Tag Archives: Movies (2017)

‘A Fantastic Woman’ stresses suffering over fantasy

If A Fantastic Woman honored its title, we’d see Marina as a person, not a figure of suffering. Played by trans actress Daniela Vega, Marina is on her terms vulgar and determined, but director Sebastián Lelio prefers her as a … Continue reading

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‘In the Fade’ struggles to earn tragic inevitability

One truth emerges from In the Fade: Germans still tolerate smoking. Katja Sekerci, played by Diane Kruger, is rarely seen without a smoldering fag — in her home, in bars, in an automobile (many Berlin bars still get around national … Continue reading

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In ‘Phantom Thread,’ clothes make the man

Finally — a film in which a seduced woman is required to put on more clothes instead of taking them off. If Reynolds Woodcock is the seducer, then an interest in sex is secondary. A tailor who approaches his profession … Continue reading

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Backwoods Barbies: ‘I, Tonya’

I have a foreboding that the next three years smart aleck producers, with the same glee as newspaper editors sending reporters into southern Indiana or West Virginia coal country, will approve movies about Trump’s America, or, as grim a development, … Continue reading

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‘The Post’ shows how Beltway oligarchy works – and wins

The difference between insisting on clarity and explaining the obvious is impossible to discern for a master of hyperkinetic narrative cinema, and Steven Spielberg does the obvious in The Post. His account of how The Washington Post’s publisher Katherine Graham … Continue reading

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‘The Shape of Water’ kept afloat by too many familiar elements

Adept at treating fables as if they were real and daily life as if it were a fable, Guillermo del Toro goes all the way into romantic lunacy with The Shape of Water. The director of The Devil’s Backbone and … Continue reading

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What happened to Poe and Finn? Burning questions about ‘The Last Jedi’

My crew and I left the theater late yesterday afternoon disappointed with Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but Star Wars universe fans court disappoint like Democrats do despair. No movie can measure up to the perfect Wookiepedia in their minds. … Continue reading

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In ‘Call Me By Your Name’ lust is easy, love is hard

Stereotyped as subjects forever on the prowl, gay men are often objects, inanimate objects, especially when young. Moving through spaces where their desires remain unacknowledged and hence ungratified, they develop their powers of observation. They fetishize clothing. They use wit, … Continue reading

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‘Darkest Hour’ will delight wannabe tough guys

In one of the more ignominious reversals in twentieth-century political history, British voters sent Prime Minister Winston Churchill packing not long after Allied forces declared victory over Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan. Watching Darkest Hour helps modern audiences … Continue reading

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‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ is one screwed-up movie

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a movie that asks the audience to see the moral equivalence between the vengeful woman whose daughter was raped and killed and a racist, homophobic police officer guilty of appalling acts of violence shown … Continue reading

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‘Wonder Wheel’ is Woody Allen’s valentine to culture industry

The surest sign that Woody Allen still has an aura about him is Justin Timberlake’s accepting a shitty part in one of his movies. As a Coney Island lifeguard with literary pretensions in the 1950s, Timberlake gives a straitjacketed performance … Continue reading

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Redundant, ersatz ‘The Disaster Artist’ is James Franco’s bid for respect

The Disaster Artist asks a question about which no one outside Hollywood cares: can we tolerate another movie about a terrible director and disturbed man? Happily, James Franco’s film about Tommy Wiseau, director of the widely accepted farrago The Room, is … Continue reading

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