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  • Joy

    Joy

    ★★★

    A film that always seems to be on the verge of careening off the rails, but is held together by another excellent performance from Jennifer Lawrence.

  • The Danish Girl

    The Danish Girl

    ★★

    A film that feels like it was created solely for the Oscars. This is the definitely of Oscar bait. Eddie Redmayne seems to have calculated every twitch, every tear, and ever pained look. The film's saving grace is Alicia Vikander who instills warmth and life in every scene she is in. The one other credit is that the film is gorgeously shot and definitely has a painterly feel to it, but there is not much beneath its pretty looks.

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  • Carol

    Carol

    ★★★★½

    A film to watch in the front row of the theater. Every look, every glance and touch matters immensely, and Todd Haynes has created such a love letter to the Sirkian films of the 50s.

    Gorgeously costumed by Sandy Powell and scored by Carter Burwell (in one of my picks for Best Score) ever detail is so vividly realized. Cate Blanchett is wonderful, but it is Rooney Mara whose expressions alone could have made her a silent film star is…

  • The Big Short

    The Big Short

    ★★★★

    Smart, hilarious, and more importantly excellent at explaining a subject that to many people is simply either too boring or too complex. While I'm not certain I now understand it completely, but this film comes the closest.

    Steve Carrell and Christian Bale are brilliant. Many may find the direction gimmicky, but I thought it worked and kept the film always feeling fresh and inventive.