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  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    ★★

    This was fine for about 90 minutes - mostly inert, in that I honestly can't think of another forbidden romance film (queer or otherwise) with less on-screen obstruction, but handsomely photographed and occasionally stirring ("He doesn't make the lover's choice, but the poet's / Maybe she chooses". The first walk to the cliffs. The bonfire.) To me, the last 30 minutes capsize the ship; the emergence of the titular painting is lame (and if this framing device is to be…

  • Liberté

    Liberté

    ½

    You would think “the climax of Eyes Wide Shut starring the cast of Barry Lyndon” would be at least mildly interesting, but then half of it is just guys clutching at their own pantaloons. One of the most torturous screenings I’ve ever sat through.

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  • Phantom Thread

    Phantom Thread

    ★★★★½

    I don't want to give a star rating just yet (11/26: disregard), and I definitely don't want to say anything revealing until people get a chance to see it. But wherever you stood in the Great PTA Twitter Battle earlier this week is almost definitely where you'll remain after this gorgeous, slightly unhinged, idiosyncratic-yet-unprecedented entry in his catalog.

    Pretty sure it's no secret I'm in the "there's literally no argument - he's the goddamn greatest" camp.

    11/27: I can't stop…

  • First Man

    First Man

    I hated so many things about this, but I feel I should at least commend the general aesthetic chaos of the flight sequences: a mostly impressionistic series of underlit handheld closeups which highlights the physical toll on the human body, and also the fact that this technology - while being at the forefront of human achievement - never seems to be quite as secure as one would hope.

    Having said that, the motif wears out almost immediately because Chazelle shoots…