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  • Aquarius

    Aquarius

    ★★★★½

    Aquarius is an achievement from Filho, fulfilling the promise he showed with Neighboring Sounds. It's concerned with the injustices of those in power, the elite and privileged governments and businesses that threaten. But instead of focusing on that, I want to focus on another subject that the film is so fascinated with: memory. How do we remember that which has come before? Is it through objects, like the armoire that Aunt Lucia brought from college and was inherited by Clara,…

  • Happy-Go-Lucky

    Happy-Go-Lucky

    ★★★★★

    What a tremendous and special film this is (as are all of Mike Leigh's films)! The characters are boundlessly rich in texture, and it manages to speak about dozens of topics without ever seeming unfocused. Poppy, played superbly by Sally Hawkins, is our titular "happy-go-lucky" heroine. Consistently the brightest and most colorful person in the room, Poppy consternates, confounds, and irritates so many around her. Like a walking rainbow, Poppy displays a carefree and energetic attitude, cracking off jokes at…

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  • La La Land

    La La Land

    ★★★★½

    I went to school for vocal performance, and musicals were basically my introduction to film as a kid. And I basically adore Demy, so this was right up my alley! The Young Girls of Rochefort is my favorite film musical, and I was completely engrossed in this film as it felt like the perfect synthesis of Demy, Donen, and the more realistic flourishes of something contemporary like Once. I know friends who have essentially lived this life, so it didn't…