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  • Diary of a Mad Housewife

    Diary of a Mad Housewife

    ★★★½

    Grade: B+

    Deals in so many contradictions, though, eventually, it leaves a person in an intoxicating mixture of humor and rebellious energy. By the time we arrive at that glorious last close-up on Tina, the film has already worked its magic.

  • Ingrid Goes West

    Ingrid Goes West

    ★★★

    Grade: B

    The fact that social media has stolen so many away from the activities and social-normative lifestyles we were so accustomed to is not surprising. Much of the sting of "Ingrid Goes West" comes already assembled in our collective mindsets. I'm unsure of how negatively this alters the film going forward.

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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…