A Star is Born is an unabashedly romantic look at music and stardom, and an amazing display of talent from its stars, Bradley Cooper (who also directs) and Lady Gaga. Both offer incredible musical and dramatic performances, and their chemistry pulls the film together.
Blindspotting is a total experience. When it often seems like the studios bankroll only sequels, remakes and reboots, it is a breath of fresh air to see talented artists blazing their own path to do something new and bold.
The pleasure in The Land of Steady Habits, written and directed by Nicole Holofcener, is in seeing Ben Mendelsohn unmoored, trying to signal ships that already sailed.
Thunder Road is heartbreaking in all the best ways, it is brutally honest, and it is compassionate. It is a frontal attack on the ideal of masculinity that doesn’t leave any room for vulnerability. It is a hand held out to those who are hurting.
The very first scenes of Burning seem to set the course for a conventional love story, only to pull the rug from under our feet afterwards.
To see even the shortest scene in The Tale of Princess Kaguya is to be entranced by it. It is rare to find such sheer beauty in a film, no pretense of realism sought, every shot conceived as a painting that alone could tell a story.
I really wanted to like Beatriz at Dinner. It has the elements of the exact kind of movie that I relish: a cast of talented actors, a simple premise that allows them to interact with each other, a concept based on character and dialogue.
Gifted is a small pearl of a movie, a heartwarming and intimate tale of family and upbringing.
A Prayer Before Dawn clocks in at only two hours, and yet I could have sworn it was three. The beginning ground me down with its desperation, so by the end I just wanted to see this poor man out.
Roger Ebert famously said that movies are machines that generate empathy, and this is exactly what Lucky does: it shows us the lives of other people and teaches us to love them for what they are.