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  • A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

    A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

    ★★★★½

    There's a shot in this film I found so beautiful I smiled: when Arash and the Girl are at her place, and he slowly comes close and stands behind her. It was like the visual and emotional equivalent of spooning. At the same time, the first date feel is complicated by that ever-present question: Will she kill him?

    A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is filled with such beautiful images. Its tone is complex, its characters often desperate, predators…

  • Nocturnal Animals

    Nocturnal Animals

    ★★½

    Basically this movie is about a heartbroken dude (Jake Gyllenhaal) who wrote an ultraviolent novel with a metaphor for how the break-up made him feel. He sends it to ex-wife and heartbreaker, Susan (Amy Adams), who becomes emotionally engaged with the story and the state of her own life after she moved on from him. She's ultra-chic and on-the-surface-rich, disillusioned with her art curating life (because she should have been an artist, see, instead of becoming her mother). Maybe I've…

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  • Wings

    Wings

    ★★★★

    This may be a familiar story--a soldier struggling with ordinary life after respected service in war--but the female protagonist is not. This story is also typically told with a character who is traumatized by his/her experiences, but this one can't suppress images of flying among clouds, and even her memories of a KIA lover are romantic rather than tragic. A scene between her and her daughter, who says she should quit her job as a school headmistress and "let others"…

  • I Am Not a Serial Killer

    I Am Not a Serial Killer

    ★★★½

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

    Though I wish I'd known this was more supernatural horror as opposed to a straight-up thriller, there were some aspects of this film I really enjoyed, one being the absolutely terrifying Christopher Lloyd. Not many actors have perfected both the arts of goofiness and menace. I also liked the contrast between this monster who loves and is deeply attached to a human being, and a human who may be a sociopath that struggles to care or connect with his family.…

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  • Alias Grace

    Alias Grace

    ★★★★

    Sarah Gadon's face is everything in this series; my favorite scene remains the first, where her expression shifts to match the perceptions of both those who condemn and those who support her. I can't even begin to delve into the ways in which Alias Grace is relevant now and likely always will be.

    More proof that Margaret Atwood (nice cameo!), Sarah Polley, and Mary Harron are the shit.

  • Bluebeard

    Bluebeard

    ★★★½

    Bluebeard (a somewhat puzzling English title; the literal translation works better) is one of those psychological thrillers you want to watch again as soon as you finish it. So much is in doubt upon a first viewing: is the protagonist crazy or the victim of an actual conspiracy where only he knows who's responsible for local serial killings? Is he simply reading too many mystery novels? I won't spoil the ending except to say there's no simple yes or no for each of those questions. Cho Jin-woong is excellent and carries the story through its twists, though I'm ambivalent about the very last one.