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  • Pain and Glory

    Pain and Glory

    ★★★★★

    Nothing shy of a love letter to cinema, Almodóvar crafts an indelible tattoo of family, culture, desire, loss, aging, and art.

    Almodóvar's semi-autobiographical story is layered like a mirror stacked atop a mirror stacked onto another mirror, the kaleidoscopic visage projected through the lens of yet another mirror. If you’ve read Margaret Atwood’s Blind Assassin, you’ll understand exactly how Almodóvar frames this bittersweet and exquisite film. 

    At its core, Pain and Glory is about desire, notably our first desire, and how…

  • The Irishman

    The Irishman

    ★★★★

    What I loved about this “gangster” film is that it’s not a “gangster” film at all — Scorsese gives us instead, in pure Scorsese form, a story about brotherhood, aging, and the shifting of relevance as we move through time, time pushing change forward with or without us.

    Deniro offers a measured and patient reminiscence of a life lived in a violent and chaotic way, turning in a performance so quietly commanding and meticulously composed it is easy to overlook…

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  • Parasite

    Parasite

    ★★★★★

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

    Bong Joon-ho is no stranger to masterful, keenly composed, atmospheric, culturally-aware, and under the surface filmmaking — with Parasite, all of those adjectives remain and are surpassed. With a relentless stealth, Joon-ho threads us into a story so layered and full of characters to love, feel for, struggle with, root for, riot against and then cheer on again, that it is impossible not to laugh while you shudder or gasp while you cry. 

    Parasite is the quintessential genre-blend — a tinderbox…

  • Rosemary's Baby

    Rosemary's Baby

    ★★★★★

    What I found most terrifying about this film is the way in which Polanski pulls us, alongside Rosemary Woodhouse, into this slow descent of chaos via the mundane everyday interruptions all too familiar to most of us, turning the incessant sounds of water dripping, or neighbors making too much noise, or the phone ringing into a mind-prodding, relentless nightmare, so that by the nearing of the film's chaotic climax you want, more than anything, to help relieve Rosemary of every…