Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner 2049 is a multifaceted surprise; that this picture was made at all is an unlikeliness to rival its improbable quality. A sequel to a complex and then-underappreciated box office flop, its subtlety and patience are testament to a film-making enterprise which may not have been purely motivated by financial gain, for once. Denis Villeneuve … Continue reading Blade Runner 2049

Advertisements

Mother!

Ambition isn't a biblical sin, as it happens. Avarice, yes; vanity, too; hubris another viable option. This religious fable from Darren Aronofsky features a blend of these directorial characteristics as it wends its way toward resolution of sorts. Beginning as a tale of marital idyll broken by interloping annoyances, Mother!'s opening act is a taut and … Continue reading Mother!

Personal Shopper

Kristen Stewart has a gripping and anxious presence in this unsettling and somewhat unsatisfying thriller from writer-director Olivier Assayas. She plays Maureen, a young woman marooned in self-imposed isolation in Paris after the death of her brother Lewis. An individual attuned to the spiritual world, Maureen is attempting to contact her departed brother, searching for certainty … Continue reading Personal Shopper

Elle

Paul Verhoeven doesn't do subtle. It's a view that's easy to countenance, if one only recalls his most famous films. Robocop; Total Recall; Basic Instinct; Starship Troopers perhaps most of all. These films wear their views openly, emblazoned on their sleeves the symbol, perhaps, of a winking smirk. Each has a position or hypothetical to explore, and does so brazenly. With … Continue reading Elle

Jackie

If Casey Affleck gave us a study of grief delayed and contained over the years in Manchester by the Sea, in Jackie Natalie Portman delivers a superb performance conveying the depths of shock and trauma caused by loss in its immediate aftermath. As the titular wife of JFK, Portman riddles Jackie with a sense of … Continue reading Jackie