Dark Waters – 2019 Haynes

Sure, it’s always somewhat disappointing with an auteur who is capable of something like Carol, doesn’t live up to it—Dark Waters, as strong as it is, is NOT Carol – the artistic ambitions aren’t that

Vera Drake – 2004 Leigh

Another superlative effort from Leigh. It is one of his best works- arguably as strong as anything this side of Naked The post-WWII (November 1950) period detail production design is an artistic triumph. The immaculate

I Lost My Body – 2019 Clapin

Jérémy Clapin’s feature debut is a intriguing film—a breath of fresh air in the animation world- a film two-pronged narrative—one about an orphan (with black and white flashbacks), and one about a dismembered hand— they

Little Women – 1949 LeRoy

LeRoy’s film, like Cukor’s 1933 version, boasts a really talented ensemble- perhaps even more so. June Allyson is in lead, but she’s supported by Mary Astor, Elizabeth Taylor (at 17), Janet Leigh, C. Aubrey Smith,

Richard Jewell – 2019 Eastwood

It is a far cry from Eastwood’s magnificent run in the early to mid-2000’s (he hasn’t had a Highly Recommend top-10 of the year level film or better since 2006) but it is an engaging

Little Women – 1933 Cukor

It is the Katharine Hepburn show from the very beginning- her name is above the title which is striking and she’s is getting the bulk attention from Cukor’s camera’s in every big emotional scene. This

Atlantics – 2019 Diop

A strong debut from Mati Diop.  The film is grounded at the beginning in realism. There are long takes of Souleiman (just holding on his face riding in a truck) finding out they are getting

A Beautiful Day in the Neighbhorhood – 2019 Heller

Marielle Heller (The Diary of a Teenage Girl and Can You Ever Forgive Me?) succeeds here with a third archiveable film.  She uses the old Mr. Rogers show as a narrative device entry ( this

Bad Santa – 2003 Zwigoff

Though not a formal consistency (the opening is just a Billy Bob setting the scene and the ending is a letter to Thurman) Billy Bob’s sardonic voice-over is so well written and performed- harkens to

All or Nothing – 2002 Leigh

It’s a return to Leigh’s working-class contemporary almost neorealism’esque roots after 1999’s triumph (but a period film about wealthy people)- Topsy-TurvyA really strong opening shot. It’s at a nursing home with a cleaning woman (who

Topsy-Turvy – 1999 Leigh

In many ways it’s a major departure for Leigh. His work to this point had been about the working class and set in contemporary England. This is a period film (1880’s—we get some anecdotes about

Marriage Story – 2019 Baumbach

Marriage Story is a gut-wrenching drama- a marriage epic – that is Baumbach’s most visually ambitious and accomplished film to dateThe film features what is probably 2019’s best acting. Laura Dern leads the talented supporting

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