Greg Boyd

Film and media studies graduate. Lover of horror, romance, and martial arts cinema, and giver of many five-star ratings.

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  • Happiest Season

    Happiest Season

    ★★★½

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

    Loses a potential fourth star for me less for the overall, expected schmaltz of the ending (though the way the movie mostly tiptoes around the dad's ties to what are clearly Republican politics does feel dishonest to me . . . probably a smart decision within the context of "Happiest Season's" feel-good goals but still dishonest) and more for just not doing it all that effectively. Stewart in particular just sells the hell out of the whole thing, but the…

  • Dating Amber

    Dating Amber

    ★★★★½

    This would be something close to a modern classic just for its relentless quotability alone ("I'm going to open an anarchist bookshop, but with franchise potential"), but it's also just so deft in how it balances humor and poignancy—I would even compare it in some ways to Lukas Moodysson's "Fucking Amal," a film that's long been my pick for the greatest teen movie of all time. Variations on "Dating Amber's" basic premise abound, of course, but like Moodysson's masterpiece writer/director…

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  • In My Skin

    In My Skin

    ★★★★★

    PART OF GREG'S HORROR MARATHON: 2016

    CW: Descriptions of self-harm.

    Esther, the lead character of Marina de Van's "In My Skin" (played by the director herself), suffers from a terrifying compulsion. She wants to cut open her skin. She seems to get some sort of erotic charge from the act—something she discovers randomly one day after she accidentally cuts her leg. Very soon, she begins messing with the cuts she already has and creating new ones. When she can find…

  • Carol

    Carol

    ★★★★★

    So I'm probably still a little drunk off this movie (let's take a moment here to acknowledge the absurdity of not letting 18-year-olds in the U.S. legally buy booze while giving them unsupervised access to far stronger stuff like "Carol"), but here goes...

    It might be the small gestures of "Carol" that affected me the most. A face being raised ever so slightly in acknowledgment. A flirtatious smile. A phone receiver picked up in desperation, then slammed down just as…