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  • Fanny & Alexander

    Fanny & Alexander

    ★★★★★

    Grade: A+

    The first hour and a half does the magical work of a casual party host. The rest is a fairytale and the work of an artist at the peak of his powers. Almost unexplainably great.

  • A Quiet Place

    A Quiet Place

    ★★★½

    Grade: B+

    If you set aside all the numerous silly breaks in logic that make the story possible at all and try, instead, to engage your emotional side to at least 50% operating level, you will be left with quite the cinematic treat. John Krasinski wanted to make a film about family and the potential sacrifice required to keep those around you safe. Well, I have to say he succeeded. He and his writing team came up with a wickedly…

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  • Manchester by the Sea

    Manchester by the Sea

    ★★★★½

    Grade: A

    It seems to me, more than ever now, that the film is about responsibility. Lee can barely stomach the morning's sun calling in a new day, let alone being forced into caring for a teenager out of nowhere. Despite this, giving the movie it's soul, he does. The discovering of moments is what constitutes the bulk of the film. Lonergan paints with the smallest of aspects, yet finishes with a piece almost epic in its impact. That, to…

  • Polina

    Polina

    ★★★½

    Grade: B+

    The final moments are mesmerizing. As multiple strands of Polina’s psyche cohere, a dance and a sequence are birthed that begin to make sense out of the narrative hiccups that seem to persist throughout.

    The film presents conflicting questions of identity, from matters of dance to that of national borders. Nuzzled within it all, there is an image that gives life to the film and Polina along with it: a lone stag in the snow. Our heroine is…