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  • First Reformed

    First Reformed

    ★★★★½

    “Will God forgive us? Will God forgive us for what we’re doing to his creation?” Asked by Ethan Hawke’s Reverend Ernst Toller throughout the film, this line plays as the impending question of “First Reformed,” while still barely scratching the surface to the big ideas that director Paul Schrader has on his mind. Plagued with physical ailments and familial tragedy, the film centers on Reverend Toller, the pastor and in-house operator of the historic First Reformed Church. After his consolation…

  • Pierrot le Fou

    Pierrot le Fou

    During the lesson on The French New Wave in an International Cinema class, I was asked this question:
    "Is formal innovation and experimentation alone grounds for critical appreciation? Do the self-conscious devices used by directors like Jean-Luc Godard enhance your appreciation of a film, or detract from it?"
    This was my answer:
    Like many of the discussion questions from this course, I think it's safe to say that the "general answer" to this week's prompt "Is formal innovation and experimentation…

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  • Paddington 2

    Paddington 2

    ★★★★

    Following the first installment of "Paddington" in 2014, Paul King returns as co-writer and director of the marvelously realized "Paddington 2". While it is simple to categorize this film as a 'family film' (as it should be - kids will love this), there are so many layers to peel back within this film - each layer more delightful than the last. From its gorgeous cinematography, to its witty and surprisingly well-crafted screenplay, "Paddington 2" is sure to shock, please, and…

  • Hostiles

    Hostiles

    ★★★½

    "If you do it enough, you get used to it. Doesn't mean a thing."
    "That's what I'm afraid of."
    The fear of numbness of humanity is one of the most prominent themes brought to life in Scott Cooper's western drama "Hostiles". Characters throughout the film grapple with the ethics of the treatment of Native Americans in the late 1800's - elevated by dedicated performances by Christian Bale, Rosamund Pike, and Wes Studi, and beautifully realized cinematography.

    "Hostiles" tells the story…