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  • Promising Young Woman

    Promising Young Woman

    ★★½

    Had heard for months that this film was hella schematic. Was still somehow surprised to discover, huh, this film is hella schematic.

    Hella schematism is not— of course— an inherent problem, but it is a problem here. Two reasons.

    A. This film is not impressively hella schematic.
    Despite the title, Fennel had no real interest in crafting a character study here. She has placed us thoroughly outside of Cassie-- intending to grant her gamesmanship a Machiavellian mystique by never keying…

  • Judas and the Black Messiah

    Judas and the Black Messiah

    ★★★½

    Okay. Yes. Bedizening your biopic of a proud anti-capitalist with a Jay-Z soundtrack and an aggressive Oscar campaign— these are hmm iffy optics. Like, I couldn't sketch a better parody of the current state of NPR Leftism if you locked me in my room for 72 hours with some Red Bull and three magic markers. But... getting all self-righteous about this film's timid refusal to honor Hampton with an equivalent radical liberationist perspective of its own is about the same…

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  • The Duke of Burgundy

    The Duke of Burgundy

    ★★★★½

    84/100

    Showed this to my father. He was bored by it. I explained to him that the fact that he loves me enough to watch any film I want him to is what the film is basically about. He said "No Julian, it's about lesbian lepidopterists."

    It's still a masterpiece, Dad.

  • Mustang

    Mustang

    ★★★★

    73/100

    Hot Take 1: The Great Escape + The Virgin Suicides = me underselling the fuck out of this movie.

    Hot Take 2: A beautiful, ten-legged monster is sliced up by the patriarchy, but bravely refuses to bleed.