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  • The Salesman

    The Salesman

    ★★★★

    Compelling and upsetting in all the right ways - unsurprisingly.

    But I still sometimes struggle to make sense of Farhadi's visual strategy, which seems to go from workmanlike and serviceable, at worst even erratic, to bold and downright mesmerizing from one minute to the next.

    And there is still that needlessly nervous editing, too often robbing the images of their power. But just like in A Separation this overzealousness is front-loaded, and the film relaxes eventually.

    Either way, good stuff overall. I really need to catch up on the Farhadi films I missed.

  • Toni Erdmann

    Toni Erdmann

    ★★★½

    wow, this is a lot of things all at once

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  • Argo

    Argo

    ★★

    I give up. I just don't get it.

    Yes, Affleck and his art department load the movie with historical detail. Yes, Affleck is a competent enough director. But the resulting movie is safe and bloodless, never settles on a character, an image or a narrative strand, clumsily shifts tone, neither lingers and observes, nor escalates. The latter at least not until the final minutes of the final act, when it starts to work down a contrived and predictable suspense checklist,…

  • Interstellar

    Interstellar

    ★★★★

    Maybe it's something fundamental that Nolan gets right here. Something about the wonder, the horror, the magnitude, the silence, the noise, the isolation, the awe, the loneliness of space travel, of exploration, and how it relates to who we are on a terrifyingly personal level, something that transcends all of the usual Nolan-isms. And there are many here, amplified to an almost unprecedented degree. Yes, the crude, perfunctory dialogue, the editing with its confusing geography, the blunt themes, the tendency…