It is somewhat edifying to note that the two most powerful films about racism (the other being Twelve Years a Slave) were directed by Brits. This one, however, has the distinction of being one of the most powerful films about, well, anything, ever.
I really, really like this story, but only in theory, meaning not the version told here. I think that what bugs me most about it, aside from one incredibly happenstantial encounter near the film’s end that considerably lessens the power of the plot twist, is how the flashbacks are framed in relation to the present action. Perhaps this is the kind of pedantic critique deserving of a ”Go fuck yourself!” from the back row of the audience, but I don’t…
I frankly realize that Affliction will never be mentioned in the ongoing conversation concerning the ‘greatest films ever’—which, when you consider that I rank it higher than both 2001 and Seven Samurai, only makes this five-star rating completely ridiculous—but I’ll continue to champion it as one of the bleakest, most harrowing domestic dramas—and yes, one of the greatest films—of all time. A bold claim? If it is, then just ignore me.
Paul Schrader’s televisual directing style has proved time and…
What seals McCabe & Mrs. Miller’s status as a masterpiece to me is a scene that includes neither of the titular characters. In fact, it involves two characters whose roles are seemingly insignificant. Late in the movie, just before the climax, there is a confrontation between a cowboy and a bounty hunter. To avoid giving anything away, I won’t go into details, but this scene – this single, profound moment, which lasts less than a minute – defines what McCabe & Mrs.…