ClarksDad has written 35 reviews for films rated ★★★★ during 2020.

  • Advise & Consent

    Advise & Consent

    ★★★★

    Thank GOD I didn’t see this when I was still a closet case.

    And man is Charles Laughton a great actor.

  • The Pajama Game

    The Pajama Game

    ★★★★

    Has a few extraordinary Bob Fosse moments (Hernando’s Hideaway, Steam Heat etc) that have exactly zilch to do with the plot. And the aggressive, vaudeville-level comedy is an acquired taste...but it’s charm is so infectious. It’s a lovable film. Carol Haney steals this show from Doris Day and John Raitt (who is Bonnie’s dad!).

  • Coma

    Coma

    ★★★★

    That Brutalist architecture. Every streetscape-killing concrete building makes me think of bodies hanging from a ceiling.

  • Imitation of Life

    Imitation of Life

    ★★★★

    Crying at the end of this is a rite of passage. No one escapes the emotional pull.

    It’s lush and beautifully done ... the artificiality and intensity are purposeful...and it is one of a handful of films where Lana Turner shows she can act.

  • The Hunt

    The Hunt

    ★★★★

    I don’t remember who got Oscar that year but it damn sure wasn’t a better performance than what Mikkelsen achieves here.

    ***Be warned there is some strong animal violence in this film. Not faked.

  • Klute

    Klute

    ★★★★

    Jane Fonda is far better than the movie (which i feel like I can say about almost all of her performances).

    In fact...I think her scene listening to the murder of a fellow prostitute is one of the finest things I've ever seen.

  • Blow Out

    Blow Out

    ★★★★

    Every few minutes there's a camera angle...or steady cam scene...or some little bits of business going on...and you're startled by how painstakingly all this was constructed. It's a beauty.

    Not as challenging or subversive as DePalma's other films of the period...it's a pretty audience-friendly ride. Lithgow is a deliciously good villain.

  • The Fury

    The Fury

    ★★★★

    Contains some of the best death scenes in horror history.

    Despite the tone deaf narrative and poor performances...it's a virtuoso piece of movie direction...supported by one of John Williams' most glorious scores.

  • Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte

    Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte

    ★★★★

    Damn...Olivia, Bette, Agnes ...AND Mary Astor?? Almost too good to be true. I put off watching this forever...that was dumb. This is a first-rate Southern Gothic...and all the ladies tackle the shit out of their roles.

  • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

    Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

    ★★★★

    Cannot handle Newman's performance in this. They neutered his character for the film version...so it's not entirely his fault. It's too frustrating to watch him try to play drunken, vague repression for 2 hours...just not his wheelhouse.

    Taylor and Ives are another matter. Outstanding.

  • A Free Soul

    A Free Soul

    ★★★★

    There's a fine, classic 30 minute movie buried in here...exclusively featuring smolderingly gorgeous Gable and radiant Adrian-gown-draped Shearer. The rest...with pallbearers like Leslie Howard and Lionel Barrymore fumbling about and dragging everything down...is why some viewers run screaming from early talkies.

  • Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

    Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

    ★★★★

    I’ve seen the first hour of this film about 150 times. Once we hit the tree swing scene...I’m satisfied and have had my fix. Everything after that is an endurance test I have trouble passing.