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  • Let the Sunshine In

    Let the Sunshine In

    ★★★★½

    Lovely, enigmatic film, shot with such graceful ambivalence, it's impossible to tell if you're supposed to empathize with the protagonist or find her comically pathetic. Her taste in lovers is, diplomatically put, questionable: one of them, a banker, orders "gluten free olives" at a bar in a scene that's as cringey as it is funny. She's whiny and insecure, but Juliette Binoche's face lights up with such joy and hope that it's impossible to dismiss her. Beautiful and sensual (and…

  • Isle of Dogs

    Isle of Dogs

    ★★★★

    Our world is so fucked up, Wes Anderson has made a movie about Trump(ism).

    That being said, the film is visually stunning, possibly his best work yet. Narratively (and tonally), is'a kind of a mess because it pulls into too many directions, and because the plot is held together by Greta Gerwig's character which may possibly be Anderson's most obnoxious creation. But, as with The Grand Budapest Hotel, there's an undercurrent of bitterness and sadness running under the surface of…

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  • Birdman

    Birdman

    ★★½

    What's most representative of Birdman are not its uniformly excellent performances (with special mention going to Edward Norton's live wire act as a preening, insufferable, yet spectacularly talented stage star). Nor is it Emmanuel Lubezki's extraordinary cinematography, which condenses space and time and makes the film one of the closest visual representations of what it feels like to watch a live performance. Nor is it Iñárritu's irritating, pretentious use of magical realism.

    No, the most representative scene in all of…

  • Aferim!

    Aferim!

    ★★★★½

    Aferim! reminds me most of Hard to Be a God: to be sure, it's cleaner and funnier, and its sumptuous black and white photography and splendid landscapes also make it prettier to watch. But underneath all these lays, just as in German's film, a terrible bleakness. Aferim! may well be the most important movie made in Romania since the New Wave kicked off in 2001 with The Stuff and the Dough.

    There's a curious lack of political or social critique…