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  • Arthdal Chronicles

  • Forever a Woman

  • Utamaro and His Five Women

  • The Wandering Princess

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  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    Portrait of a Lady on Fire

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

    What holds Sciamma’s first venture into period drama together is quite a universal theme: artmaking is lovemaking. The illicit desire between her women on screen finds expression in bold yet delicate brushwork and in gently flowing pencil lines. Placing a woman painter from 18th-century France in a secluded seaside mansion on a hill, a classic Gothic setting, the director quietly watches her conduct a covert investigation of the sort you often see in stories categorized as the “woman’s film.” Covert,…

  • A Question of Silence

    A Question of Silence

    ★★★½

    Housewife, secretary, and waitress—three very ordinary, previously unacquainted white Dutchwomen brutally murder a male boutique owner together, with no apparent motive. It outrages society, and the outrage poses a mystery that must be solved to reassure a confused public with some sort of explanation because, apparently, no sane woman is possibly capable of such a crime. The investigation begins as another white Dutchwoman, a court psychiatrist, gets tasked with determining the killers’ (in)sanity, thereby becoming a surrogate for us the…

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  • Inside Llewyn Davis

    Inside Llewyn Davis

    ★★★★

    wrote a review for the missing slate.

    Equal parts a dense character study and a soft-toned portrayal of the 1960s folk music scene, the Coen brothers’ latest film has a modest but indelible moment a little past the hour mark, in which the protagonist Llewyn Davis trudges through the snow and clutches his worn-out corduroy jacket tight against a winter gust just when his foot slips in a slush puddle. It’s soon followed by an equally unforgettable close-up of the…

  • Spotlight

    Spotlight

    ★★★½

    It seems McCarthy decided (and quite expectedly so) the kind of exposé storytelling like this would thrive on anonymity in characterization, and stylistic decisions that go along with it: hence the movie, minus the prologue, that begins and ends with a group shot, with a deliberately monotonous pattern of interior group and medium shots, and a few suitably ominous landscapes. It's as though emotional impact should only be derived from investigative revelations, instead of having viewers engage with the characters…