It Should Happen to You (1954)
An instant fan of Judy Holliday's, I shall continue to honor her memory by repurposing Gladys Glover's unimpeachable exit line whenever I need to beat a hasty retreat: "I think I'd better be going because I'm not having a good time."
Posted Jan 28, 2022
The Marrying Kind (1952)
Judy Holliday's unassailable timing and instincts bring her character, Florence Keefer, a dispirited wife and mother, vividly to life.
Posted Jan 28, 2022
The Tragedy of Macbeth (2021)
Not since Roman Polanski's adaptation has a film of the Scottish Play stared so deeply and rapturously into the ruins of human ambition. Coen does it with fidelity to the Folio, shrewd casting, and a few strategic interpretative landmines.
Posted Jan 14, 2022
Sambizanga is about the hardest things, but it leaves a gentle, almost honeyed flavor in its wake. Its slyest move is to show political abstractions entangled in material life...Poetics of relation are not theorized but brightly lived.
Posted Jan 7, 2022
Swinton-whose roles in the past decade have been marked by maximalist acting flourishes-appears revitalized by Weerasethakul's signature hush and placidity. The tranquility, though, exists only on a superficial level; so much roils underneath.
Posted Dec 17, 2021
A lot but not quite enough, Benedetta has the odd distinction of being both OTT and underwhelming...While some zealots may find Verhoeven's latest to be irreligious, for many others, it simply preaches to the choir.
Posted Dec 10, 2021
Out of the Blue (1981)
Dennis Hopper made the film while still in the depths of his various addictions, yet the dark shambolic energy that both radiates from the actor and suffuses every minute of Out of the Blue never once overwhelms Linda Manz.
Posted Nov 19, 2021
A film that spends nearly two hours advancing already axiomatic notions-obscene opulence does not equal freedom; protocol is a prison-with easy ironies, weighty symbols, and portentous phrases.
Posted Nov 12, 2021
Passing's as much a matter of what's happening around a body as what appears as surface. That is, it's not all about color, not exactly. This black-and-white film doesn't evade tonal differences on the skin, but rather smartly minimizes their relevance.
Posted Nov 5, 2021
The Souvenir: Part II (2021)
As dazzled as I was by the performances in Part I, I was impatient with the meek, well-bred protagonist...Much of the joy here, in contrast, is in how this once-passive young woman plunges headlong into creative projects, friendships, & romantic dalliances.
Posted Oct 29, 2021
Devoted to the ambitious production of overawing grandeur, it never quite coheres into something more profound or compelling than its carefully wrought parts, but does deliver a pageant splendid enough to entertain those of us unfamiliar with the book.
Posted Oct 29, 2021
studious inattention to its own implications is rather remarkable. Despite its absorbing flash and gore, and its deceptive air of considered complexity, it collapses under scrutiny the minute the credits rolls-or before.
Posted Oct 8, 2021
Arrebato (Rapture) (2021)
Filmed in the middle of a nationwide spree, Arrebato is a blighted, frightened piece of work. You may want to back away from it sometimes, but its weird, nodding, incantatory pull keeps you hanging around for another fix.
Posted Oct 1, 2021
Moment by Moment (1978)
This strange, oddly touching movie never fails to fascinate, demonstrating the challenges of performing desire, and revealing the kinds of emotional connections that can fill the void left by the utter absence of sexual chemistry between a screen couple.
Posted Sep 13, 2021
A slinky political thriller about deception, dissembling, and self-delusion...[with a] slow-release malefic mood...expertly calibrated.
Posted Sep 13, 2021
Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson unearths many dynamite performances from the festival-exhilarating moments that are often interrupted by talking heads from the present weighing in on the past, montages, or other distractions.
Posted Jun 25, 2021
Summer of 85 (Été 85) (2021)
I held out hope that Summer of 85, Ozon's latest, would be a return to form, since it concerns themes that the director explored so sharply at the beginning of his career: estival idylls and anarchic adolescent desire. My optimism was sadly misplaced.
Posted Jun 18, 2021
Working Girls (1987)
Abstractions can eclipse the particularities of sex work as work. Working Girls redresses this balance with humor and care, delving into the unspectacular grind of selling sex while never entirely giving up a foothold in metaphor.
Posted Jun 14, 2021
All Light, Everywhere (2021)
The subject matter at hand demands a degree of toughness that All Light, Everywhere shies away from in favor of a more fluid rumination that doesn't quite land on a point.
Posted Jun 4, 2021
Among contemporary cinema's greatest reanimators, Petzold excels at creating sinuous narratives that both evoke earlier genres and incorporate historical convulsions. In Undine, facts and fairy tales fluidly circulate, swirling around a beguiling romance.
Posted May 28, 2021
Sunstroked and sex-soaked, Jacques Deray's French Riviera-set tale of high-stakes hedonism, originally released in 1969, offers many sensuous pleasures.
Posted May 21, 2021
It has a special place among 1960s movies-it is neither American nor French, but a unique example of filmmaking from the Black diaspora, with a particular, even fragile viewpoint and artistry. It stands on its merits as an excellent film.
Posted May 7, 2021
The Leather Boys (1964)
What the film gets spot on is milieu. Its London streets are monotonous brick barracks. The houses reek of boiled potatoes, unwashed curtains, endless resentment. What hungry soul wouldn't want to flee? Or hear the engines of motorbikes as siren calls?
Posted Apr 30, 2021
While Gunda exhibits tremendous empathy, it does not indulge in anthropomorphism or court sentimental responses. To further preempt such mawkishness, Kossakovsky shot it in b/w. The pink body of a piglet is thus less likely to elicit awwww than awe.
Posted Apr 26, 2021
A downbeat yet pungent comedy about the indignities of temp life, the film keenly dissects the tenuousness of camaraderie forged among those deemed disposable, and quietly but unequivocally diagnoses the ills of end-of-millennium corporate culture.
Posted Apr 16, 2021
A Tale of Springtime (1992)
The film's aesthetic is one of private interiors, the spaces that serve as vessels for our lives, if not for time itself...Rohmer extracts from what amounts to chronic human dithering a story of transience and possibility.
Posted Apr 2, 2021
I am drawn not to the heights of Preminger's oeuvre but to the oddities and misfires that clot his late-period output...his penultimate movie, Rosebud, offers some thrills, especially for those who cherish incongruities.
Posted Mar 26, 2021
The Intruder (L'Intrus) (2005)
An expansive reflection on the pleasures and dangers of boundary violation...Human and animal, past and present, life and death, dreams and waking life: in L'intrus, every threshold is there to be crossed.
Posted Mar 22, 2021
Center Stage (1992)
Few biopics have so eloquently interrogated the very foundations of the genre: our desire for intimacy with the stars and our sense of being entitled to knowledge of their personal lives.
Posted Mar 5, 2021
Compassionate, composed, and largely scraped of sentimentality, Chung's warm act of recollection seeks not to exalt or vilify but to empathize.
Posted Feb 26, 2021
Although Nationtime hews closely to the conventions of nonfiction filmmaking-a fly-on-the-wall perspective dominates-the documentary showcases Greaves's gifts for capturing the ways that energy shifts and ricochets among groups of people.
Posted Feb 19, 2021
The movie carries you along with a queasy momentum and a corybantic, flitting multitasker's eye for offhand detail.
Posted Feb 12, 2021
A singer's movie for the ages, one with virtually no contemporary rivals. It feels like a film that could have been made only by people who understand on an intuitive level why we sing in the first place.
Posted Feb 5, 2021
While the visual component of Just Don't Think I'll Scream is characterized by the unrecognizable, the arcane, the audio element coheres as a stream of facts, dates, events, lucid thoughts and connections.
Posted Jan 29, 2021
A tale of corsets and cunnilingus, this sapphic drama illustrates the problems that arise when the message becomes the medium...its outrage over injustice is as blunt as its sex scenes, which have the estranging effect of being both explicit and opaque.
Posted Dec 11, 2020
Stardust reaches a nadir in the already debased genre of rock-star docudramas. Low-budget LARPing, the film may be most memorable for the number of wigs that seem to have been scraped out of the bottom of a Party City remainder bin.
Posted Nov 20, 2020
Room at the Top (1959)
One of the bleakest movies I know, Room at the Top also ranks among the sultriest: a wildfire smoldering in a desolate landscape. Director Jack Clayton deftly showcases the lust-drunk faces and entangled bodies of protagonists Joe and Alice.
Posted Nov 13, 2020
Smooth Talk (1985)
With its unlikely note of resolution, the coda in particular belies the adaptation's larger insistence on nuance, ambiguity, what even a young girl knows, without knowing, to be irresolvable.
Posted Nov 6, 2020
The highly collaborative nature of the filmmaking is made plain, inviting the audience to appreciate the final product as a collectively assembled work. Fox, no one's specimen, has been constructing the proper frame for her family's story for decades.
Posted Oct 23, 2020
Martin Eden (2020)
In his brash, vivid adaptation, Pietro Marcello has unmoored the text from its original country and era, boldly reimagining Jack London's alter ego as a Neapolitan seafarer in a deliberately imprecise time, roughly post-World War I to the 1970s.
Posted Oct 16, 2020
Irma Vep (1996)
An exhilarating film that happens to be about moviemaking itself, Olivier Assayas's sinuous, kinetic, waggish Irma Vep is an oblique, supremely enjoyable course in movie history.
Posted Oct 9, 2020
You've Got Mail (1998)
The most worthwhile tension in You've Got Mail lies in the simple but pure ecstasy of receiving an email from a person you are excited about. Long live the parts of the film that refurbish the excitement of our sometimes-misguided yearnings.
Posted Oct 2, 2020
Losing Ground (1982)
Defined by a nimble élan and piercing wit, Collins's movie ranks as one of the best about a marriage between two ambitious members of the creative class.
Posted Sep 25, 2020
Town Bloody Hall (2001)
We witness a debate on a topic as big as the world in Town Bloody Hall, one with no fixed terms or single proposition. The tension is ambient, abstract, roaming; the camera seems to scan the room wildly in hopes of catching it flare.
Posted Sep 21, 2020
I was an instant convert to Fosse's Cabaret: it was and is nothing but the movie for me. It concentrates Fosse's interest in stories about style-its power to define and transform, to dominate and subdue.
Posted Sep 18, 2020
A film filled with quick-witted observations about vanity and delusion (self- and otherwise), Sibyl bracingly concludes with no moral to impart, no character truly redeemed.
Posted Sep 14, 2020
My Man Godfrey (1936)
Arguably the best of these reliably eat-the-rich films...the film's satirical edge emerges from its pillorying of the propertied classes and the empty promise of economic recovery.
Posted Jun 19, 2020
Corinne's inconsistencies play out in a film that abounds with them, tensions and discrepancies that likely reflect the conflicting visions of its makers but that take nothing away from the movie's feral vigor.
Posted Jun 19, 2020
The rare movie that intelligently and compassionately honors the push-pull dynamic between two young women, a pair of Brooklynites whose tight bond began when they were children but is starting to fray.
Posted May 22, 2020