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  • Phantom Thread

    Phantom Thread

    ★★★★★

    Phantom Thread is very much a Paul Thomas Anderson. Mostly akin with something mysterious like The Master than his work on films like Boogie Nights or Magnolia, Phantom Thread is Anderson again working at his heights. He makes a willfully strange film about toxic, yet perfectly match, romance. He speaks to truths about selfishness and minor-major annoyances, and how they relate to a relationship. Metaphorical, but in many ways literal, Phantom Thread "goes there" as a gothic film in the…

  • Call Me by Your Name

    Call Me by Your Name

    ★★★★½

    In our dark times, a film about keeping a zest for life is such a welcome commodity. This film is filled with pleasure, both erotic and tactile. It's about pain, too, and how we are always in danger of allowing our fear of pain keep us from self-actualization. This is an existential film in its natural, at times awkward depiction of falling in love. The two leads have a lot of chemistry, though I've read and talk to people who…

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  • Close-Up

    Close-Up

    ★★★★★

    #90sMarathon

    There isn't much more for me to say about this film-- most of it has already been said and better than I could. It's such a beautiful look at the roles we play in our day to day, and the collision between art and "reality", whatever that is. This docudrama is one of the great Iranian films, one of the great 90s films, no. It's one of the great films.

    Here is what I wrote about it for Abandoned…

  • Arrival

    Arrival

    ★★★★½

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

    Arrival is a science fiction film about how the journey is more important than the destination. Really Arrival is about both--the journey and the destination, hence its title.

    But it's a tricky title, because it also seems to imply the arrival of the aliens to our world. It's a time old tale, but this film has a unique spin. Denis Villeneuve and his team give this film the sense of craft and gravitas he offered Sicario last year--great cinematography, sound…