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  • Tea and Sympathy

    Tea and Sympathy

    ★★★★

    While MPAA censorship and Catholic conservatism kept the film from realizing the stage play's consideration of sexuality, simplifying Tom's non-conformity to his expression of masculinity, a confusion and frustration that merely requires feminine understanding, these latent themes can, nonetheless, be felt resonating through Minnelli's film, adapted by the playwright himself. The suffocating pressure of gender-norm codified society is expressed with a vivid frustration in Minnelli's lavishly patterned, exuberantly photographed, production design, the popping colors of the lavish sets and costumes…

  • Gemini

    Gemini

    ★★★½

    Katz plays the beats of his neo-noir homage with a low-key confidence that calls to mind Altman's genre subversion masterpiece THE LONG GOODBYE, signalling a departure from the seedy intensity of the genre's late-heyday in the '80s and '90s. This low-key mood draws attention away from the plot's twists and genre archetypes and to its study of the hostility and alienating loneliness of Hollywood and the suffocating climate of transactionary and exploitative reationships that drives women like Kravitz's star to…

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  • Sicario

    Sicario

    ★★★★

    The strength of Villeneuve's intensely muscular direction, Deakins's gloomily gorgeous and evocatively atmospheric cinematography, and Jóhannsson's lush score set a spectacularly grim, fatalistic air of dread-soaked taut tension that lends Sheridan's overly glib, cynically nihilistic drug-war horror story a pulpy tone. The film's pulpiness helps to trim away the shallow nihilism of its moral commentary by amplifying the gruesome horrors of the film's bleakly nihilistic world and the grim amorality of its characters, overpowering Sheridan's didactic intentions and delivering a…

  • The Conformist

    The Conformist

    ★★★★½

    Repressed sexuality and denied desire intermingle seductively and threateningly with fear, guilt, and shame in Bertolucci's masterful, hauntingly beautiful study of Catholic guilt and fascism. Casting a Freudian eye on the twisted psyche of Trintignant's weak-willed conformist, Bertolucci mines the conflicting complexities that hide behind the banal vener of this model of a complacent upper-middle class intellectual.

    Bertolucci brings a baroque, expressionistic sensuality to the chilly tension of the flim-noir-tinged assassination plot that injects an intense, dreamy subjectivity to the…