• Belfast

    Belfast

    ★★★

    Vibe: 90's Miramax, perfectly crafted for Oscar success. Superficially charming, with one extra star for Jamie Dornan's family man gravitas (oh my god, what a man! #swoon).

  • A Simple Plan

    A Simple Plan

    ★★★★½

    I just love 90's noir. Of course people are going to say it looks too much like Fargo, but its lack of sense of humor makes it even darker, sadder. The plot says pulp, but we're looking at a Greek tragedy, of maybe a Shakesperean tragedy, with a chilling and angelical Lady Macbeth in Bridget Fonda.

  • The Wild Goose Lake

    The Wild Goose Lake

    ★★★★

    Underworld China, as in Fuller's Underworld USA. It's the same combo of inspired genre movie and excellent rendering of the hidden angles of a country.

  • The Lost Daughter

    The Lost Daughter

    Just give that fucking doll back to the kid so the movie can end?!

  • The Tragedy of Macbeth

    The Tragedy of Macbeth

    ★★½

    It's too rushed for its own good, basically not earning the madness of the spiral of death of the play. It wants so much to be compact that it botches up the play's most impactful scene, the "spot" monologue - partially because McDormand fails to bridge Lady Macbeth's ambition and the subsequent guilt. It's visually interesting, but far from the greatness of Kurosawa, Welles and Polanski.

  • The Whistlers

    The Whistlers

    ★★★½

    It makes no sense, but nevermind. It's so good in its bit scenes and it's so committed that the whole thing looks like a magic trick - you applaud, but you know it's bullshit.

    Well, all movies are like that in the end, but some want to be tight and coherent and others like this know that you can fake coherence and tightness.

  • Wife of a Spy

    Wife of a Spy

    ★★★★

    A chaste but equally chilling mirror of Ang Lee's Lust Caution, in which the sexual tension of the Taiwan movie is replaced by emotional codependency, with thrilling results.

  • Old

    Old

    ★★★★

    Life is a slasher movie; the decadence of the human body is as scary as the most gruesome killings. Terrific filmmaking.

    As always, MNS know how to film disoriented people until the moment he feels he has to EXPLAIN why these characters were disoriented.

    That's why the ending is so bad. He's explaining everything that was so unsettling when we didn't know what was happening.

  • Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

    Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

    ★★★★

    Words, words, words.

  • Everything Went Fine

    Everything Went Fine

    ★★★

    Genre Ozon > Theme Ozon, but it was good to see these actors together.

  • The Card Counter

    The Card Counter

    ★★½

    Schrader recycled some the basic elements of First Reformed (that were already recycled in that movie, but organically) to a mixed effect if still affecting, until the movie collapses with that tired Pickpocket ending that he had already used in American Gigolo. Jesus Christ, Schrader, get over this transcendental cinema obsession.

  • Titane

    Titane

    ★★★★½

    Fearless character study about a gender-bending person who needs to survive, no matter what. Nevertheless, the shapeshifting aspect of Alexia/Adrien is not mandatory or unavoidable, like in the life of a trans person. It's a decision.

    Alexia appropriates the power of the male experience to weaponize it, even though she must inflict extreme pain to herself to make it through.

    Curiously, it's like the movie is making the opposite of Almodóvar's The Skin I Live In, in which a cis…