• Saturday Night Fever

    Saturday Night Fever

    ★★★★

    What happened to movies?
    They used to be so weird and and small and sad and then suddenly exhilarating. Also yikes. Also Travolta is unreal in this thing. Un. Real.

  • Don't Look Up

    Don't Look Up

    ★★★½

    For a movie I was supposed to hate, pretty funny and not really at all bad.

  • West Side Story

    West Side Story

    ★★★★½

    This movie is about whoever’s face Spielberg’s camera alights on. Credit to Kushner, too, who deepens an already brilliant book. ‘61’s West Side made a pretty good case for the musical to be considered the best ever; Spielberg’s confirms it.

  • Nine Days

    Nine Days

    ★★★★

    A wonder.
    The degree of difficulty to pull something like this off is truly staggering. Even more impressive: to leave so many questions delightfully unanswered. Moving, funny, thought-provoking, sincere without being cloying. And the theatricality that Oda brings to the film. Can’t wait to see where he goes next.

    Also Benedict Wong needs to drop in for a couple minutes into every single film.

  • Saint Maud

    Saint Maud

    ★★★

    Some effective imagery and a deeply unsettling central performance by Clark weren't quite enough to convince me that this had anything substantial to say about religion or about the dangerous allure of religious fanaticism. It was, however, a good reminder that Jennifer Ehle is the most under-utilized actor in the free world.

  • The Killing of Two Lovers

    The Killing of Two Lovers

    ★★★½

    Well-acted and stunningly shot with a very effective sound design. I kept expecting it to blossom into something stranger and more poetic, but its restraint and naturalism is also a virtue, with some wonderfully written and performed scenes that Machoian lets play out in long, uncut shots.

  • Shiva Baby

    Shiva Baby

    ★★★½

    Doesn't quite stick the landing, but Seligman stages manages the hell out of her ensemble. Great performances, some squirm-inducing moments of sickening tension, and she gets us deep inside the headspace of Rachel Sennott's Danielle.

  • The French Dispatch

    The French Dispatch

    ★★★★

    When has something so full of delight and surprise been so sad? Oh, right, every other Wes Anderson movie.

    ++

    Anderson has always taken pleasure in disrupting our desire to get lost in a movie. He never wants us to forget that we are watching something that was made, that was crafted. Because this counter-intuitive trait shows up in all kinds of ways (from casting to dialogue to music to his distinctive visual style), this can be misinterpreted as an annoying affectation. I have come to experience it as an act of great generosity - to us, the audience, but also to Anderson's collaborators.

  • Petite Maman

    Petite Maman

    ★★★★½

    Simply
    Perfect

  • Ghostbusters: Afterlife

    Ghostbusters: Afterlife

    ★★★

    Ok so the end of the movie is a grotesque sentimental rehash of the original and I completely understand how people who really care about the original could get violently perturbed by it. But since I’m pretty agnostic about the ‘84 film, I found a lot to like, mostly thanks to the very good cast, and, to a lesser degree, Reitman’s efforts to capture the tone of 80s movies, yes like Ghostbusters, but even more so E.T., Gremlins, and a…

  • Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar

    Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar

    ★★★½

    An old school SNL sketch gloriously expanded to feature length except in this case there was no SNL sketch making it somehow even more gloriously, transcendently stupid. I would totally be an official couple with this movie.

  • West Side Story

    West Side Story

    ★★★★★

    Ok maybe I’ve been a little too hard on Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer.

    This thing is f’ing incredible.