Top Films by Year

Transit – 8

A teaser of a mystery thriller, in which each plot point you anticipate turns in another direction. Franz Rogowski, for starters, didn’t seem like the leading man, until he was. And all the pieces you expected to fall into place at the end, fell apart. German storm troopers invading Paris made you think this was […]

Birds of Passage – 8

The story of how an indigenous Colombian culture goes to pot, literally and figuratively. Cristina Gallego does a remarkable job of locating us inside the world of the Wayuu people (think Dances With Wolves) then setting in motion a tragic scenario in which everything and everyone is destroyed (think Hamlet or Lear). This was also the country and […]

Never Look Away – 9*

This may be the best film about an artist I’ve ever seen, plus it’s a searing look at Nazi-era Germany and a charming love story. It also features six captivating (and attractive) actors who fill the screen and absorb our attention, none more than Tom Schilling, who radiates intelligence with his every look. Sebastian Koch, […]

Isn’t It Romantic – 6.5

Cleverly takes the piss of the rom-com genre in genial, lighthearted fashion. Doesn’t do much more, but if you enjoy Rebel Wilson (whom I wouldn’t have known from Melissa McCarthy) in a fantasy with Liam Hemsworth and some New York locations, it’s a pleasant way to kill time.

The Oscars

As the Oscars approached the big reveal for Best Picture, I thought things had gone remarkably well. There had been excellent musical numbers by major artists: Queen, Bette Midler, Gillian Welch, Lady Gaga. The presenters had largely acquitted themselves just fine without a host, and we had been spared the embarrassingly condescending and time-wasting bits […]

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