Favorite films

  • Klute
  • Opening Night
  • Light Sleeper
  • Personal Shopper

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  • The Big Sleep

  • Farewell, My Lovely

  • After Hours

    ★★★★★

  • Bonjour Tristesse

    ★★★

Recent reviews

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  • The Big Sleep

    The Big Sleep

    A very strange mishmash of tones, as this is very much a leering, styleless Michael Winner film with spurts of violence and nudity. Mitchum brings the same gravitas to the Marlowe role but feels noticeably older than in Farewell, My Lovely despite there only being a 3-year gap between them (he’s only about 9 years younger than Jimmy Stewart, who’s supposed to be a decrepit old man.) Unlike Altman’s The Long Goodbye the decision to update The Big Sleep to the…

  • Farewell, My Lovely

    Farewell, My Lovely

    Handsomely produced but flavorless, the only thing that gives it bite is Mitchum’s terrific presence - he’s very clearly 10 or 15 years too old for the part, but the performance is so perfect it’s easy to overlook. Fun to see Harry Dean, Sly and Joe Spinell pop up in small roles.

Popular reviews

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  • Smooth Talk

    Smooth Talk

    ★★★★

    Joyce Chopra is deceptively subtle, the first hour of Smooth Talk lulled me into thinking it was well-observed and strikingly naturalistic but maybe a bit prosaic; when the film shifts into its climax (the part directly taken from the Oates story) the spare craftsmanship turns absolutely chilling. Treat Williams is terrifying (he uses and works around sunglasses extremely effectively, which is something that always impresses me) but Laura Dern is absolutely stunning - one of the best performances of a great career. The only glaring flaw is the chintzy synth score that sounds like a soap opera.

  • Bonjour Tristesse

    Bonjour Tristesse

    ★★★

    It’s a Preminger film shot on the Côte d'Azur so you know it’s going to look stunning (the b&w framing sequences are particularly luminous), but it really only cooks when it emphasizes the Oedipal kinkiness at its center - the framing sequences feel extraneous, and in fact the whole thing feels a bit padded despite its 90 minute runtime. Seberg had the camera appeal that makes her pop onscreen from day one, but her acting is hesitant and stiff here.