• Voyeur

    Voyeur

    ★★

    Feels like watching the Trump rally in Tulsa.

  • Paris, Texas

    Paris, Texas

    ★★★★

    It's an exercise in prolonged discomfort and delayed gratification. Thankfully, it's persistently gripping, and occasionally gorgeous and exquisite.

  • Moonlight

    Moonlight

    ★★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    1) A carefree moment floating on water amidst a paternal embrace
    2) The mute scream and repugnant stare of a contemptuous mother, within a neon frame
    3) A head reclined upon a shoulder, the tender embrace among solitary men

    Three gorgeous and indelible stills in my mind; three classic additions to the canons of film history.

  • Call Me by Your Name

    Call Me by Your Name

    ★★★★★

    A sensory delight, from the original tracks by Sufjan Stevens, to each food and drink on screen (won't view apricots the same way again), and of course the inebriating chemistry between the two protagonists. (As a side note, Marzia is a gorgeous sight and comforting anchor for Elio amidst the whirlwind).
    Like few movies in recent times, and reminiscent of Italian classics, this one left me swept away; at once, uplifted and defenseless, inspired and dispirited.
    I watched it twice…

  • The Ages of Lulu

    The Ages of Lulu

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    A lot of sex and fetish to justify a sexist movie about the inability of an underdeveloped woman to make autonomous decisions about her body without putting her life in jeopardy, going into a downward spiral. Ultimately, she relies on a man (who chronically violated her right to informed consent), or better yet, on an expendable transgender woman sidekick (very well acted BTW), to save her from doom. Her last line, "I need you... I can't live without you", is frustrating beyond belief.

  • Lolita

    Lolita

    It's unclear why Kubrick decided to make a film interpretation of Nabokov, if the product is mostly devoid of its psychological depth, subversion, and pugnacity. The film "suggests" (never beyond a glance or a whisper) the pedophilia of stepfather, who may as well be confused for an overbearing and protective father figure during most of the story. Perhaps the most interesting and uncomfortable reflection of the film is the blurred line between a good/loving father, and a pedophile/murderer, at a…

  • The Lobster

    The Lobster

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    The Lobster feels like a literary piece of art, with a Kafkian flair for the incisive and absurd. At its core, it's a critique of social coercion towards love. Perhaps the most unsettling message is that such coercion can be enforced in an equally unforgiving ways by mainstream culture, counter-cultural tendencies, "loving" couples, and oneself.

    Also, the over-theatrical and segmented style of interpersonal relations can be an acquired taste. It's reminiscent of The Royal Tenembaums and other similar Wes Anderson…

  • Babel

    Babel

    ★★★★★

    It's rare that a five star film is made, totaling maybe a handful each decade. Babel forms part of a masterful body of work of the Mexican film director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu, who has placed himself as one the most relevant film directors alive. In the tradition of Amores Perros and 21 Grams, Gonzalez Iñarritu crafts a challenging and insightful view of human existence as defined by the distinctions of space, time, class and language. Not limiting himself to a…

  • The Prestige

    The Prestige

    The story of The Prestige may be initially reminiscent of The Illusionist given its similar subject matter, the obscure underworld of magic at the turn of the century. Nevertheless, they are drastically different. The Prestige explores the conflictive relationship of two entertainers who will sacrifice anything to create the perfect illusion and perfect their craft. While it is clear they must be willing to "get their hands to dirty" in the process, their boundaries are increasingly tested as the stakes…

  • Kolya

    Kolya

    ★★★★½

    A charming and simply irresistible movie in the traditional of other great classics such as Cinema Paradiso and Life is Beautiful. Set at the end of the Cold War, Kolya tells the story of a middle-aged Czech bachelor who's forced to take care of a little boy after his mother, who the bachelor agreed to marry for a hefty pay, decided to leave everything behind and go to Germany. This most unlikely of fathers, who spends his days performing the…

  • The Fountain

    The Fountain

    ★★★½

    The Fountain juxtaposes three stories, which follow the powerful romance between the two main characters, performed by Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz, across time periods 500 years apart. The first relates the mission of Conquistador Tomas, sent by the beautiful queen Isabel to discover the Fountain of Youth, lost somewhere in the Mayan Empire since it was vanished by God from Eden. Upon finding the Fountain, embodied in a mysterious tree, Tomas may take the hand of the Queen in…

  • Blood Diamond

    Blood Diamond

    Blood Diamond presents the pursuit of a rare pink diamond in the war-torn country of Sierra Leonne. The film is incredibly ambitious, but ultimately collapses. Its failures are due to a mixed script with powerfully original ideas and tired action movie cliches, sometimes overdramatic and cheap performances, a scattered direction and most notably, poor editing. Most regrettably, the movie bases itself on a shattering yet conveniently ignored subject, and makes a generally mediocre action movie: big explosions, inexplicable romance, roughly…