Great Expectations – 1998 Cuarón

The green saturation in the mise-en-scene is so artistically admirable—but it’s not as strong a marriage as it is in Cuaron’s A Little Princess from 1995- which is more overtly expressionistic and surreal. Nor is

A Little Princess – 1995 Cuarón

It’s the strongest of Cuaron’s three 1990’s films—sort of the “green trilogy” before exceling with Y Tu Mama Tambien in 2001—they’re all worthy- visually sumptuous and ambitious along with heavily being influenced by Antonioni (particularly

Sólo con Tu Pareja – 1991 Cuarón

Cuaron’s debut and a visually accomplished, if not stunning, debut. The reviews seem to be weak because of insensitive nature of the film’s premise (changing someone’s medical chart to make them believe they have HIV

Widows – 2018 McQueen

McQueen continues the streak-- of one of the most promising starts to a career (he’s 11 years in now and 4 films) in cinema history He’s great at capturing places, a great photographer—this captures Chicago

12 Years A Slave – 2013 McQueen

Three for three here-- McQueen has made superb films, punishing films that are equally depressing and beautiful to look at McQueen uses long takes and duration for affect (the scene of Ejiofor getting flogged, the

Shame – 2011 McQueen

A brave unflinching character study directed with such stylistic bravado New York City looks incredibly harsh here—severe- punitive— McQueen shows this with the lighting, the architecture, (that boat shot in isolation) but also in the

Hunger – 2008 McQueen

Stunning debut McQueen- up there with the best of the 21st century McQueen clearly shows off his art background- he does fine some amazing visuals in the most squalor of settings and utilizing whatever resources

Homecoming – 2018 Esmail

Everything I’ve read talks about Julia Roberts- and she’s great here- but Esmail is the show-stopper. He looks like a real talent- some long lively tracking shots (especially the first and last hour of Homecoming).

Blithe Spirit – 1945 Lean

It’s Lean’s third film, one before Brief Encounter (also 1945) and one and three years before his beautiful Dickens adaptations It’s more a Noel Coward film than a Lean film (though it’s beautifully shot) as

best debuts of the 21st century

My current (Nov 2018) Steve McQueen study made me wonder if his Hunger is the strongest debut of the 21st century. There were many great debuts in 1999 (Being John Malkovich, Virgin Suicides, American Beauty) and many of

Can You Ever Forgive Me? – 2018 Heller

Heller is two for two in the archives with this and her debut from 2015- The Diary of a Teenage Girl – she’s not an overly strong director- but these are smart (and a little

Suspiria – 2018 Guadagnino

It feels like a director swinging out of his shoes for a home run that doesn’t completely land—and that’s not the insult it may sound like—it’s ambitious—but I also think ultimately Guadanino’s 4th best film

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