La La Land (Damien Chazelle – 2016) B+

This is was wonderful film. I was hugely skeptical of the “musical” connotations but it really is not a traditional musical. By and large it is a well-made romantic movie about music, jazz, Hollywood, our dreams and the choices we make. There are a few songs here and there but the music of the filmContinue reading “La La Land (Damien Chazelle – 2016) B+”

The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Aaron Sorkin – 2020) B+

I’ve never even heard of this piece of history known as the trial of the Chicago 7. These guys were arrested and and accused of instigating riots and violence during the 1968 Democratic National Convention. The justice department wanted to make an example of them. The film is well made and well acted. It hasContinue reading “The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Aaron Sorkin – 2020) B+”

We Need to Talk About Kevin (Lynne Ramsay – 2011) A

Is it nature or nurture? I do not think this heartbreaking film comes on one side or the other of what makes a psychopath. While it is obvious that there is something off about Kevin since he was in elementary school, it does not mean his parents could not have done something about it. It’sContinue reading “We Need to Talk About Kevin (Lynne Ramsay – 2011) A”

I’m Thinking of Ending Things (Charlie Kaufman- 2020) A+

 I saw it twice, then listened to the book on Audible. It is a masterpiece I think and the most inaccessible of Kaufman’s movies. It’s rare when a film asks so much of me and expects me to either keep up or give up. It’s even more rare to accept the challenge and dig inContinue reading “I’m Thinking of Ending Things (Charlie Kaufman- 2020) A+”

The Lighthouse (Robert Eggers – 2019) A

Two men are operating a lighthouse somewhere off 1800s New England. They are supposed to be there only for 4 weeks or so. Maybe more. In any case this one is about them slowly going insane. Movies like this; two actors, one or two settings are favorites of mine if done well. This is oneContinue reading “The Lighthouse (Robert Eggers – 2019) A”

The Devil All the Time (Antonio Campos – 2020) B+

It’s an awful brutal movie. It’s a rough, depressing tale set in a Cormac McCarthy type American south in the backwoods of West Virginia. Sold yet? It’s set in a place and time after the second war where religion and violence saturate every minute of it. We get excellent performances by Tom Holland, Bill SkarsgardContinue reading “The Devil All the Time (Antonio Campos – 2020) B+”

Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Céline Sciamma – 2019) A-

Set in the 18th century this a perfectly told love story of a painter, Marianne, who is commissioned to paint a young woman, Héloïse, so that the painting can be sent to her husband-to-be. She does not want to be painted, so Marianne has to take walks with her by the beach and sketch herContinue reading “Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Céline Sciamma – 2019) A-“

Defending Your Life (Albert Brooks – 1991) B

When Daniel (Albert Brooks) dies in a car accident he finds himself in a purgatory of sorts. He is assigned a lawyer and needs to defend his life in front of three judges. His specific actions distilled into a few incidents from his life that he re-visits and defends. In the end it is decidedContinue reading “Defending Your Life (Albert Brooks – 1991) B”