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  • Defending Your Life

    Defending Your Life

    ★★★★

    Bonus star for Meryl Streep eating 2 pounds of pasta.

  • Millennium Mambo

    Millennium Mambo

    ★★★½

    This tone piece on memory passed me by, even though it sounds like my kind of film. Shu Qi plays Vicki, a young woman stuck in a bad relationship with a loser. For most of the film, she oscillates between bars at techno-thumping night clubs and in the fetal position under her bed’s comforter.

    Note to future Frank: if you rewatch this movie, count how many cigarettes Vicki lights. Every scene, I think.

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  • La La Land

    La La Land

    ★★★★

    Can't stop thinking about La La Land, because my brain and heart say yes, but my gut says no? Does anyone else feel this way?

    Been thinking it over, and here’s a rough draft—La La Land is the Gotye’s “Someone That I Used to Know” of movies: undeniably catchy and clever in construction, pleasantly saturated, strikingly reverent of its references, impressively crafted, yet something I feel guilty about liking, and will likely seem more and more anemic as time passes? Going to revisit the film next year. I want to be wrong about this.

  • Anomalisa

    Anomalisa

    ★★★½

    Anomalisa is the story of a sad narcissist who stays sad despite admiration and success. Yes, a film about a privileged individual’s struggle with the basics of life is probably worth an eyeroll, but Anomalisa’s vitality comes from how it poses as a parable. It can embody its main character’s situation with the opportunities of animation: hundreds of characters with the same face and voice, meant to embody Michael Stone’s misery. It’s a claustrophobic, monotonous, and constrained film about the…