The Aviator

The Aviator. I often struggle with biopics, but I liked this one a lot. I like how the film stock and coloring shifts with the passage of time, the recurring hands imagery, and the sympathy we feel as we see this man changing. “Nothing’s clean, Howard. But we do our best.”

Hard Eight

Hard Eight. Philip Baker Hall is awesome, and so is John C. Reilly. Love how Reilly becomes a poor imitation of the expert. I love the moments of still life, coffee and pie and cigarettes and such. I felt a bit let down by the reveal. I guess you’d have to steer the climax a bit differently without it, but I didn’t really need a reason for how the story opened. I was totally on board with this strange characters. I think The Master is my favorite of Paul Thomas Anderson’s, then probably this one and then There Will Be Blood and then Magnolia? Hard to say. They’re all pretty solid.

We Need to Talk About Kevin

We Need to Talk About Kevin. It’s grim, but it’s good. Family horror? The cast is solid across the board. I didn’t see the ending coming, and it’s not even a twist. Smart use of color and food and interior design to suggest other details. Score by Jonny Greenwood. And good timing on this one, as it touches on, here and there, the dehumanizing backlash that follows horrific events and how we struggle to make them meaningful when even those who cause them may or may not know why.