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  • Miracle Mile

    Miracle Mile

    The movie sticks with me, coming to mind amid our own nuclear paranoia, even if the idealism of the ’80s bears little resemblance to our current moment. The American middle class has lost the optimism, having had to come to terms with the long-term costs of all that hope. And the anger of the lower classes, which had been deliberately smoothed over by the rhetoric and imagery of the Reagan era (including Hughes romances), has been pushed to the fore…

  • Death Becomes Her

    Death Becomes Her

    A fine film on Zemeckis's end. But there's too little Goldie. Look into your heart; you know it's true.

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  • Manchester by the Sea

    Manchester by the Sea

    A colleague from my graduate program published this substantial piece in the Los Angeles Review of Books taking the movie to task smartly, but perhaps in over-familiar ways—it's the best and most worthwhile version of an argument about race, privilege and this film that I disagree with. It raises a lot of questions for me, so I responded on Facebook today (1.16.2017) with the following:

    This is really sharp. The points about melodrama and masculinity are especially dead-on. I think…

  • Spotlight

    Spotlight

    Here is when it all falls apart -- rather, shows itself becoming the film it wants, but doesn't need to be. Marty Baron (Schreiber) has just become the new editor of the Boston Globe. Boston is a Catholic town, rich with institutional history: a robust popular press, a monolithic church. Baron, newly minted as the editor of the biggest newspaper in town and a Jew to boot, must meet with Cardinal Bernard Law, the since-defamed Archbishop of Boston, because these…