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  • Can You Ever Forgive Me?

    Can You Ever Forgive Me?

    ★★★★

    High-brow literary forgery as a socio-psychological affliction; scamming as an act of emotional distancing. I identify more with Lee Israel than I'd like. Evocative (of a time passed, of a life gone off the rails) yet restrained.

  • Roma

    Roma

    ★★★★★

    An earthquake happens, at a highly symbolic moment. Is it a sign from God? And if so, is a prayer being asked at that moment, or answered?

    Roma is an earth-shaking viewing experience for me. Like the world has been split open along its fault lines, and suddenly I can peer through the cracks, to see the beauty and anger bubbling underneath. A deeply observational film, its roving camera & stylistic remoteness is its great strength; a profound act of speculative, second-hand introspection. Yalitza Aparicio's performance makes me cry. Alfonso Cuarón's direction makes me cry.

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  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    ★★★★★

    pure cinema. 🔥

    We are Marianne's art pupils, and the film is an apprenticeship on how to see like a portraitist. Specifically a portraitist who was sad but maybe isn't anymore. What does the contour of someone's neck say about who they are as a person? Is their inner nature conveyed by how they hold their hands? What secrets are in the curve of their smile? Maybe it's nothing. Maybe it's everything. It's up to the artist to imbue some meaning--real or not--with every brush stroke. And then from some paint, a person appears.