Top Films by Year

The Traitor – 8

Here was a world I knew well, from The Irishman, Narcos, Sopranos, The Godfather and many more. As in The Irishman, the central figure, Tommaso Buscetta, was a “soldier,” but as played by Pierfrancesco Favino he is the dominant figure you want to watch, everything De Niro wasn’t. This, too, was a true story, which […]

Oscar Riffs 2020

The Show: Steve Martin and Chris Rock’s opening monologue deserved an A and was matched later on by Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph. If they could host, it would make it a more cohesive show. Ditto for Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. As it was, the segment intros were hit-or-mostly miss. Someone named Ramos I’d […]

Les Miserables – 8.2

Almost a masterpiece by French director Ladj Ly. The people and the setting are real and harrowing. Every moment is fraught with tension, but it all makes sense, as we live through the worst possible first day on the job for Special Crimes Unit newcomer Ruiz. The entire day is spent meeting the denizens of […]

Uncut Gems – 7.5

“Intense movie,” said the usher as I, and the two other men in the audience, left the theater. High-stress, high-volume is another way to describe the life of jeweller Howard Ratner, played brilliantly by Adam Sandler – neither hero nor antihero, a gambling addict, basketball fan, unfaithful husband, lousy father whom you don’t exactly root […]

My Oscar Ballot

Picture: I still refuse to see Joker, and The Two Popes, my favorite, didn’t make the cut; so for me this is a decision between Ford v. Ferrari and Once Upon A Time…in Hollywood, the two on the list I can say I thoroughly enjoyed. The scope and ambition of the latter was far greater, […]

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