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  • Kiss Me Deadly

    Kiss Me Deadly

    ★★★★

    I'm not sure how much of this is attributable to director Robert Aldrich and director of photography Ernest Laszlo, and how much is attributable to the beautiful Criterion Collection Blu-ray on which I witnessed this film, but the contrast between dark and light here is striking and off-putting, setting things off to an unsettlingly affrontive start from the opening moments. The film concerns itself with paranoia as a kinetic energy, the central mystery driving its characters to acts so explosive…

  • Naked Childhood

    Naked Childhood

    ★★★★½

    The pain of loneliness and general unwantedness manifests itself in François as shocking emptiness; though he is the clear protagonist of the film, the boy is hardly filmed saying a word. What actions he takes tend to be borderline villainous, and they typically spur the narrative onward as other characters around him deal with the repercussions. It is rather less that L'Enfance nue depicts the foster home state through the eyes of a foster child and more that the child…

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  • Birdman

    Birdman

    ★★★★½

    Visually, Birdman is a beautiful film whose appearance as one unbroken take allows us to understand the complexity of life behind the Broadway stage and the fast-paced nature of the world of theatre. It is this world where we find Riggan Thomson, a washed-up actor who is about to star in a stage adaptation of What We Talk About When We Talk About Love that he both wrote and directed but who struggles with his own descent from fame. Despite…

  • Foxcatcher

    Foxcatcher

    ★★★★★

    This is the best 2014 film I have seen so far. For the entire 2 hours and 14 minutes of its runtime, Foxcatcher is riveting and awe-inspiring. This is my prediction to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, and as of now, it is my hope that I guess right.

    Bennett Miller directed this film with the kind of restraint so rare in modern Hollywood films. The atmosphere is dark and brooding, with an excellent muted color palette and…