First Reformed – 7

This will win the award for darkest film of the year (I hope). Ethan Hawke was riveting, although I wish he had had a bit more presence to begin with. He never seemed to fill his pastoral robes, so didn’t convince me of what he used to have been. We came upon him already subject to doubts and well into the bottle. Was that really a Neil Young song they sang at the eco-terrorist’s funeral? – it was. Would he really have known how to detonate a suicide vest? – we’ll never know. Like a polluted river, the movie split into four or five conceivable endings as it reached the delta, but that’s not where we were supposed to focus.

RBG – 7.5

For the first half, I thought, what a true American hero Ruth Ginsberg is, and what a wonderful support was her husband. I wanted to pair her documentary up with Itzhak Perlman’s for a heartwarming celebration of goodness and excellence. Once Martin Ginsburg died, and once Ruth ascended the high court, however, things sort of petered out. Maybe it’s because you can’t film in the Supreme Court, maybe because she was in the minority and couldn’t make law, or maybe it was just that she had reached the peak and she was being honored and lionized over and over, but for whatever reason my tears dried up and I wished the film had been twenty minutes shorter.