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Festival coverage, lists and news from the Letterboxd crew.
Still from Sam Esmail’s Leave the World Behind, opening night film at the 2023 AFI Fest (October 25—29).


Liked reviews

Following 2019’s deeply unnerving “The Assistant” with another razor-sharp Julia Garner collaboration, Australian filmmaker Kitty Green has decided to strand her favorite actress in one of the few places on Earth more dangerous for a young woman than Harvey Weinstein’s production office: A shithole bar on the border of an ultra-remote mining town so deep within the Australian outback that no one there has even heard of the #MeToo movement. Welcome to “The Royal Hotel.”

The good news is that…

Ava DuVernay's modus operandi has been clear for a while now: take a true story of injustice related to racism and turn it into cinematic art. It worked very well with Selma and perhaps even more so with When They See Us.

In her latest film, Origin, it's clear that the intention is still the same, but this time she wanted to expand the scope significantly by addressing many stories simultaneously, seeking the very origin of racism and caste systems.…




takes big swings, falters at times, but it's hard to think of another filmmaker who confronts the tides of history with such scope

The most fitting final film possible for director William Friedkin, whose works have always blurred the lines between supposed ‘good’ and ‘evil’. The Caine Mutiny Court Martial is a courtroom drama, based on a novel-then-play of the same name, and for most of its runtime it may just be the most impartial one ever put to screen. 

There are no flashbacks or subplots here, just two lawyers, a judge and a flow of testimonies which run relentlessly from one to…

The more I think about it, the more I like “Poor Things”. Lanthimos’s knack for dry and surreal style in dialogue and performance bleed into a vast and luscious visual world here. This is a showcase of design and world building. In other films, Lanthimos is surreal situationally, yet still grounded in a someone comparable reality. Here everything is elevated with fun thought-provoking eye candy.

Referentially, this is a clear rebranding and reimagining of “Frankenstein” with an even more feminine…

Mark Ruffalo's Hugh Grant in Paddington 2.




Fourth viewing. I took a day trip from Venice (long story) to Modena, home of Ferrari and where this film was shot, to see Michael Mann premiere it to a local crowd, which included Piero Ferrari as well as many who worked on the film. A special evening. Knowing chuckles at odd places as people recognized locations and faces. Loud gasps at the bloody climax. I found myself even more moved this time by Penelope Cruz’s performance. Not unlike OPPENHEIMER, different emotional details come through with each viewing.  

Seen at Cinema Victoria, Modena. 

Full review here: www.vulture.com/article/michael-mann-ferrari-movie-review.html

Hamaguchi at its finest: I love the time he invests to create a bond with the land, so you end up feeling it’s also yours.

The editing is perfect, as precise as agressive, anticipating the ending since the first cut.

The score is also immaculate. The film is full of interesting and unexpected decisions. Another masterpiece by Hamaguchi.

Also: No one films hands as beautifully as he does.