Tagged Romance

Border (Abbasi, 2018)

This is quite the mish-mash. A heaping of Scandinavian folklore here, a sprinkle of gritty police procedural there. It ping-pongs between the two genres with intriguing results. Its feet are firmly planted in reality, but the folklore elements give it a sense of atemporality. It seems to exist in one time and in no time,…

Night is Short, Walk on Girl (Masaaki, 2017)

I commend the gutsy animation style on display in Night is Short, Walk on Girl. Expression is maximized from stem to stern, with emotions and physical movements taking on eye-popping (and hilarious) modes. Over-exaggerating affect and spatial boundaries works in this context, because this is a film about those awkward in-between years of adolescence and adulthood—between…

Song to Song (Malick, 2017)

Who knows if Terrence Malick will ever reach his early career heights again. The Tree of Life might be his final “great” work, though his recent efforts may be re-evaluated down the line. Song to Song, like its past few predecessors, was tepidly received and ignored by most audiences, left to be picked up by its few supporters…

Phantom Thread (Anderson, 2017)

Many things can be said about Paul Thomas Anderson’s ravishing masterpiece Phantom Thread. That it’s a sterling period piece that evokes both the opulence of Ophüls and the twisted sensibility of Hitchcock is a given. That it’s got one of the most sumptuous scores of the decade thanks to Jonny Greenwood is undeniable. That it’s perhaps…

God’s Own Country (Lee, 2017)

A good portion of God’s Own Country rests in silence. Human silence, that is. In the background, the wind rustles and sheep bleat. Two men are forced to tend a Yorkshire farm together. One is the owner’s wayward son (Josh O’Connor), a closeted gay man named Johnny who resents his burdens and tries to unsuccessfully drink them…

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (Robinson, 2017)

Chances are, four out of five people reading this review will never have heard of this film. “Wait, there’s another movie about Wonder Woman?!” they will exclaim. And to that I say: yes… and no. Technically it is about the superhero’s creator, William Moulton Marston, an ex-psychology professor who decided to test his theories on human behaviour (called…

Book Club (Holderman, 2018)

Geared toward the twilight set, Book Club delivers a fair amount of laughs courtesy of its cast of American treasures. It’s a bit like The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, in the sense that its concerns are about the love lives of its elderly characters. All the spice comes from these women finding the right man to keep their…

Let the Sunshine In (Denis, 2017)

It’s only words, and words are all I have to take your heart away.—The Bee Gees Claire Denis continues to be nothing less than fascinating with her first film in four years, a far cry from the ultraviolent Bastards. This one is an elliptical study in love and courtship, where words and speech occupy the central role…

Love, Simon (Berlanti, 2018)

Love, Simon reminded me a little of last year’s Wonder, which was (if you remember) about the child with the facial disfigurement. Both are very safe and “clean” uplifters about self-acceptance and tolerance that are fundamentally structured to give you a good cry. Both are based on popular young adult novels. Both are, in my mind, very…

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (Parker, 2018)

The first Mamma Mia! is a jukebox musical in which the plot was clearly written around the songs. ABBA’s songs of infidelity, flirtatious discovery, and radiant living are perfect for a tale of a woman with three suitors who has no idea about which is her daughter’s true father. You can get away with silliness like that…

Double Lover (Ozon, 2017)

Sorry to rain on any parades, but I’m of the opinion that Double Lover’s trashiness is not of the commendable type. Firstly because the starring role becomes a cipher for a lot of misogynistic impulses, to the point where she stops being a character and turns into a projection of what the men here want her…

Julieta (Almodóvar, 2016)

I really do admire the care and attention Almodóvar put into this, as well as the fantastic acting from the two leads (especially Suárez, whose face is nigh-unforgettable).

The Big Sick (Showalter, 2017)

The Big Sick will not win any awards for its direction or style. And I’ll admit that that bothered me for the first half hour or so. It’s not an interesting film to look at, and Michael Showalter doesn’t seem to try giving it a boost in that area.