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July 20, 2019 at 1:20 am #1202986229
“Absence of Malice” (1981): It’s a slow-going and dry film at first, tackling such user-friendly topics as racketeering, union corruption, and journalistic integrity. By the second hour, the plot kicks into high gear and rallies toward the end for an explosive finale. Paul Newman is fantastic here. He had this undeniable movie star aura around him in everything he starred in, but that never compromised his fierce intelligence or compassion. Sally Field played one of the most inept journalists I’ve ever seen, but I guess they all can’t be portrayed as Woodward and Bernstein. Part of me didn’t always buy Field’s character, like she was too smart of an actress to play this green. The supporting cast included Bob Balaban, Josef Summer, a late-arrival role from Wilford Brimley who turns the film inside out (the Academy really took this character actor for granted–he should have been nodded at least once for something over his 50-year career), and actual supporting actress nominee Melinda Dillon. She’s only in the film for the first hour, so definitely a true supporting role. Impactful in a quiet way, but I’m a bit surprised she was remembered. Not sure if I would have bothered to nominate her, but I see that she benefited from a few critics prizes. Solid film for what it was and watchable enough for repeat viewing, though I doubt I’d need to for a long while.July 20, 2019 at 9:11 am #1202986790
Non-Fiction (2018/19; Directed by Oliver Assayas)
This film is a bit too talky but enjoyable, reminiscent of Woody Allen’s work in the 1980’s. The film tackles issues around technology changing reading habits, the way we relate to one another due to the rise of the internet, book publishing, and relationships. Juliette Binoche, Guillaume Canet, Christa Theret, and scene-stealer Vincent Magcaine star in the film. I especially love the bit where Juliette Binoche is suggested for reading the audio book and Binoche’s character Selena says she can give them Ms. Binoche’s agent’s phone number! (;
Grade: BJuly 20, 2019 at 4:56 pm #1202987476
In Safe Hands (2018; directed by Jeanne Herry)
This superb movie follows the case of a baby boy who is put up for adoption at birth by his 21 year old birth mother – we get to know her, all the social workers, the foster parent & his wife, and prospective adoptive parents including the eventual single adoptive mother. Superb performances, especially by Elodie Bouchez – who won the Lumieres Award for Best Actress and was nominated for the Cesar Award (along with Sandrine Kiberlain as a social worker and Gilles Lellouche as a wonderful male foster parent who takes care of the baby for a few months). It was particularly nice to see Miou-Miou again in a too small supporting role, and the actress who plays Matilde – an older social worker – are truly superb. The film has an accumulative power; superbly directed, edited, written and acted (:
Grade: A+July 21, 2019 at 10:38 am #1202988426
“The Frontrunner” (2018): I vaguely knew about Gary Hart, his political history, or his scandal prior to seeing this film. It’s illuminating in some ways in an allegorical sense, like “look what’s coming in the future, folks!,” sort of way: privacy erosions, politics as entertainment, and a compromised “free press.” Hugh Jackman was alright. He kept Gary at an indignant arm’s length throughout, which made the performance very surface. That could have been how the real man was (and still is), so who’s to say, I guess. This read like a chaste Clinton/Lewinsky precursor, though I did like seeing how Hart’s staff and inner circle/family dealt with the fallout. J.K. Simmons was particularly good here as Hart’s beleaguered campaign manager. He might have contended for awards in a better film. Vera Farmiga was also a standout as Hart’s wife, Lee. It’s that thankless “stand by your man” wife role that should thoroughly be beneath Farmiga’s stature at this point, but everyone knows why that’s not the case. It’s one of the few times in a performance where I got a sense of why a wife sticks around for a man like this. (The other recent time was with Julianna Margulies in “The Good Wife.”) I also wonder what’s going on with Jason Reitman’s career right now, going from fiery entries like “Juno” and “Up in the Air” (a true affirmation of Vermiga’s on-screen potency that makes this role look shameful), to mehness like “Labor Day,” “Men, Women, & Children,” and this one. I don’t think this even qualifies as failed Oscarbait. Oh well. At least he’s loyal to his regular actors. Passable, yet skippable.July 31, 2019 at 2:39 pm #1203004451This post was found to be inappropriate by the moderators and has been removed.August 4, 2019 at 9:51 am #1203009871
The Wild Bunch (1969). Not a bad film but really disappointing, I have no idea how someone can call this the best western ever or the best film of the 1960s. It feels very dated, in its technical aspects but also in its depiction of Mexicans. Usually I’m not one to complain about theses issues, but it felt really problematic in this case (to the point it was so irritating, I just wanted the film to end). I didn’t like the editing in the action scenes, and the cinematography has many problems, visually is extremely inconsistent. Yet I enjoyed it because of the cast, specially William Holden and Robert Ryan. But why is this a classic? I’ll never understand. I hope if I ever see it again my opinion is changed, because I had really high expectations.August 4, 2019 at 2:45 pm #1203010284
I’ve been getting into horror films lately, I’ve just watched Misery. It was amazing, Kathy Bates was truly spectacular in this
FYC Emmys 2019
Killing Eve- All Categories Nominated ‘Sandra Oh for the win’
Fleabag for Series, lead actress and Supporting Actress ‘Colman’
Amy Adams and Hugh Grant
FYC OSCARS 2020- ‘Little Women’ ‘Downton Abbey’ ‘Saoirse Ronan’ ‘Maggie Smith’ ‘Emma Thompson’ ‘Late Night’August 9, 2019 at 7:45 pm #1203017984
The Other Woman
Not going to lie, I’ve seen this way too many times for any healthy-minded person. For awhile, it was my routine movie to go to sleep on. Diaz and Mann’s chemistry were off-the-charts.
The Art of Racing in the Rain (2019): Just saw this with some family and oh my god, this gif is my review:
This movie put me on the verge of tears literally every minute. I’m coming for the, so far, 51% of RT critics that are hating on the film. I’m officially a Milo stan too.
“No user starts this shady” - someone culturally relevant.August 10, 2019 at 7:54 pm #1203019048
Recently watched Tokyo Story, cannot recommend it more. It’s so honest in its simplicity, yet it effortlessly breaks my heart at every turn.August 11, 2019 at 8:32 am #1203019340
Rewatched Pleasantville and forgot how much I loved this film. It may be a little on the nose, but I don’t even care. Joan Allen also gives one of my favorite supporting performances of all time. She’s so quietly devastating.August 11, 2019 at 8:41 am #1203019346
This may not be an actual movie, but I have watched Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling this past weekend. It’s a 45 minute TV special on Netflix that is a revival/continuation of the 1990’s Nickelodeon animated series, Rocko’s Modern Life. I thought Static Cling lived up to the original series with the same lovable characters and wicked sense of humor. Not to mention some great touching moments at the end. For fans of the original series, it’s a lot of fun to spot all these easter eggs and background characters that have appeared on the show over the years. For newcomers, I think this special does a great job of re-introducing the main characters. I highly recommend it.August 11, 2019 at 5:16 pm #1203019814
“Wildlife” (2018): I recall the build-up to this film last year. It was Paul Dano’s directorial debut, based on Richard Ford’s acclaimed novel, and seen as a potential best actress vehicle for Carey Mulligan. It seemimgly went nowhere due to an ill-timed release date, which is unfortunate. It’s a finely crafted marital drama, which might beg the question, “Why does the world need another one of those, again?” Another straight, young, white couple going through all kinds of relationship angst, this time set during the 1960s in Montana where a newly moved family must settle into changing societal shifts and oppressive financial concerns. Carey Mulligan was indeed superb and would have been a worthy Best Actress nominee. I’ve wanted to see a follow-up Oscar nomination for “An Education” so badly for her, but it’s coming sooner rather than later, I think. Jake Gyllenhaal was more supporting, but he delivered well and was probably more effective in this limited capacity than he’s been in years and years of odd leading roles and overacting. Young Australian actor Ed Oxenbould is a legitimate find as Joe, who anchors the film’s story beautifully. There’s also an arresting supporting performance from Bill Camp, who I didn’t know existed until “The Night of” (he’s had a long career prior). This is exactly the kind of veteran character actor who will stumble onto an Oscar nomination one of these days. Paul Dano should be proud of his debut effort. He’s great with actors, young and old. The lensing is beautifully done, and there’s no first-timer timidity to be found anywhere really. I will say that the screenplay with Zoe Kazan was too writerly, and liberties taken to Ford’s novel undercut some missing dramatic elements. Maybe things were a tad too pristine, and something edgier or messier should have entered into this well-worn narrative somehow? I enjoyed the film in spite of that though, and it’s clear that Paul Dano can add another career highlight and distinction to his plate now.August 16, 2019 at 8:26 am #1203026419
I finally saw Ma and omg Octavia is perfect in this. The movie really sucked every time she wasn’t on screen though and the teen actors were annoying.
GIVE LENA HEADEY HER EMMYAugust 16, 2019 at 9:12 am #1203026463
I watched Julie and Julia and The great Hack
Check out my online store 🙂August 16, 2019 at 9:18 am #1203026465
I just finished watching Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus. It’s a 70 minute TV movie on Netflix that is a revival/continuation of the early 2000’s Nickelodeon animated series, Invader Zim. I thought Enter the Florpus was awesome! It literally has everything that made the original series so great, yet tells an epic story with some nice family dynamics. Not to mention that the animation looks better than ever.
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