Vadim has written 7 reviews for films rated ★★★ during 2015.

  • 88:88

    88:88

    ★★★

    Would've been nice to have something interesting to listen to to go along with all those striking visuals and editorial aggressions. I struggle to imagine navigating my early 20s (?) via the twin guiding lights of hip-hop and contemporary philosophy, let alone making a copy of Alain Badiou's Plato's Republic a fetish object, but that's my problem I guess.

    [UPDATED: without comment, Isiah Medina, via Twitter: I read your comments on 88:88 and the pages, chapter headings, are from different…

  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    ★★★

    "When confirming RSVPs for the one and only Episode VII press screening in NYC, Disney’s email included some more-severe-than-usual boilerplate about spoilers and embargoes: 'In order to give audiences around the world the opportunity to enjoy Star Wars: The Force Awakens to its fullest and allow them to discover its surprises and plot twists in the cinema, we respectfully ask that you as press continue to be our partners on this journey, and we ask that you refrain from revealing…

  • Listen to Me Marlon

    Listen to Me Marlon

    ★★★

    "Listen to Me Marlon is a very good film of its kind, if not precisely for me. I’m interested in, but not deeply passionate about Marlon Brando, but — with access to the actor’s copious archive of tapes of self-hypnosis, to-do lists, answering machine messages, etc. — director Stevan Riley’s succeeded in telling a familiar story almost entirely through the actor’s own words and those of important people in his life. It’s a semi-classical compilation documentary (improbably, my second film…

  • Spy

    Spy

    ★★★

    "During his career, George Cukor was often referred to as a 'women’s director' for his facility with foregrounded female performers: Katharine Hepburn in no less than 10 collaborations, Jean Simmons in 'The Actress,' the women in 'The Women.' By that logic, Paul Feig is our Cukor." Yay? My review.

  • Shining Love

    Shining Love

    ★★★

    Instantly mentally pegged this as a Japanese Goofus and Gallant (so did Nick Pinkerton, so it's not like I'm stretching much here/great minds etc.). Goofus is a class-condescending snot from money who humiliates the barrel-maker's son in front of his military school friends; his mother is constantly getting her hair done rather than looking after her son's education (the silent-to-sound-era-bridging benshi narrator spells that out), and his wastrel dad drinks hard with geishas every night and always wakes up late.…

  • Pervert Park

    Pervert Park

    ★★★

    "Predictably rough going, Frida and Lasse Barkfors’ Pervert Park focuses on the residents of Florida Justice Transitions. In this St. Petersburg trailer park community, 120 registered sex offenders live, communing in group therapy sessions and providing support for each other. The Barkfors’ structure is straightforward and not terribly satisfying: a few offenders are highlighted, their direct-to-camera recitations — of general life story and specifically what crime they committed, complete with unelided teary breakdowns — either filmed head-on or layered on…

  • Z for Zachariah

    Z for Zachariah

    ★★★

    "Ann (Margot Robbie) lives alone on a farm with her dog, scavenging the city for usable materials in her radiation suit, then returning to her mercifully uncontaminated valley. Devout and lonely, Ann’s solitary existence is complicated by the arrival of Loomis (Chiwetel Ejiofor), an unexpected survivor. He bathes in radiated water, she nurses him back to health, and soon they’ve entered into a sexless, pre-lapsarian/post-apocalypse lifestyle. In the absence of other partner options, the entrance of sexuality seems (at least…