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  • Vox Lux

    Vox Lux

    ★★★

    Natalie Portman's performance is one of her best. She's effusive in her desperation, her love, her anger, and her isolation. Sometimes all at the same time. She dangles her character Celeste precariously over the edge of an emotional abyss only she can see. And Celeste wishes desperately the rest of the characters around her--her sister, her daughter, her manager--could know what it is she's thrashing against. But ultimately, they don't. Which only adds to the her concentric rings of isolation.…

  • You Were Never Really Here

    You Were Never Really Here

    ★★★★

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

    (SPOILERS)

    “You Were Never Really Here” is difficult to watch. No doubt. I don't want to "explain" the movie to anyone. Doesn't seem productive or even possible with a film like this. But I do want to offer one particular way of watching/experiencing it.

    Joe is a guy who is struggling. The only language he knows for navigating the world is violence. It's a world in which he feels isolated, and it's not totally clear why. But on some level,…