Category Oscar Season

FUN HOME + THE FLORIDA PROJECT

The last weekend she ever sees him, Alison Bechdel begs her father to talk to her. Really talk to her. This mundane car ride comes weeks after she comes out to him, hours after she learns he sleeps around with young men—and days before he steps in front of a truck. It’s Alison’s first and only chance to address what used to be their shared secret. He makes a small gesture, suggests a local gay bar, but she reminds him she’s too young to go. Nothing is really said.

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Blade Runner 2049

For its first two hours, Blade Runner 2049 seduces us, slowly drawing us deeper into the past as we search for the key to upend this bleak authoritarian future. Where everything ends up isn’t as satisfying, but that’s not surprising for a movie motivated by mood, color, and scale more than plotlines.

Mother!

I don’t think a traditional review of Mother! would be effective. But I did want to wrestle a little with the movie.

Beach Rats

Summer days drift on, and Frankie bums around his Brooklyn neighborhood, traipsing the beach with his squad of dumb goons, walking the Coney Island boardwalk, engaging with a girl who makes suggestive eyes at him. At night, he’s on a gay Brooklyn chatroom, clicking from cam to cam and scrolling past bare torsos until he […]

Dunkirk

By land, by sea, and by air, the evacuation of Allied troops from Dunkirk, France just across the water to England was a harrowing week at war. As the Germans forced the English, French, and Belgian troops to the beaches, the Allies plotted how to escape across the sea while holding the Germans off.

The Beguiled

Sofia Coppola’s revisionist take on The Beguiled is at turns a romance, a savage fable, a brightly lit noir; and it’s that languid uncertainty—the promise that her story could go in any direction—that sustains the movie’s dreamy suspense.

A Quiet Passion

The words the happy say Are paltry melody But those the silent feel Are beautiful— Emily Dickinson’s sister-in-law comes over in the wee hours, alarmed to see a light on, only to find Emily awake and preparing to write poetry in the quiet of the night. The look on Emily’s face is beautiful as she […]

Breaking Down the Best Picture Box Office

Our contemporary Best Picture nominees rarely are the year’s highest-grossing hits. We can chalk this up to many factors, some of which I’ll explore; but however we slice it, Best Pictures are no longer the movies that all Americans have seen.

GET OUT

I re-watched Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner before catching Jordan Peele’s Get Out in theaters. Many critics have suggested Peele plays off the earlier movie’s title and crowd-pleasing comedy-of-manners style. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner was old-fashioned when it opened in 1967. Sidney Poitier was a big star at the time; he was the only […]

MOONLIGHT

Forget Rogue One and the latest Marvel face-off: The last scene of Moonlight rivals both for intensity and suspense. Without giving everything away, we watch two men circling each other, nothing exchanged but conversation and a cup of tea. Plenty of things feel unspoken. They haven’t seen each other in years; each became someone the other didn’t expect. And we can’t […]