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  • Columbus

    Columbus

    ★★★

    Columbus wrestles with the balance of information and inspiration. The Cassandra character prevents the Jin character--I'll ignore the gross name symbolism--from looking a date up on his phone because she wants to be able to recall it herself. Earlier than that, the Jin character tries to impress her with knowledge of a building, but she blows him off when he admits that he memorized it from a book he had read earlier in the week. Would that thought be somehow…

  • Wonderstruck

    Wonderstruck

    ★★

    So?

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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…