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  • De-Lovely

    De-Lovely

    ★★★★

    When I first saw this movie, I was a recently-out undergrad who spent off-hours hanging out in the theater department. I was primed to love it, and I did. I bought the DVD. I bought the soundtrack. I watched it with friends. And I still love this insane, mess of a movie.

    There's a framing device in which Jonathan Pryce plays the angel Gabriel, shepherding old Cole Porter through a "This Is Your Life" segment that is peppered with performers…

  • The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex

    The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex

    ★★★½

    The beginning is stodgy and ridiculous. Bette Davis seems to believe Queen Elizabeth was not a person but a collection of nervous tics; Errol Flynn is giving a performance from a high school production; and the rest of the cast gets nothing interesting to do.

    Then something shifts: the film settles down a bit and jettisons Errol Flynn to his unseen earldom. It took me a while to realize what Bette Davis was doing. Unlike the stoic, unflappable Queen Elizabeth…

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  • Peyton Place

    Peyton Place

    ★★★★

    This may contain the least realistic courtroom scene I've ever seen, and I've watched every episode of Matlock.

  • The Lost World

    The Lost World

    ★★★★

    Bob Hoskins is an excellent Challenger (perhaps my favorite), and the rest of the cast is quite good. It's interesting how the different versions add in a female character and different themes. This one opts for a missionary's niece who acts as translator and guide. It also piles on some religious themes.