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Movie Review: Lean on Pete (2017)

“Oh, God, make small the old star-eaten blanket of the sky, that I may fold it round me and in comfort lie” — T.E. Hulme, “The Embankment” When I first heard about British director Andrew Haigh’s (“45 Years”) Lean on Pete, it sounded like a warm, cuddly drama about horses, perhaps an updated version of…

Movie Review: The Vanishing of Sidney Hall (2017)

Midway through The Vanishing of Sidney Hall, in the midst of a breakdown (breakthrough?), surrounded by his typewriter and empty bottles and strewn about pages, signifiers of talent devolving into madness, the successful yet troubled novelist at its center self-consciously admits to having recently written only “first lines and first pages. No middle. No end.”…

Movie Review: Lady Bird (2017)

For her fun fictionalized memoir of sorts, Greta Gerwig has painted a coming-of-age tale almost entirely in shades of grey. Lady Bird is the writer/director’s gentle, through passionately prickly look at the haze that lies just beyond adolescence, with Saoirse Ronan (“The Grand Budapest Hotel”) playing Christine, the also titular protagonist who must navigate the…

Movie Review: The Disaster Artist (2017)

The Coen Brothers. Paul Thomas Anderson. Quentin Tarantino. When you think of great American directors who defined the first decade of the new millennium, these are a few of the usual suspects. When we reflect upon the current decade, it would be unwise to neglect the rise of an unusual directorial talent: James Franco. No…

Movie Review: The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)

The digital age is slickly skewered on the sharp blade of a knife that cuts a clean swath of revenge through a wealthy family’s existence in sick satirist Yorgos Lanthimos’ genre-blurring The Killing of a Sacred Deer. Lanthimos buries his satirical observations deep and then brushes away select portions of the surface to reveal grim…

Movie Review: The Florida Project (2017)

It’s funny what language can do, the unintended irony behind words and concepts and colors that were likely never part of any authorial intent. But, then again, maybe they were. That’s the inexhaustible fertility of art; it transcends, whether it wants it or not, intentions. That’s the case with Spanish, still sprouting in a place…

Movie Review: Menashe (2017)

The Hasidic tradition that a child must be raised in a household where there is both a mother and a father is one of the cultural issues brought to the fore in Joshua Z Weinstein’s bittersweet film, Menashe. Co-written by Alex Lipschultz and Musa Syeed (“A Stray”) and set in the Hasidic community in the…

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