AT ETERNITY’S GATE Review – ***½

If the trailers make At Eternity’s Gate look, all in all, like another prestigiously digestible biopic of a great artist, that notion is dispelled almost immediately by the film itself, which shows the influence of Harmony Korine and latter-day Godard far more than the Oscar-bait playbook. The distorted camerawork, fragmented narrative structure (with frequent jarring…

THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT Review – ****

While talking over The House That Jack Built with my father—who did not see and has no intention of seeing this film—he suggested that it sounded like a von Trier film for “von Trierests,” as apt a summation of this film as I could ever conjure. As a von Trierest myself, I thought pretty damn…

GREEN BOOK Review – ***

There normally wouldn’t be much to say about Green Book, but the fact that this frustratingly anodyne look at race and friendship might be a major awards player at least merits some discussion. I summed it up before as feeling like a piece of 90s Oscar bait that fell through a time warp, from the…

BORDER Review – ***

Border is the kind of film which flips the script on you so completely before it’s over that it’s hard to say too much about it for fear of giving too much away. That I’m not quite sure how I feel about it as a whole only compounds the difficulty of writing about it. But…

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND Review – ****

I’m not sure if The Other Side of the Wind is a last masterpiece from the most iconically unlucky great filmmaker in American cinema, or just an incredibly enjoyable piece of anarchic self-criticism, but either way it’s a must-see for all film buffs, a film borne of the love of film, but not using that…

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY Review – **½

There are two good reasons to see Bohemian Rhapsody: Rami Malek’s performance as Freddie Mercury, and the climactic recreation of Queen’s performance at Live Aid—and even the latter is marred by an excess of close-ups of Freddie’s friends, family, and fans looking on rapturously, awed to be in the presence of Saint Freddie. That he…

CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? Review – ***½

The true story of how Lee Israel (Melissa McCarthy), a once-successful writer fallen on hard times, finds a lucrative new angle in forging letters by famous figures. At times in league with her friend (or the closest thing she has to one), seedy hustler Jack Hock (Richard E. Grant), she makes more money off the…

WILDLIFE Review – ****

Wildlife is a study of transition. Set in 1960, at the turning point between America’s most iconically repressed decade and its most iconically turbulent one, it is also set during its protagonist’s 14th year, at the turning point between youth and young manhood, but also at the point when he becomes all too aware that…

BEAUTIFUL BOY Review – ***

Beautiful Boy is, as one might reasonably expect, a difficult film at times to watch, as it depicts the mechanics not only of drug addiction but of what it does to the families of addicts, who can hardly bear to be guilted…but when Nic Sheff (Steve Carell) is desperately trying to help his meth-addicted son…

THE HAPPY PRINCE Review – ***

In Rupert Everett’s passion-project take on the last years of Oscar Wilde, he not only stars as Wilde but wrote and directed the film, making his debut in the latter two roles. He remains most successful as an actor: if his portrayal of the Man with the Green Carnation is at points self-indulgent, he superbly…