James Wade

Playwright. Screenwriter. Other stuff. Movies! Really like movies.

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  • Luca

    Luca

    ★★★★

    Pixar has developed this reputation that every movie they make must be an epic adventure that must also rip your insides out in the process. LUCA feels like deliberate counter-programming to that idea, which makes me hopeful for Pixar, after some lackluster films in the last few years.

    LUCA is a small story set in an Italian harbor town reminiscent of Cinque Terre. In its scope, it feels a bit like some of Miyazaki’s more light movies like KIKI or…

  • In The Heights

    In The Heights

    ★★★★

    Attractive people singing great songs with beautiful arrangements and choreography in real locations...are the movies back??? It’s hard not to love a movie like this. IN THE HEIGHTS is so joyful and bursting with love and energy, it’s easy to get swept up in. When this thing works, it is spellbinding.

    When it works, it’s because this raucous spectacle is erupting out of the characters on this block in Washington Heights. When the movie loses some steam are moments in the…

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  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    ★★★★★

    I cried so hard at this movie I wondered if my face was broken.

    Noémie Merlant, Adèle Haenel are so great. There is not a word more dialogue than there needs to be in the screenplay, and there DOESN'T NEED TO BE because these two (with director Céline Sciamma and cinematographer Claire Mathon) accomplish so much with a glance.

    I love how much attention they pay to the art itself; a bunch of the narrative plays out on the canvasses…

  • Joker

    Joker

    ★★

    Great cinematography, costume design and lead performance were *almost* enough to distract me from the fact that this movie doesn't have a god damned thought in its head.

    Honestly, I was engrossed while watching much of it. The filmmaking seems confident and self-assured and Phoenix's performance is really dialed in. JOKER tries to convince you it's saying something profound about society or mental illness or inherited trauma...but doesn't actually have a coherent point of view about any of those things.…