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  • Rebel in the Rye

    Rebel in the Rye

    ★★★½

    Sorry, I'm not going to hate on this biopic like most everybody has. Nicholas Hoult's portrayal of the young J.D. Salinger might be a little one-note (conflicted writer with one dour expression). But that's my only complaint. The period rang true. Salinger's life of mystery and isolation intrigued me; and the characterizations of the people in Salinger's life (especially as portrayed by Kevin Spacey and Sarah Paulson) were particularly well limned. I left the theater anxious to re-read "Catcher," 60…

  • Call Me by Your Name

    Call Me by Your Name

    ★★★★½

    I'll let others go into details about this beautiful film; but suffice it to say that it is simply the best coming of age film I've ever watched. I've admired Timothée Chalamet ever since his understated role on the TV series "Homeland." However, nothing could have prepared me for his scintillating, intelligent portrayal of 17-year old Elio in this film, a performance that ought to make him the youngest best actor Oscar winner in memory, if there is any justice.…

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  • El Topo

    El Topo

    ★★★★★

    The New York Times contacted me today for background about my review of El Topo that was published in the L.A. Free Press on April 23, 1971. They provided me with a scan of the article, and I'm reposting it here. Maybe 43 years later its verbiage is a little embarrassing; but I stand by what I wrote back then. How often do we get an opportunity to view what we thought about films through the prism of the far…

  • Joy

    Joy

    ★½

    David O. Russell's popularity and reputation for enlightened whimsy eludes me. I can't blame the actors in what has become his "stock company" for my dislike of this film. Rather it must be Russell's mechanistic, by-the-numbers script filled with neurotic characters acting nonsensically. I know I'm out of step with audiences here; so forget that I ever tried to review this film.