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  • Princess Mononoke

    Princess Mononoke

    ★★★★★

    Princess Mononoke stands proudly on its ever-more-urgent exploration of humankind’s conflict with nature, showcasing through fantasy all that we don’t realize our own greed steals from us. (As a villager expresses after the crisis has passed, “Huh, I didn't know the Forest Spirit made the flowers grow.”)

    But there’s still more here. Two revolutionary women clash; they each know down to the bone what they are fighting for. Our boy warrior’s strongest gift is being deeply in touch with and…

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  • Bells Are Ringing

    Bells Are Ringing

    ★★★½

    Classic Film Challenge 2019

    Looking at the reviews here, I’m not the only one to just discover the joy of Judy Holliday through this film. What great comedic timing, and what a success for the plot to make such good use of her hysterical stable of voices. She makes this material feel real, like jokes your funniest friend would make or goofy faces and dances you only do when you’re alone. The film struggles in just about any scene without…

  • Wait Until Dark

    Wait Until Dark

    ★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Instead of writing something more substantial tomorrow about this film’s thesis that assisting a disabled person with challenging tasks undermines their ability to cultivate independence (to put it generously), I’m going to stop thinking about this film right now because it genuinely frightened me! Men taking advantage of the kindness of a lovely Audrey Hepburn morphing into a tense battle of wits had me very entertained. Then the last act put her face-to-face with a sickening performance from Alan Arkin…

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  • Contagion

    Contagion

    ★★★½

    The very quality for which people criticize this film - its detachment, its lack of big moments for the actors, its cool pacing - is exactly what makes the film work. It is that lack of sentimentalism (along with the extended shots of snotty hands on door handles and elevator buttons) which lets film creep up on you for weeks after you see it.

    I would also like to applaud the abundant representation of capable, unobjectified women scientists in this film.

  • Cloud Atlas

    Cloud Atlas

    ★★★★

    What a beautiful, courageous, glorious mess. This is the kind of film I wish would be made more often. I loved it, and I am sure it only gets better with more viewings. This film won't be soon forgotten.