Searching. This is a nice little manipulative thriller. Respect for how they experimented with form to give life to an otherwise straightforward tale. The opening montage killed me.
Lady and the Tramp. I saw this a million times as a kid (my sister had the VHS). Saw it again on a whim when I was in Los Angeles. Fun screening with a theater fool of kids who were super into it. The stereotypes… don’t age well. But the rest does. I’d forgotten about the music. Several good tunes in this one. I’d totally forgot about He’s A Tramp (those back-up vocals!). Bella Notte is unforgettable. And La La Lu? Just perfect.
Leave No Trace. Second viewing (the first). What is appropriate for an adult who can’t make peace with the world isn’t appropriate for a kid who’s just becoming ready for it. Using “You Are My Sunshine” as the opening song… :'(. Noticed the color yellow appears a few times – her favorite color, the bees, the yellow blanket at the first house they settle in, the “Don’t Tread On Me” flag when the bulldozers tear down the encampment, and when dad is brought back to the house, there’s a yellow blanket or sweater where Tom puts her stuff. The list of “inspiration source materials” in the closing credits was a cool addition. And there’s a fern at the very end of the credits – looks like a seahorse, doesn’t it? I love this movie.
Nocturnal Animals. Stylish, moody, multi-layered, draws you in, but maybe too meticulous for its own good. I was left a little cold.
On the Basis of Sex. Paint-by-numbers biopic. RBG is pretty impressive and I’m glad I know more of her story now. Everyone does their part and we all leave inspired. It’s fine!
Shoplifters. It’s bittersweet and so, so good. I like this improvised family, formed by choice and by happenstance, lasting as long as convenience and commitment allow. But for how long? Lots of beautiful moments – out thieving, on the beach, enjoying a rainy afternoon. I like the “mother’s” transformation over the course of the film. Interesting to see side of Japan I’m not used to – the poor, the neglected. I like this one more and more since the time I saw it.
I’m not of the opinion that a film absolutely needs to have a clear moral framework to have worth, but I do believe that making a film is a moral act. Even if the filmmakers pose questions to which they give no answers, the formulation and presentation of the questions themselves are loaded with a moral reasoning.
The Big Sick. Funny, bittersweet rom-com. I should probably watch more comedy. Shout-out to Romano and Hunter. So great in their roles.
First Reformed. I dig it. Some great performances. I never knew what direction it was going to go.
Heat. Up to 7 or 8 viewings now? (Filed under: Heat). Caught a few more “time” references this go-round. Hanna’s wife offers him coffee before he heads out – can’t, no time. The daughter’s anxiety attack is about being late for her father. And of course the parting shot when Hanna meets with the snitch. One other minor thing: the Pietà statue at the hospital at the beginning of the movie is echoed by our protagonists at the end. I might have to call this my favorite movie.
Roma. It is a seriously beautiful but I left frustrated. In several emotional, daunting, or stressful moments the camera drifts away from our protagonist to just sort of take in the scenery. In form, it seems like it… doesn’t care? She’s a bit of a cipher. Perhaps that’s the point, and the broader time and place is what we’re meant to understand. You can see the climax coming a mile away. I like the water imagery, but the astronauts even more.
Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone. What a delight. These movies could have gone off the rails in a million different ways, but they really came through. Somehow I felt the ~magic~ in this one, like literal gasping. So fun. (Side note: this came out 17 years ago???????)
Logan. I had sworn off superhero films for a while, needed a break. This was a solid re-entry. And a relief to see a superhero film that’s not a direct sequel, and also not an origin story. Hard to see a hero so thoroughly vulnerable. Really fun limo chase.