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  • Wonderstruck

    Wonderstruck

    ★½

    WONDERSTRUCK (Haynes, USA, 2017, 3)

    What a narratively-constipated mess that had me nodding off in spots and never regretting it. There’s two similarish “deaf-kid” stories that are set in different time periods but quite obviously have to intersect somehow at the end because they’re in the same movie. But more importantly, neither has any independent stakes, except the parallels with the other. Whenever either threatens to build momentum, we cut to the other. And even that isn’t often because each…

  • Jane

    Jane

    ★★★★

    ‪JANE (Morgen, USA, 2017, 8) 

    Didn’t mind the present-day interview footage of Goodall herself (and her narration was obviously aces) like I feared when she first appeared, in part because self-consciousness becomes, in fleeting moments, the film’s subject. Looks absolutely gorgeous, especially considering my complete urbanity. But if you’d only shown me the film’s first two minutes, I’d’ve sworn that Morgen was using present-day high-def footage. Not as pointed or hilarious as PROJECT NIM, and the last 6-8 minutes are…

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  • Everybody Wants Some!!

    Everybody Wants Some!!

    ★★★★½

    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

    ★★★★½

    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…