Favorite films

  • Lawrence of Arabia
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • Ran
  • Secrets & Lies

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  • Happy Together

    ★★★★

  • Catch Me If You Can

    ★★★½

  • Irma Vep

    ★★★½

  • Annette

    ★★★

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  • No Country for Old Men

    No Country for Old Men

    ★★★★★

    A determined but hapless man who thinks he’s more competent than he is gets mixed up in a crime, and everything proceeds to go horribly wrong. That's a plot hook that the Coen brothers have riffed on several times throughout their shared career, most visibly so in Blood Simple, Fargo, and this, their first film conventionally adapted from a literary source.* What distinguishes No Country for Old Men’s take on this plot hook from its predecessors’, and indeed from the…

  • The Rules of the Game

    The Rules of the Game

    ★★★★★

    When you’re starting out on your cinephile journey, Jean Renoir’s The Rules of the Game* is one of the first experiences you’re likely to have where a film’s lofty reputation confuses you. I say this as someone who had such an experience. I first saw the film at age 16, when my knowledge of world cinema and filmmaking in general was still developing - to give you some sense of where it was, I was confident enough to say that…

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  • Catch Me If You Can

    Catch Me If You Can

    ★★★½

    I'm not sure why this is as loved as it is. It looks terrific, and its last act reveals a surprisingly potent emotional core, but it's also much too long and the script is littered with unfunny jokes. Approach it purely as a confection, though, and you can't be disappointed: Spielberg treats it throughout as an excuse to genuflect in adoration to midcentury American culture (and James Bond), resulting in what must be the most Rockwellian film of a career that's invited no shortage of comparisons to Rockwell.

  • Irma Vep

    Irma Vep

    ★★★½

    I don't know what this film thinks it's saying about The State Of French Cinema, but it definitely thinks it's saying something about it.

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