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  • Phantom Thread

    Phantom Thread

    Woodcock, played with a meticulous air of control by Daniel Day-Lewis, certainly sees the bodies of his customers, all of them women, as an opportunity to display his own art, to say nothing of the care he takes in his own body, which he keeps handsomely maintained: shoes polished, nose hairs ceremoniously clipped, suits impeccably tailored. But the substance of Woodcock’s art isn’t outright invention. It’s transformation. Each dress he makes is a mix of his own taste and personal…

  • The Black Dahlia

    The Black Dahlia

    My previous review of this sums up my feelings, still.

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  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

    Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

    McDonagh’s sense of morality readily lends itself to entertaining plot turns and impressive acting. He leans into the kinds of vicious, manipulative contradictions that make melodramas so powerful. But in this case, his predilections only lead us down a rabbit hole of dumb ideas, symbolic ironies that really only make sense to people with $80 screenplay software on their MacBooks. Or is this the kind of advice you get when you stick to the free trial? 

    Keep a lookout for…

  • 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…