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  • Amazing Grace

    Amazing Grace

    ★★★★★

    [screened at BAM Rose Cinemas]

    Probably the closest recent comparison I could think of would be (fittingly, at least in title) "Free Solo"? Like Honnold, there, Franklin here is a recessive, unknowable figure in the moments she's not doing what she's meant to be doing. And when she is doing it, the camera almost doesn't know where to look, wanting to take it all in at once. The choir director is my favorite cinematic character of the year so far.

  • The Perfection

    The Perfection

    ★★★½

    [streamed on Netflix]

    Admirably unblinking in its commitment to the grottiness of its story. Starts as a direct-to-video ripoff of "Black Swan" created by someone who rather misunderstands its premise (with a sort of humanity-denying obsession with correctness being the goal and not the obstacle to surmount), then goes... somewhere else! It's in going there that it feels like something worthwhile. Williams perfectly cast, yes, but genuinely good, too.

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  • Her Smell

    Her Smell

    ★★★★★

    [screened at IFC Center]

    Can't wait to annoy everyone about this movie for a year!!!!!

  • The Souvenir

    The Souvenir

    ★★

    [screened at Angelika]

    Have never seen so many walkouts at a movie... which is maybe a little unfair, but then, I didn't think the problem with "An Education" was that it needed several more second acts. Insanely inert lead character with which the lead does as best she can amidst endless choppy montage adding up to nothing at all; nice to be reminded, at least, that Tilda Swinton can give a real performance out from under prosthetics and accent work? That's all I got.