Vadim has written 4 reviews for films rated ★★★½ during 2019.

  • Life is Fare

    Life is Fare

    ★★★½

    This one fell through the cracks a little bit and is a real treat. I profiled director/star Sephora Woldu here.

  • Peterloo

    Peterloo

    ★★★½

    Peterloo is not nearly as bad as its initial response, and it’s probably not as good as its second wave of champions would have it, but for starters it’s the first Mike Leigh movie that I haven’t been bored or actively repelled by since Happy-Go-Lucky, so there’s that.

    Aside from scrupulously recreating the material particulars of the Peterloo massacre (an assumption I’m making due to the movie’s emphasis on certain odd characters or side tangents that, if they weren’t part…

  • The Hottest August

    The Hottest August

    ★★★½

    While I did write a bit about this as part of my True/False dispatch this year, if you're going to read something from me about this it's probably more productive to read my interview with Brett Story.

    I'm a little surprised how many people have taken objection to the film's looseness and lack of throughline. Of course, the line between "feature" and "bug" is extremely subjective, but I like watching a new film, made in an American independent context (I guess), that completely resists mandates for a clear narrative arc, legible anxieties with attendant impact campaigns, etc.

  • Friday Night

    Friday Night

    ★★★½

    The first half of this, up to when Valérie Lemercier and Vincent Lindon enter the hotel, is easily among my favorite things Denis has ever done. The whole build-to-night pre-title card sequence is extremely bold and gorgeous, Lemercier vibing out by herself in her car is a pleasant mood. It’s fun to be out at night, and people watch, and see what’s happening, and Denis totally gets it—everyone here is just rolling with it. The colors are extremely pleasant to…