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  • Custody

    Custody

    ★★

    A puzzling case. Opens with both parties in a divorce hearing making good arguments, through their lawyers, on why they should (or should not) have joint custody, the truth being unknowable and - presumably - somewhere in the middle. Less than 15 minutes later, however, it becomes clear that one of the parties lied to the judge and is devious, unstable and possibly dangerous, so the question becomes (a) whether anything really bad will happen, and (b) how the rest…

  • Madeline's Madeline

    Madeline's Madeline

    ★★★★

    Even better on second viewing, because you don't have to worry about whether the character dynamics are a bit too obvious (they are, a bit; they're probably the film's weakest aspect) and can wallow in the quicksilver rhythm, which is remarkable. It's not just about the self as a prison (and creativity as a tool for escaping it) but also the self as a work in progress, the process of naming the world - the film pauses, now and then,…

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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…