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  • Hereditary

    Hereditary

    ★★★★

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

    It's often hard to tell exactly where this is going and, at times, it even seems as if every seemingly supernatural moment could still be explained away. Ultimately, this is the rare film where the reveal (and it's very much not a twist*) actually pulls everything into better focus and a coherence is achieved that wasn't fully there before. Even before that, though, the astonishing skill with which each scene is built -- through sound, editing, mise en scene, performance, etc -- is something to behold.

    *if there is a twist, it happens nearer the beginning of the film thab the end.

  • Badlands

    Badlands

    ★★★★½

    The older I get the younger they look...

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  • Disobedience

    Disobedience

    ★★★½

    Rachels Weisz and McAdams, along with Alessandro Nivola, give impressive performances that ooze with stifled emotion wholly appropriate for a story about true love suppressed by religion. And Lelio's direction deals with the balance of subtle emotional moments and rightfully overbearing religiosity and its attached symbolism in a masterful way. At heart, it's a classical chamber drama with a 21st century sensibility.

  • Diane

    Diane

    ★★★★

    Diane is a seemingly archetypal aging white mom who, like so many of the women around her, is the focal point at the center of her own web of people with problems, all collectively part of a vast network of similar webs. In her life, polite queries of basic compassion can arrive as innocuous landmines, triggering knowing looks to wave people off to another subject. Mary Kay Place, one of the most recognizable supporting performers around, gives a remarkable lead…