Tag Archives: Movies (2017)

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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‘Thelma’ tame as queer drama and horror flick

Described in a squib as “Carrie meets Rosemary’s Baby,” Thelma is neither. This Norwegian film about a collegebound young woman developing at once her psychic power and sexuality is solid and stolid; it doesn’t find any new wrinkles in familiar … Continue reading

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In ‘BPM (Beats Per Minute)’ identity is politics

An abbreviation most often used for dance tracks, the phrase “beats per minute” gains poignant resonance in a tough new French film. In the years before protease inhibitors, when the gay movement fought for every federal dollar, a lifespan was … Continue reading

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‘Lady Bird’ flies high on wit and empathy

Mother-daughter conflicts have rarely been depicted on screen with the acuity of Lady Bird. Because Greta Gerwig directed her own script, “acuity” also includes humor. I don’t want to sell Lady Bird short: it’s an astonishing debut, as fleet and … Continue reading

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Comedy-thriller ‘The Killing of a Sacred Deer’ won’t give up its secrets

Yorgos Lanthimos makes movies about adults who don’t understand children. Or won’t. In The Killing of a Sacred Deer, the Greek director of Dogtooth, Alps, and The Lobster refines his deadpan presentation and brittle approach to gore to new heights … Continue reading

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‘The Square’ a dull series of provocations

In 1936’s My Man Godfrey, Mischa Auer played an indolent “protégé” who justifies his room and board by imitating an ape. The scene was played for laughs. The Square also has an ape scene, and it goes further: stuntman Terry … Continue reading

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Todd Haynes too awestruck by material in ‘Wonderstruck’

Last night before a screening a friend who programs a local festival admitted he liked Carol but was getting restless with Todd Haynes. With a producer like Christine Vachon and an ability to woo any actor he wants, Haynes was … Continue reading

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‘Lucky’ a hearty farewell to Harry Dean Stanton

The projection of solidness, which at its most passive can ossify into stolidness, is the male American actor’s great contribution to cinema. The late Harry Dean Stanton brought solidness and a perspicacity that could go warm or cold depending on … Continue reading

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‘4 Days in France’ looks at 4 days of Grindr-ing

For several years French directors have made the most probing gay cinema, devoted to showing the less respectable and visible but no less essential components of queerness. Alain Guiraudie’s Stranger by the Lake (2013) and Staying Vertical (2016) examined the … Continue reading

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‘Faces Places’ an elegy to a vanishing France

Near the end of Faces Places, muralist JR remarks to Agnès Varda, “You’re playing the wise grandma.” A legitimate point, for what stifles my enjoyment of Varda’s amiable documentary is the sense that the audience must adore the puckish octogenarian … Continue reading

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‘Call Me By Your Name’ is an unabashed romp

What might make Call Me By Your Name the first wide release film about two gay men fondling each other to attract audiences since 2005 is that it presents itself as an idyll: Armie Hammer is Oliver, a graduate student … Continue reading

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‘The Florida Project’ an amateurish look at life on the periphery

The initial reviews for The Florida Project suggest a digital sociology experiment rather than a successful narrative film. Watching Sean Baker’s story about scrappy kids and their parents trying to survive in the third-rate motels clustered around Walt Disney World … Continue reading

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