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  • Himizu

    Himizu

    ★★★½

    My fourth Sono and by far the most tender (the last part is downright sentimental), maybe because his heroes are young or maybe because the dystopian mood comes with a real-life handle (the Fukushima nuclear disaster looms over the movie, sparking an obvious parallel between neglectful/incompetent authorities and abusive/incompetent parents). Very subdued for this director, which is fine since he always goes over-the-top with scenes of violence anyway; the setting is a devastated wasteland, Japan is portrayed as a sick…

  • One More Time with Feeling

    One More Time with Feeling

    ★★★★

    Sad in a half-finished way (that's why it's sad), based around a numbness and emptiness that can't be filled by the filmmaker's style, or even the songwriter's art. Spent about three seconds wondering if the rather coy waiting game that keeps dropping hints of the tragedy hanging over the movie (the death of Arthur Cave) without actually naming it is somehow exploitative, but it's not like anyone's trying to pull a fast one on Nick Cave; he knows what's going…

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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…