Henry Slavens

Henry Slavens

★★★★★ Masterpiece
★★★★½ Excellent
★★★★ Impressive
★★★½ Great
★★★ Good
★★½ Mediocre
★★ Disappointing 
★½ Weak
★ Bad
½ Awful

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  • I'm Thinking of Ending Things

    I'm Thinking of Ending Things

    ★★½

    What is the mind? What is a person? Kaufman’s answer is something dark, fragmented, and dispossessed.

    Sure, Jake is a tormented man. We’re watching him come undone. But to what end? I’m Thinking of Ending Things is another film contributing to a very dreary anthropology. It takes a courage to affirm the annihilating loneliness of life and the unmistakable meaningfulness of it all. There’s none of that courage here.

    The visuals and performances are great though!

  • Battle of the Sexes

    Battle of the Sexes

    ★★

    Equal parts heavy handed and unfocused. Emma Stone's performance is great though. Also notworthy: Alan Cumming playing a gay tennis stylist who happens to speak like a wise old woman.

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  • Closet Monster

    Closet Monster

    ★★★

    The score to Dunn's debut builds up and bursts forth with power, often leaving the film itself in the dust. Jessup ultimately keeps it all afloat, as we watch him silently fill with electricity and send waves in every direction, to everything that lies in his path. Much of the script and many supporting performances are clunky. Editing hits very hard but misses more than I would have expected. The magical realism and fablesque quality of Closet Monster are tantalizing, but never quite find the right rhythm. I walked away with many emotionally-soaked images, but little to say about the full-fledged film.

  • Margaret

    Margaret

    ★★★★★

    Kenneth Lonergan's Margaret is a compassionate proclamation of human finitude.

    Anna Paquin plays Lisa Cohen, a precocious high school student living in New York City. She's a teenage force of nature to any person that crosses her path, whether it's her mother (the speed of their altercations  would make the Gilmore Girls blush), a misogynistic police officer, or her Midwesten high school geometry teacher (Matt Damon). Paquin is truly a revelation in her vulnerability and lends incredible depth to the…