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  • Weathering with You

    Weathering with You

    ★★★½

    Is Makoto Shinkai now the Christopher Nolan of anime filmmakers?

    This might sound like a bizarre comparison, but the crux is this: these are two filmmakers with really extraordinary imaginations, manipulating time and space to their whims in order to depict basic human stories of love and loss. However, by focusing on the grandeur of their visions, there seems to be an inherent sloppiness in handling the plot and characters; they both have precise destinations in mind at the expense…

  • Happy as Lazzaro

    Happy as Lazzaro

    ★★★

    In an era of heightened anxieties of class consciousness and class warfare around the globe, it only makes sense that movies not only reflect but amplify that zeitgeist. The United States has made films such as Sorry to Bother You, Knives Out, Us, Hustlers, and The Last Black Man in San Francisco among many, many others. And abroad, Asia has similarly produced films like The Handmaiden, Shoplifters, and Parasite. While the Italian neorealists have incorporated these themes for several decades…

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  • The Act of Killing

    The Act of Killing

    ★★★★½

    Not that we should forgive and forget the horrific actions of Anwar Congo, but he is a psychologically fascinating character to understand and even pity. It is easy to dismiss him and his cohort as monsters, but it is worth understanding the way he attempts to latch onto any sort of narrative to justify his killings as a means to defend himself from his own conscience. While others seem either at peace with or even resigned to their pasts, Anwar…

  • Little Women

    Little Women

    ★★★★½

    At the almost literal 11th hour of 2019, I think I may have just found my new favorite movie of the year. While Little Women may not have the most incisive sociopolitical message compared to many others of the year's best, this film emotionally impacted me like no other. As someone unfamiliar with the material, I dreaded a sterile, pretentious costume drama. But the movie instantly draws you into this family as their ambitions and struggles, despite the time period,…