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  • Ironweed

    Ironweed

    ★★★½

    Long read in honour of Streep's 68th birthday, first published by Vérité Film Magazine on March 3, 2014:

    Buried amongst 18 Oscar noms, Ironweed is a forgotten film featuring Meryl Streep’s greatest performance

    How is it that an Oscar-nominated film based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, starring two of the greatest actors of all time has been completely forgotten, and until last year's region A Blu-ray release from Olive Films, all but lost to obscurity?

    No matter how big the…

  • Stagecoach

    Stagecoach

    ★★★★

    Clunky continuity and coverage is forgiven for the thundering charge of an incredible stagecoach chase, that even being over 75 years old, more than holds up today, with health and safety defying stunts and visceral violations of the 180° rule as the blast of bullets zing and echo around Monument Valley.

    The first visual I think of at any mention of Terminator 2 is that push-in shot of Arnold Schwarzenegger on a Harley Davidson in a San Fernando Valley concrete…

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  • Birth

    Birth

    ★★★★½

    Maybe no film of Nicole Kidman's career better exemplifies what she looks for in projects or filmmakers: non-conformist, genre-defying risk takers; the uninhibited feeling of uncomfortable subject matter; emotional exhaustion; embrace of the unknown; singular style, often with alienating aesthetics; performances built largely on expression and gesture; deconstruction of female identity and her own glamorous image; the possibility for continual reinvention.

    The first time I saw this when it was released on DVD, I found its austere classicism to have…

  • Maggie

    Maggie

    Moves slower than a zombie shuffle and the greyscale cinematography only adds to how tiresome this feels.

    You don't put such a huge presence like Schwarzenegger in such a small film.

    You don't give the Governator a shotgun and then have him not use it.

    You don't put an action star in a father-daughter drama and expect him to bring the narrative's expected range of conflicted emotions.

    This is woefully misconceived, right down to the most unconvincing family unit to…