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  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind

    Close Encounters of the Third Kind

    ★★★★½

    In the doc that precedes the 40th anniversary release, director Denis Villeneuve suggests the movie is a personal one for Spielberg beyond his obvious fascination with the material. He says the movie is about movie-making too, which struck me as a little trite - and cliche - in the moment. I mean, how many directors and their films has this been / could it be said about?

    And yet, watching this time, I was struck by Roy Neary's journey from…

  • Before Sunrise

    Before Sunrise

    ★★★★★

    If somebody had told 19 year-old me that one day I’d watch this intimate masterpiece with my 14 year-old daughter... after having a conversation with Ethan Hawke where, just like an Ethan Hawke character in a Richard Linklater movie, he oh-so-insightfully schooled me on the importance of giving said daughter permission to make mistakes, to break hearts and have her heart broken... well, I might’ve said that sounded like something from a Richard Linklater movie. 

    There is some kind of magic in this world.

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  • The Nest

    The Nest

    ★★★½

    Durkin craftily navigates a few different fronts here. It’s billed as a thriller and there’s a pseudo-horror aspect to it, but at its core is a domestic drama with a husband and wife having to confront the deception in their marriage - and their self-deception. Carrie Coon is a unique talent, giving a unique, powerful performance, and Jude Law is up to the challenge as well, oozing smug charm.

    For more, check out our review on Filmspotting #793.

  • Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles

    Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles

    ★★★★★

    “I'm disciplined and organized. I use habit and routine to make my life possible.” --Leonard Shelby, "Memento"

    It's astonishing Chantal Akerman was only 25 when she made this considering the artistic assurance, understanding of form and the wisdom of her perspective. Her precision connects us so closely to Jeanne’s routine - and her psyche - that every action, gesture or breath requires scrutiny. Movies are all too often reserved for stories of grand sacrifices - typically, male ones; "Jeanne Dielman"…

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  • Sing Street

    Sing Street

    ★★★★★

    Everyone is going to get so sick of me talking about this movie.

  • Before Sunset

    Before Sunset

    ★★★★★

    Forget finally confronting "Upstream Color," or the eventual Sacred Cow conversation about "2001"... Having completed my "Before Sunrise/Sunset" homework, I can't imagine anything more daunting than seeing and discussing "Midnight." I find I'm utterly incapable of talking about these films in a rational, analytical way. Remember Ebert's joyous opening to his "Almost Famous" review?

    Oh, what a lovely film. I was almost hugging myself while I watched it.

    That's me with "Sunrise/Sunset", except instead of an impulse to hug myself,…