Favorite films

  • Paper Moon
  • Parasite
  • Before Midnight

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  • Liberal Arts

    ★★★

  • Mystic River

    ★★★★

  • Fracture

    ★★★

  • Three Kings

    ★★★★

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  • Mystic River

    Mystic River

    ★★★★

    A Brian Helgeland adaptation of a Dennis Lehane novel, how bad can it be?

    A bone to pick about the portrayal of women in this film (save for Mrs. Harris' acerbic three seconds): perpetually sniffling, suspicious, and calling their husband's phones only to breathe into the mouthpiece. Even Laura Linney had to transform into a seductress after the passionate Lady MacBeth speech that came out of nowhere. What was that about?

    Kevin Bacon's character having marital problems is not the…

  • The Book of Life

    The Book of Life

    ★★

    The animation is its saving grace. The story has its charms but it's mostly cute -- in a generic way. I do appreciate the faithfulness to Mexican tropes and lore, which, I think, makes it substantially more meaningful to those who know it by heart.

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  • The Island of Cats

    The Island of Cats

    ★★★★

    They probably teach in Film Class that elderly protagonists are a surefire way to make a mess of your audience (or this writer at least). Set in one of Japan's cat islands, the mood is laidback -- like the many, many cats that inhabit it -- and it gets lonely now and then, as one often fails to realize about life in retirement. Children call from their busy lives in the city, spouses have passed away, and death is an…