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  • The Seduction of Mimi

    The Seduction of Mimi


    THE SEDUCTION OF MIMI (Lina Wertmuller, Italy, 1972) 4

    I first saw SWEPT AWAY and SEVEN BEAUTIES during my "exhausting the canon" phase in college, and boy, do I not trust my opinion of those films now (I saw ALL SCREWED UP a couple weeks after MIMI, before writing this up, and much of what I'll say here applies to that one too.)

    The comedy here is just not funny. It's over-the-top. It's shrill. It's vulgar. And the combination of…

  • The Big Sick

    The Big Sick


    THE BIG SICK (Michael Showalter, USA, 2017) 7

    Coming around to the view after a couple of weeks that Kumail Nanjiani isn't much of a stand-up comedian, and isn't meant to be one here, or at least that this film isn't a showcase for his comic chops. Certainly it's a common (and accurate as far as it goes) criticism that Nanjiani's routines aren't funny, and neither are those of his posse. But the film isn't really hurt by it and…

Popular reviews

  • Everybody Wants Some!!

    Everybody Wants Some!!


    EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!! (Linklater, USA, 2016, 9)

    What I want to say sounds oxymoronic, but … Linklater has succeeded in making an uncritical critique of nostalgia. On one level this film is 200-proof, capital-N Nostalgia, completely self-absorbed in its era, in the filmmaker's own biography, and in the hanging-out vibe it encourages (there is no plot, per se; with a couple of thereby-significant caveats, below). It's an easy life to view through rose-tinted glasses -- the last weekend before classes…

  • A Quiet Passion

    A Quiet Passion


    A QUIET PASSION (Terence Davies, Britain, 2017) 9 R

    On second view, A QUIET PASSION (a title that could not unreasonably be paraphrased A LOVE THAT DARE NOT SPEAK) transparently became what I inchoately inferred on first view — Terence Davies’s spiritual autobiography regarding his own deeply conflicted homosexuality, through a felt kinship with Emily Dickinson on that score.

    Davies is openly gay but has said often that he’d rather it weren’t so — he is celibate and it “ruined…