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  • Ava

    Ava

    ★★★★

    The opening shot of Ava is filmed from the back of a car, looking onto the front passenger seat, while a young woman and her mother argue. The camera remains here while the argument finishes, the young woman (the titular character, Ava) leaves, and the car turns the corner to go home. I can think of a handful of Iranian films in the last 20 years that have featured this shot. It captures my attention, still. Much like this directorial…

  • Isle of Dogs

    Isle of Dogs

    ★★★

    Wes Anderson's Isle of Dogs is, to my mind, an amalgamation of almost every other Wes Anderson films. It has a kid's journey at its center like Moonrise Kingdom, a complicated father-son relationship like Grand Budapest Hotel and The Royal Tannenbaums and Darjeeling Limited, underdogs (this time literally) fighting for survival like Fantastic Mr. Fox, a sacrosanct high school journalist like Rushmore. There's something for every fan of Wes Anderson to love here. But it feels a little too soon…

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  • Things to Come

    Things to Come

    ★★★★★

    There's a passage from Rousseau that Nathalie (Isabelle Huppert who is, perhaps next to Juliette Binoche and Maggie Cheung, the best working actress in the world) teaches to her students in the 3rd act of this film. It is a passage about desire supplanting or superseding happiness. That it is the expectation of something good happening that brings true pleasure. That it is this hope for things to come that is the source of pleasure. Not the things themselves coming…

  • Spectre

    Spectre

    ★½

    More Lea Seydoux. Less everything else, please.

    Also, where did the Sam Mendes of REVOLUTIONARY ROAD and JARHEAD go? I want that guy back.