My favorites are four of my favorites, not my four favorites. Cause who makes a top four list?
Only Robert Altman can create worlds that feel surreal and off kilter, but also plausible and lived-in. The grumbling bars and opium-fogged brothels in McCabe and Mrs. Miller. The countryfied propaganda and clueless star-chasers in Nashville. The naive to nasty Pinky and the invisible to invincible Millie in 3 Women.
In The Long Goodbye, Altman doesn’t remove LA’s beautiful people and glamorous architecture. He filters them all through Philip Marlowe’s gauzy gaze, and the symbols no longer signify what they used…
At the beginning of Naked, Mike Leigh presents David Thewlis’s character as wholly malicious, attacking everyone and everything he sees. At the beginning of Happy-Go-Lucky, Leigh presents Sally Hawkins’s character as relentlessly perky, attacking everyone and everything she sees. Both protagonists seem impossible to develop into round characters, but Leigh does it. His insight into human nature and his control of tone make his films feel lived in but profound, mundane but magical.
I’ve been a New York Mets fan for so long. With a few exceptions, I’d say it’s akin to logging Manchester By the Sea daily for the past few decades. With tightwad owners more likely to be connected to the Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme than a World Series run, they’ve often been a big market team acting like a small market one.
I currently live in the Bay Area, and through the years, the Oakland A’s have been almost the…
Hello. My name is Whit Stillman, and I make movies about assholes. You will know who the sympathetic characters are when I consistently juxtapose them with the total assholes, and you will know the total assholes when their endless stream of petty insults and passive-aggressive manipulation becomes so overwhelming that you scream, “CHLOE, STOP HANGING OUT WITH THESE INSECURE, SPOILED, AND SOMEHOW MILDLY ENTERTAINING JERKS!”
A word to the wise: Chloe cannot hear us. She’s destined to suffer in many…
Chloe Zhao has got it. I am loving this crop of directors that are putting one, maybe two professional actors in their films, then filling out the cast with non-actors that can’t help but be authentic and real. Sean Baker’s Tangerine and Florida Project, Andrea Arnold’s American Honey, Eliza Hittman’s Beach Rats and Never Rarely Sometimes Always, and Chloe Zhao’s The Rider and now Nomadland.
You find actors like Willem Dafoe (Bobby in Florida Project) and Frances McDormand (Fern in Nomadland) that are incredibly talented, but…