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  • Braid

    Braid

    ★★

    The kind of film that makes people say 'At least it's never boring' - but in fact it's always boring, it's just that stuff keeps happening to distract from that. Great premise, adults playing twisted childhood roleplay games in a crumbling mansion, so it's kind of like this one only made in the anarchic, anything-goes style of this one, a combo that doesn't really gel. (The first is all about deviant psychology, the second rejects psychology.) Conventional tension and drama…

  • Her Smell

    Her Smell

    ★★★★

    Kind of a Vox Lux structure here - but ARP undoubtedly gets sentimental in the many-years-later second half (that sappy child!) and when the film ends, as it must, on music and performance it represents cathartic showbiz-cliche 'togetherness', a long way from the Vox Lux bleakness of empty spectacle for a broken world. Perry hasn't suddenly morphed into a great filmmaker (his penchant for stringing lots of big words together and acting like he's written some coruscating dialogue also drives…

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  • Margaret

    Margaret

    ★★★★★

    Held me spellbound for three hours, if nothing else (extended cut, fwiw). 25th HOUR-ish - New York movie, moral drama about Doing the Right Thing, symphonic score over jagged rhythms - also Desplechin-ish for the sweep and scale, but more ambitious than either: an epic of human disconnection, based around the fact that language is such an imperfect way of trying to connect - emotion is easier, but we lose it as we grow older ("It is Margaret you mourn…

  • Aloha

    Aloha

    ★★★★

    File with James L. Brooks' How Do You Know as a late-period rom-com that may seem inept because it dispenses with the usual pretence of realism (the magical setting helps, like it did, in a different way, in Almost Famous; maybe Crowe's peculiar sensibility needs the licence of an anything-goes milieu to really take flight). Myths and omens appear prominently. There's an emphasis on the touchy-feely - Danny McBride as Colonel "Fingers"; Bill Murray giving an impromptu massage - over…