how much of the film was written to begin with--I don't know how someone could write something that feels so lived in and spontaneous. It's of-a-piece with Andrea Arnold's other work, (We get a…