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  • The Week Of

    The Week Of

    ★★★

    What got me isn't the final heart-to-heart between Sandler and his daughter (I mean it's perfect, but no), but rather the quick shot of the two dogs together at the edge of the dance. It's not just the payoff to the narrative set-up, but rather the generosity of spirit - one which seeps into every single character, every single interaction, never betraying or looking down at anyone. Who compared this to Renoir? Everyone has their reasons - there is no…

  • Wine Country

    Wine Country

    ★★

    Whenever an actor-comedian directs a movie I always secretly hope for some kind of Lewisian-Chow-Chaplin auteurist personality to reveal themselves in some sort of misunderstood masterpiece. Wine Country is not that. It's a Netflix film. There's some stray interest in the way that the film is clearly a self-portrait of these women and their relationships (all of them were involved in Saturday Night Live around the same time) and it speaks to their concerns truthfully. However, it's also revealing of…

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  • Always Be My Maybe

    Always Be My Maybe

    ★★

    The final scene is indicative of the issues at play here. It is a small revelation from one character to another, a surprise, deepening the connection between them, an homage to their past, a tribute. But it's all wrong. The rhythm is too fast, there's no patience, no poetry - my auteurist broken brain for some reason made a connection to Crowe's We Bought a Zoo and the ending of that film, where Crowe takes his time, showing the emotional…

  • If Beale Street Could Talk

    If Beale Street Could Talk

    ★★★

    While watching Beale Street I was reminded of the Bordwell analysis of early Hartley that discusses his aesthetic strategies as, to sum up roughly, a streamlining/simplification of 80's Godard. For Jenkins, his starting points appear to be the work of Wong Kar Wai and Claire Denis. But he is still an unique artist and he tries to make these aesthetic influences his own and turn them toward his own purposes. Jenkins' delicacy of touch does him well in the romantic…