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  • Moonlight

    Moonlight

    ★★★★★

    Just as breathtakingly beautiful as I remembered.

    I've seen plenty of LGBTQ-themed films over the years, but never experienced anything quite like this. It's like the film's creators distilled all the loneliness, longing, confusion, rage, and heartbreak from my teen and young adult years into liquid drug form and then injected it directly into my veins.

    It's an epic visual poem more than anything. Every sensuous shot, every song or section of the score, every spare line of dialogue is…

  • The Father

    The Father

    ★★★★½

    Bleak, brutal gut-punch of a film about an older man suffering from dementia/Alzheimer's. This hit especially hard since I've been watching a close family member go through an almost identical experience in recent weeks.

    I've seen plenty of films on this subject - Iris and Still Alice come to mind - but they're always told from an objective outsider's perspective as straightforward, linear stories about the real-world impact of the disease on careers, children, caretakers, etc.

    This is the first…

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  • Better Days

    Better Days

    ★★★★½

    In a year when so many mediocre films are being unjustly lavished with awards nominations, how refreshing it is to stumble across this reminder of what truly exceptional filmmaking looks like!

    It's that rare alchemy where spectacular acting, lyrical cinematography, masterful directing, imaginative editing, and a haunting score all combine to create a truly mesmerizing and memorable cinematic experience. Feels almost incongruous and inappropriate for a film this bleak, brutal, and bruising (literally and figuratively) to be so breathtakingly BEAUTIFUL…

  • Hillbilly Elegy

    Hillbilly Elegy

    ★★

    My favorite parts of this film were the POV shots of the main character driving through his small Ohio hometown, noticing the various businesses boarded up, families sitting around bored and hopeless in front of their dilapidated homes, addicts aimlessly wandering the streets looking for their next high.

    I liked these sequences because they hint at the deeper and much more interesting film this might have been, a probing look at the effects of globalization, corporate outsourcing, poverty, the opioid…

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  • I Care a Lot

    I Care a Lot

    ½

    This was painfully bad. Like, sitting around with friends playing drinking games to make fun of it bad. Mystery Science Theater 3000-level bad. Would rather watch Mank ten times in a row than have to sit through this crap again bad. BAD bad!

    The acting is so embarrassingly over-the-top that I almost wondered if camp was the ultimate artistic goal here. (Spoiler: It isn't). Pained me to see otherwise respected, award-winning actors whoring themselves out for this trash.

    The characters…

  • Call Me by Your Name

    Call Me by Your Name

    ★★★★★

    A seductively sensual, dazzlingly beautiful film that impressed me even MORE with this second viewing.

    I know it's always dangerous to start throwing superlatives around in a movie review, but this is one of those rare films that tempts me to do it, so here goes:

    #1: Easily the BEST film about adolescent desire and first love that I've ever seen. Perfectly captures the sensation and torment of irrational lust and illicit desires one can barely comprehend or contain; the…