nocturnalduck has written 5 reviews for films rated ★★½ during 2021.

  • Three Colors: Blue

    Three Colors: Blue

    it's a tragedy that kieslowski didn't live long enough to artistically mature and learn to embrace his moment-making operatic impulses instead of constantly subduing them for no reason like he does here. his divine comedy trilogy would have been amazing.

  • First Man

    First Man

    for two thirds of this chazelle builds this amazing thing about the catharsis of channeling your traumas and pain to service an ideal bigger than yourself while also documenting the emotional devastation that this kind of single-minded pursuit creates, but then biffs it a bit with an ending that tries to counter this with a melodramatic arc that ties the catharsis to the act of achievement itself rather than the pursuit. it creates a flip-flop on the validity of meta-narratives that turns a very good movie into a solid one.

  • Short Cuts

    Short Cuts

    conceptually great but altman doesn't have the dramatic skill to center a film entirely around these interconnecting slice-of-life narratives for three hours.

  • The Long Goodbye

    The Long Goodbye

    this is as breezy, melancholic, and well-made as its reputation, but it ultimately needed to be either more surreal or high-key to hit the specific emotional notes it shoots for.

  • Wild Strawberries

    Wild Strawberries

    this movie combines three elements, two of which i find negative: storytelling instincts that are overly literary for the impressionistic portrayal of memory and regret this sort of goes for, a pat sensibility that really doesn't match the pain being portrayed here, and a phenomenal grasp of how the totalizing vortexes of our accumulated identities eventually suck us all in over time.