Casablanca ★★★★★

This is one of those rare movies where everything works perfectly; where the story has the right balance of drama and romanticism, where the cast feels perfectly utilized across the board, where the music amplifies every intended emotion in the most evocative way, where the visual approach captures the essential nuance of the actors and the setting, and where these elements and so many more coalesce into a film with something to say that manages to make it's point in an intelligent and engrossing manner. It all just works, the perfect case of why Golden Age Hollywood still holds such a pull for so many people, and for why telling simple stories with lovable characters is oftentimes all you need to make a great film. Just a masterclass in traditional formalism, and a rare movie that is perfectly functional on each individual level, letting it become phenomenal on the whole.

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