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  • Good Manners

    Good Manners

    ★★★½

    Questions to ponder: (a) Was young Miguel Lobo cast purely on the basis of his surname? (b) Was there a point when Rojas and Dutra were like 'Oh no, Marjorie Estiano is getting big Skandie points but we're still committed to this dumb halfway-point bait-and-switch, what shall we do'? Does seem a shame, given the central relationship (also seems like the sexual side is a bit gratuitous in retrospect, not that I'm complaining), then again it's never boring. It takes…

  • The Day After

    The Day After

    ★★★★

    Not as tricksy as it first appears - when it looks like two different timelines are going to be running concurrently - indeed it seems clear (On the Beach... showed it too) that Hong now makes much blunter films than he used to, without the air of mystery lent by his structural doublings. The style is blunter too, but in this case that's a good thing: it's pared-down, with extraneous characters removed (no waiters or proprietors sully these restaurant meetings)…

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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…