Handy has written 126 reviews for films rated ★★★★★ .

  • The Green Knight

    The Green Knight

    ★★★★★

    ENCHANTING TALE OF COURTLY HONOR AND CHRISTIAN VALUES SUBJUGATED BY MORE ANCIENT CELTIC FEMINIST RITUALS.

    This film is a meditation. For those pinheads who like Knight Riders, let them live in their flat world of glands. For those of us with brains and souls, let great films like this.

  • Stray Dog

    Stray Dog

    ★★★★★

    KUROSAWA MIFUNE SHIMURA: What Else Need I Say?

    This is the perfect hot day Japanese noir film from Kurosawa, inventing this sort of detective film for Japan from his own knowledge of detective fiction and American detective films.

    Toshiro Mifune has found his stride as a brilliant international star able to carry a film, Takashi Shimura shines again deeply but quietly as the experienced Mentor to him who runs half as fast but gets further, and in their young ingenue…

  • The Passion of Joan of Arc

    The Passion of Joan of Arc

    ★★★★★

    PUNK JEANNE D'ARC: SNUFF FILM FROM THE JAZZ AGE

    This film, even nearly a century after it was made, can be approached from so many vectors--feminist, historical, religious--but these are accessed by how simply visual it is, and how spare and austere the visual imagery is: mostly just short close-up shots of faces edited quickly together to evoke powerful emotion: Dreyer doesn't allow us a contextual orientation of an establishing long shot---all of the characters could be missing limbs or…

  • The Night Manager

    The Night Manager

    ★★★★★

    "I don't care who sees me naked. I care who sees me crying".

    This wonderful series is the Smarter Bond Movie--six hours long--that John le Carre' has always been able to weave for us: with far fewer gadgets for boys, far more charming and even human Villains, and Sexy Femme Fatales whose Intelligence and Confidence are so stalwart that they'll happily become The Boss' Whore for the right price and the right lifestyle.

    Take any one of the major characters…

  • Detour

    Detour

    ★★★★★

    Give a lift to a tomato, you expect her to be nice, right?

  • Paris, Texas

    Paris, Texas

    ★★★★★

    Everything works in this film--though the ending is a little off base.

    Robby Muller gets some of the greatest footage of the Tex/Mex border ever, Ry Cooder makes one of the greatest soundtracks in film history, and every actor is solid, vibrant, and engaging in this film--even the kid.

    This was the film we all wanted to see when it came out because it was the cool Wim Wenders, the incredible Ry Cooder, and the amazing Sam Shepard writing it.…

  • Until the End of the World

    Until the End of the World

    ★★★★★

    PROBABLY THE BEST HANGOVER FILM EVER, SINCE YOU START WITH CLAIRE HUNGOVER, GO ON LONG-ASS ADVENTURES ALL OVER THE WORLD, AND NONE OF IT REALLY MAKES SENSE...

    The longest, loosest, funkiest, messiest road movie ever, by a film maker who cares more about getting the soul right and the landscapes shot than giving the actors lines that sound in any way believable.

    It's clearly his love letter to Solveig Dommartin, giving her more picturesque and lovely locations than most actresses…

  • Late Spring

    Late Spring

    ★★★★★

    OZU TEACHES US TO MEDITATE ON HIS FILM AND IN DOING SO, TEACHES US HOW TO WATCH HIS FILM.

    I can't express how this OZU festival has made me have new respect for Ozu, having seen how he was master of various genre--especially silent comedy in pieces like "I was Born, But..." I put Ozu in a category with Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd, so to have films by him 20 years later that aren't overt comedies is amazing.

    I…

  • The Red Shoes

    The Red Shoes

    ★★★★★

    Is this the most obsessive film ever made? I taught and directed theatre, film, and dance for decades, and this film ties my stomach in knots of anxiety, both for the shame that I could never approach anything so magnificent, but also for every performance that nearly killed me over thirty years of doing it: I'm honestly in torment for Moira Shearer because I keep thinking--like in a nightmare--that I have to do her dancing: which would be an odd…

  • The Hustler

    The Hustler

    ★★★★★

    Paul Newman at his best and George C. Scott at his best in the Goodfellas or Rocky of billiards.

  • Black Narcissus

    Black Narcissus

    ★★★★★

    NO ONE CAN RESIST MR. SHORT SHORTS!

    Nothing is more sensual or erotic than restraint. Cover up everything about a woman but her eyes and hands, and you'll find they multiply their sexual attractive charge manifold the same way the first glimpse of a rose petal as its green cover peels bare is as intensely charged for the viewer as a girl's revealed revealed ankle bared to put on ice skates, even if the rest of the girl is layered…

  • The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp

    The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp

    ★★★★★

    Even though he's a stuffy old Imperialist rich boy--one of the first up against the wall when the revolution comes, as Douglas Adams wrote--I love the old guy.

    There's real joy and camaraderie in this film; it's so innocent in some scenes, it could be Disney or a musical: the scene in the beer hall where they battle over music, the duel scene...the little moments of his life that mean so much, especially looked back upon from later.

    I'm sure…