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  • A Ghost Story

    A Ghost Story

    ★★★★

    Guess I'm responding first of all to the ambition here (plot-wise it's a bit of a doodle but it's rare to see such an arty Amerindie, not to mention the audacity of the central conceit), then to visual beauty, and only then to the actual poetry which is intermittent, if potent. "Every atom in this dimension" will fade into oblivion, says Will Oldham in what isn't the film's best scene (though its, um, directness has its own kind of ambition)…

  • Glory

    Glory

    ★★★

    Titles matter, people! This would surely have gotten more traction with a less boring title, though it's hard to know what: maybe 'The Lesson', like the previous film by these directors - it's quite didactic - or maybe 'The Linesman', aligning itself with Yuri Bykov titles like The Major and The Fool. As in those films, official corruption is a big part of the subject - though the big dramatic fulcrum is a very distinctive performance by Stefan Denolyubov as…

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  • Margaret

    Margaret

    ★★★★★

    Held me spellbound for three hours, if nothing else (extended cut, fwiw). 25th HOUR-ish - New York movie, moral drama about Doing the Right Thing, symphonic score over jagged rhythms - also Desplechin-ish for the sweep and scale, but more ambitious than either: an epic of human disconnection, based around the fact that language is such an imperfect way of trying to connect - emotion is easier, but we lose it as we grow older ("It is Margaret you mourn…

  • Aloha

    Aloha

    ★★★★

    File with James L. Brooks' How Do You Know as a late-period rom-com that may seem inept because it dispenses with the usual pretence of realism (the magical setting helps, like it did, in a different way, in Almost Famous; maybe Crowe's peculiar sensibility needs the licence of an anything-goes milieu to really take flight). Myths and omens appear prominently. There's an emphasis on the touchy-feely - Danny McBride as Colonel "Fingers"; Bill Murray giving an impromptu massage - over…