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  • Eighth Grade

    Eighth Grade

    From hearing it described, I thought this would be traumatizing to watch, but it's actually a very sweet, uplifting movie that affords unpopular kids a lot more dignity than most other films in this genre do.

    The thing I really like about it, though, is that it's one of the only stories I can think of where the main character doesn't need to convince the people who dislike her that they're wrong in order to be happy.

  • Phantom Thread

    Phantom Thread

    The nonjudgmental attitude Phantom Thread has toward its characters has made it a kind of Rorschach test where your preexisting attitudes determine what you see.

    I saw a really uncomfortable movie about how people use each other in relationships, where the boldest suggestion was that that might not always be bad. Other people have seen a comedy about a woman getting revenge on her terrible husband, or a story designed to exonerate a Special Talented Man for abusing his wife. The weird thing is that any of those readings seem plausible, depending how you want to look at it.

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  • Vox Lux

    Vox Lux

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

    People have radically different interpretations of the ending, and it seems to really affect how much they enjoyed the film.

    I loved it, and I want to share that love with you, so this is the ending I thought I saw: It was the devil's will for Celeste to be a pop star, because he wanted her to distract everyone from the rising tide of horror all around them. She didn't bargain with him to make her famous; she bargained…

  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit

    Who Framed Roger Rabbit

    There's a special place in my heart for movies that were really, really hard to make. Roger Rabbit is the most successful blend of live action and animation that had ever been done at the time, and it's also a weirdly successful blend of family-friendly comedy and film noir. They even got Warner Bros and Disney characters in the same film.

    None of the parts should go together, but they do, and it feels really rewarding to watch people take a big swing like this and succeed.