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  • Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story

    Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story

    ★★★½

    A fascinating life and a well-rounded assessment--but I'm positively giddy that the filmmakers didn't forget the Blazing Saddles goof/homage ("That's Hedley!") and even managed to snag an interview with Mel Brooks.

  • The Painter and the Thief

    The Painter and the Thief

    ★★★★

    In Oslo, an artist contacts a man convicted of stealing her painting from a gallery; from there, an unlikely, slow-building friendship develops between these two very different souls. As it makes unexpected leaps backwards and forwards in time, Benjamin Ree's documentary captures the stumbled-upon nature of this relationship while also maximizing the emotional beats and leaps of faith of a narrative that's steeped in redemption and reinvention. The degree to which Rees manipulates this narrative is questionable, but the end result is totally convincing in showing what we're capable of when we open up to another person.

  • The Best Years of Our Lives

    The Best Years of Our Lives

    ★★★★★

    Extraordinary, both as classic Hollywood cinema and also as a relatively nuanced record of a particular moment as it was occurring. I couldn't name a contemporary equivalent (maybe Parasite, although it comes from a very different place) and don't expect to anytime soon.

  • Mauvais Sang

    Mauvais Sang

    ★★★½

    I wish the plot of this was as striking as the primary color scheme against the monochrome backgrounds; fortunately, youngish Denis Lavant and his wiry, kinetic presence makes anything watchable.

  • Waiting for Guffman

    Waiting for Guffman

    ★★★★½

    "It's a zen thing, like how many babies fit in a tire..."

  • Moonrise Kingdom

    Moonrise Kingdom

    ★★★★★

    Still my favorite Wes Anderson film after The Royal Tenenbaums and Rushmore; "I love you, but you don't know what you're talking about" is such a great line, especially when the response is, "I love you too."

  • Losing Ground

    Losing Ground

    ★★★★

    Takes a little time to loosen up, cohere and surpass its historical importance, but once it leaves the classroom behind, it gradually blossoms into an idiosyncratic, beautiful thing: very few filmmakers have ever scrutinized and depicted both moviemaking and salsa dancing (not to mention an aging, fracturing relationship) with the rawness Collins applies here.

  • On a Magical Night

    On a Magical Night

    ★★★

    A mid-life crisis fantasy that's a little silly but often charming in how unashamed it is of its silliness. The acting and keen sense of space nearly make up for pacing that occasionally drifts and flails but ends up in a satisfying place.

  • Images

    Images

    ★★★½

    Still the strangest picture in Altman's revered early '70s run, and apart from Susannah York's tour-de-force performance and Zsigmond's cinematography, the least essential one--maybe because it hinges too closely on a fleeting narrative without transcending it. Still, a relative Altman failure at this phase of his career remains highly watchable, unlike many of his post-Nashville ones.

  • Stolen Kisses

    Stolen Kisses

    ★★★½

    More a series of sketches than anything resembling a thorough narrative, but then again, your early 20s are often like that. Also gets more mileage (and substance) out of Doinel-as-detective than you'd ever expect.

  • Rififi

    Rififi

    ★★★½

    I might've been more wowed by this had I seen it before scores of films it influenced. As a gangster/heist picture, story-wise, it feels average; still, the intricate, kinetic set-pieces, from the famed thirty-minute dialog-free sequence to that nail-biter of a finale at least help distract from what a shit the lead character is.

  • Patton Oswalt: I Love Everything

    Patton Oswalt: I Love Everything

    I could totally relate to the masterful Denny's bit, even though last time I was there "The Grand Slams" were probably but a gleam in some ad exec's eye.