The Village


The Village. I’d heard it was among the better of Shyamalan’s but I wasn’t expecting such a… masterpiece? So very, very good. Imagery and structure and theme and camerawork and characterization is all dialed in and thoughtful.


Her. I expected to love it, I did, and I still was pleasantly surprised with some of the mordant humans-are-screwed humor and the science-fiction-y, speculative thoughtfulness. It’s pretty wonderful. Shout-out to movies that rely on conversation and subtle music. Also neat to see a movie set in the comfortable future – nothing crazy here, just a few plausible tweaks that have had some time to settle in. Some of the writing and face-acting didn’t work for me, but for ideas and smarts, I will forgive many things. Also, seeing Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams on screen together again made me want to re-watch The Master.

The Master

The Master. Phoenix was robbed, right? Where DDL takes an amazing script written for a national hero we love to love and embodies it just like we imagined, Phoenix plays a dummy the likes of which we’ve never seen. Maybe the awards don’t capital-m Matter, but man, I can see how it would sting. But the movie: I liked it, but I didn’t really feel it. I felt the same with There Will Be Blood. Like, I didn’t want to blink for 3 hours but I haven’t wanted to see it again, either. Impressed, hell yes. But maybe this is exactly the kind of movie I should be re-watching though. Who knows. Greenwood’s score is fantastic. Hoffman is good at smug and speeches and he does the smile-with-closed-lips-audibly-breathing-out-of-the-nose thing. And his group is like a peripatetic band of gypsies, eking by at the fringe. They get an introduction to NYC high society, but that goes sour. They later run the business out of a patron’s house in Philadelphia. Their big annual conference is rather sad, and I don’t think that’s just my post-TED/Apple keynote perspective talking. Why did the whole gang pick up and leave SF, in the first place? And why is Dodd totally okay with a self-destructive stowaway? Take what you can get, I suppose.