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  • Kind Hearts and Coronets

    Kind Hearts and Coronets

    ★★★★

    Since I imagine countless other reviews & blurbs have ably commented on this film's many delicious ironies & its balance of the absurd and the sinister & Alec Guinness (& even the undersung Dennis Price, especially when he gets to indulge in a little cosplay of his own), I just want to briefly highlight two moments (of many) of impeccable comic timing: The guard's snore as Louis begins to read his memoir to himself, and the cough/sneeze when Louis mentions that his mother, to make ends meet, had to take in a border.

    That "eenie meenie miney moe" sideswipe in the final 5 minutes, though.

  • Ball of Fire

    Ball of Fire

    ★★★★

    Gary Cooper's ill-timed "boogie" during Gene Krupa's matchbox set. (& as someone who thought Dana Andrews -- as a leading man, anyway -- was a real wet and/or stiff blanket, his relaxed supporting turn here was a revelation.) Also, a thousand apologies for all my egregious split infinitives.

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  • The Swimmer

    The Swimmer

    ★★★★½

    As a pointed commentary on "modern living" (b/w some sly scuttlebutt about the gulf between haves and have-nots), as a sympathetic yet unflinching depiction of a man's misspent life, as an embodiment of his fractured delusions, as a cautionary tale about the poisonous allure of nostalgia, as a possibly accidental case of form mirroring function (cf. the mismatched cuts serving to reflect Merrill's addled state of mind), and most definitely as a testament to Burt Lancaster's ability to simultaneously embody virility and vulnerability, this film is 99.99.99% perfect.

  • A Most Wanted Man

    A Most Wanted Man

    ★★★★

    What Philip Seymour Hoffman says at the end of the film.

    Note to other movies: If you want to get on my good side, conflate political bureaucracy with brutalist architecture.