Film: “Red Rocket”

“Red Rocket” is writer-director Sean Baker’s follow-up to 2017’s “The Florida Project” (reviewed 10/1/2018). Like the earlier film, it is a funny, canny examination of a select group of Americans losers, but with a more complex, and stronger, story line. Obviously, Baker is more confident now. The protagonist is Mikey (Simon Rex), a tall, well-toned dropout […]

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Film: “The Banshees of Inisherin”

Martin McDonagh’s latest film, “The Banshees of Inisherin“, represents a departure for him, as well as his fans. It is more personal, and darker, than anything of his I’ve seen before. And, inevitably, it influences our memory of his previous work. Still, he is as nimble as ever. The darkness creeps in slowly, but all […]

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Film: “Tar”

In “Tar”, the new film written and directed by Todd Field, Cate Blanchett plays Lydia Tar, an internationally renowned orchestra conductor (or “Maestra”). She is adored by music lovers, but also progressives everywhere, especially the young, who look upon her as a champion of women’s rights in the male-dominated canon of Western culture. Blanchett’s overwhelming […]

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Film: “The Card Counter”

“The Card Counter” is Paul Schrader’s follow-up to his superb “First Reformed”, and it continues his thought-provoking and sincere exploration of guilt in contemporary America. As with Ethan Hawke in the previous film, he has found the ideal actor for the lead role in Oscar Isaac. Similarly, the climactic scene is truly shocking, a totally […]

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Film: “The Northman”

Robert Eggers has carved out a formidable task for himself in his violent epic, “The Northman”.  The film reaches back into our love of myth as a key to understanding the origins of culture, and it does this by steeping us into barbaric, pre-literate tribal life in a hardship environment. Naturally, raw masculine power will […]

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Film: “The Hand Of God”

“The Hand of God” is an Italian foreign Oscar-nominee, written and directed by Paolo Sorrentino. It is an artist’s “coming-of-age” story, strongly influenced by Fellini’s autobiographical films. Actually, Sorrentino is bold about that influence, even opening the film with a panoramic overview of his beloved Naples, which recalled the copter shot of Rome that opened […]

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Film: “Kimi”

“Kimi”, Stephen Soderbergh’s latest, from a script by David Koepp, packs a lot of story into its hour-and-a-half. Zoe Kravitz is Angela, a work-at-home analyst for a tech company with “Kimi”, a siri-like voice command. Her job is to monitor the recordings for Kimi’s false readings, and adjust the app accordingly. Well, the company gets […]

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