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  • Private Life

    Private Life

    ★★★★

    It has been 11 years since the incredible Tamara Jenkins made her last film The Savages in 2007. In that film, Jenkins has made a singular, well-written film about particular scenarios of every day life. Her stories are simple—familial, marital, and romantic relationships—but they’re built and written with intellectual complexity and observational humor. Thus—her stories are completely organic and relatable. That is the same with her new film Private Life.

    Private Life centers around a NY couple who tried every…

  • The Rider

    The Rider

    ★★★★

    The gifted Chloe Zhao mesmerizes with her intimate, empathetic focus on the life of a cowboy in The Rider. Drawing from real-life events and characters, the film is a “docu” drama centering on a young man working in a rodeo in search for his own American dream. The Rider boasts Ms. Zhao’s unique, and delicate characterizations of her characters and her sense of place. In a different director, a character like Brady might come as a closed-off, uninviting presence but…

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  • Whiplash

    Whiplash

    ★★★★½

    Damien Chazelle's smashing, adrenaline-fueled, electrifying drama is bloody exhilarating to watch as it is uncomfortably compelling. Chazelle is surely one of the up and coming directors we need to watch out for. His youthful, energetic, intense direction is felt on screen and it's mind-blowing. The film follows a young jazz drummer and his quest to be the best among the rest in a prestigious music conservatory.

    This film reminds me of Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler, and Black Swan, as their…

  • Force Majeure

    Force Majeure

    ★★★★

    Ruben Östlund's sophisticated, wickedly funny, and intriguing dissection of masculinity, gender roles, marriage, and relationships is irresistibly alive, uncomfortable, yet absolutely clever. Östlund's psychodrama follows a couple and their kids in a ski vacation somewhere in France, but the couple's relationship is severely tested by an avalanche that will trigger their inner demons, as well examine their moral dilemmas.

    It's like Bergman's Scenes from a Marriage meets Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf with special participation of Haneke's cold precision. Ostlund…