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  • The Red Turtle

    The Red Turtle

    ★★★½

    Alone in Beauty

    Someone else has reviewed this as "Hans Christian Andersen's Castaway," which isn't wrong. This is the first Studio Ghibli film to be directed by someone who isn't Japanese, because Hayao Miyazaki saw Dutch director Michael Dudok de Wit's Oscar-winning short "Father and Daughter" and wanted to work with him. Apparently, de Wit did not initially believe this, probably in no small part because of the "not Japanese" thing. However, Ghibli has long made films that connect mysticism…

  • Big Eyes

    Big Eyes

    ★★★½

    Art Is Personal

    I get that a lot of people are worn out on Tim Burton's directing style. It's been relying on quirkiness for some time now. And I mean, he's always been quirky. Edward Scissorhands? Yeah. It is what it is. And if you don't like that, that's your deal. But I will also say that he's been going back to the same well a lot in recent years, and I say this as someone who legitimately likes Alice…

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  • Life Itself

    Life Itself

    ★★★★★

    Another Lost Father Figure

    Dear Roger,

    It's not like you'd be surprised it wasn't nominated. I think we could have shared a grim smile, if you'd still been able to smile. No, of course Steve James wasn't nominated for Best Documentary Feature for this, even though it's better than Finding Vivian Maier. Leaving aside that there seems to always be one mediocre film nominated in the category, every year, we could share a grumble about Hoop Dreams. If you'd still…

  • Gone Girl

    Gone Girl

    ★★★★½

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

    The Promised Feminist Non-Click-Bait Perspective

    I don't normally do spoilers, as my regular readers know, but I really felt I had to this time. This is going to involve a heavy-duty discussion of the ending, because I promised a friend online that I'd talk about it from a feminist perspective, and I'm pretty sure, having watched it, that what he wanted to talk about was the ending. Or anyway about the last twenty minutes to half hour, which is about…