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  • Happy Birthday

    Happy Birthday

    ★★★★

    Works really well as a farce, with characters constantly making bizarre, wrong decisions. Works slightly less well as an insightful family drama, but it's impressive that it works as both at all, I think a testament to the acting and the easy chemistry that these people have with each other.

  • And Then We Danced

    And Then We Danced

    ★★★★½

    Oh man. Like all the best films, this blends the specific and the universal absolutely superbly. It captures Georgian life extremely well, with all the drinking, the smoking, the food, and the beauty of traditional dance being contrasted with the ugliness of the equally traditional violent homophobia, while also managing to portray family, friendship, ambition, desire, economic inequality, and the feeling of being young and in love. The acting is amazing, so much expressed through movements, gestures, glances. It's funny,…

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  • Ad Astra

    Ad Astra

    ★★★

    Visually and aurally beautiful, and there's a bunch of great performances, but it's slow, verging on boring, and a bit disjointed. Like what was up with those space pirates? It doesn't quite nail the Malickian 'don't think about the plot, just enjoy the inner monologue / poetry in space' feel, and the plot itself is quite flimsy, so it ends up being a bit of a nothing film in the end, expected more from Gray.

  • Moneyball

    Moneyball

    ★★★½

    I don't really care about baseball and have seen like two games in my life, so it's testament to the acting, the writing, and the mood (enhanced by a great score and soundtrack) in this that it gripped me for just over two hours. Found Foxcatcher a bit of a snooze but definitely should get around to Capote one day.