A claustrophobic bourgeois horror story about two couples of Brooklyn parents who meet over cobbler and coffee after one of their sons strikes the other with a stick, Reza’s play has superficial similarities to previous Polanski films like Rosemary’s Baby, Cul-de-Sac, and Repulsion.
It can ill afford to release a movie on DVD, targeted at children, that could be accused of racism; at the same time, it would be foolish for Disney to completely shutter “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.” So we end up in an uncomfortable place: the movie exists, but it doesn’t . . .
Any assessment of The Station Agent may be less an objective valuation of its worthiness than an assertion of a certain set of evaluative criteria, a choice between “highbrow” or “elitist” artistic pleasure/edification and “middlebrow” sensitivity/entertainment.
The Tree of Life can be seen as an experiment in radical subjectivity: Malick doesn’t just show us Jack’s point-of-view; he immerses us within his conflict of spirit—through his kaleidoscopic and elliptical depiction of Jack’s early life, Malick retraces the moments of Jack’s spiritual and moral “becoming.”
The movie is less a laugh-desperate extended SNL skit than a very funny character study of a woman’s depression and her struggle to get herself back on track. We already knew Wiig could make us laugh, but we didn’t know she was a strong dramatic actress.
A defiantly 2-D, hand-drawn cartoon in a 3-D CG world, The Illusionist tells the story of an over-the-hill magician who, at the end of the 1950s, finds himself increasingly irrelevant to audiences, a dying breed of performer who cannot compete with the upheaval the rock-and-roll sixties are about to usher in.
She possesses a rare and unsettling talent; her movies are at once confounding and, in their way, perfectly intelligible. Already, she has staked a claim as a major film artist with a small but astonishing oeuvre that demonstrates a preternatural command of the medium.
The thesis of the new documentary from Oscar winner Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side) should be clear from its title. Casino Jack and the United States of Money bills itself as a “story of what our democracy has become,” a sobering examination of the corrosive influence of money on American politics.
In its technical precision, its loose, meandering dialogue-heavy structure, and its focus on self-conscious, aging Gen-Xers as they grapple with issues both mundane and profoundly philosophical, Before Sunset may be the perfect Linklater movie. But it isn't his alone.
Cuarón's surprisingly bold aesthetic is self-consciously dazzling, but it can't be considered groundbreaking. The film's long-take, pseudo-verité style seamlessly marries Saving Private Ryan’s and The Son’s radically divergent takes on documentary-style realism.
All of this is really a polite way of saying that lately, Almodóvar has gotten a free pass from critics, who received his last two movies, Bad Education and Volver, with (too much) enthusiasm. They’re both sensuous, smartly conceived films, but they also trip over their own ambitions.