• The Social Network

    The Social Network

    ★★★★★

    You know what's cooler than being #18 on my list of the Top 20 Films of the 2010s? Being #17.

  • La Llorona

    La Llorona

    ★★★½

    More fantasy, perhaps, than horror. In which real-life monsters - and those who are complicit in enabling them - are haunted for their horrific acts.

  • The Truffle Hunters

    The Truffle Hunters

    Updated Top 5 Movie Foods of 2020

    1. Cookie's Oily Cakes ("First Cow")
    2. Fried Egg with Fondue and Truffles
    3. Sal's perfect Bacon, Egg & Cheese Sandwich ("Birds of Prey")
    4. Cinnamon Coffee Cake with Cider ("Blow the Man Down")
    5.

    I'm sure another contender will rise up before the year is complete. Any nominations?

  • Mank

    Mank

    ★★★★

    Let's be clear, there's nothing about Gary Oldman or his performance that suggests he's "43." Oh well, I think it's one of his best. His Mank doesn't take anything too seriously, constantly deflecting with jokes and witty rejoinders, but he gives the alcoholic scribe a tragic weight, not to mention a sensitivity, sophistication and deviousness that is dangerous fun.

    Josh wasn't quite so convinced, by Oldman or the movie overall. We discuss on Filmspotting #804.

  • Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

    Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

    ★★★★

    In terms of a swan song that showcases the full range of an actor's talents, this is a gift - that builds on Chadwick Boseman's legacy. Levee is a black man who wears the scars of a past and present dominated by racism and yet will not accept the world and his place in it as it is. Through sheer willpower and talent, he's determined to make the world bend to him.

    Viola Davis, naturally, doesn't disappoint either. We discuss both towering performances and George C. Wolfe's 'musical' direction on Filmspotting #804.

  • Sound of Metal

    Sound of Metal

    ★★★★

    FYC: Paul Raci
    (Riz Ahmed too.)
    (Oh, and Olivia Cooke.)

    Added to the Golden Brick shortlist on Filmspotting #804.

  • Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions

    Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions

    This review is for @sophiejane and @sophiejane only.

    S - The 1, Cardigan, Exile
    A - This Is Me Trying, The Last Great American Dynasty, Mirrorball
    B - Seven, Betty, My Tears Ricochet
    C - August, Illicit Affairs, Invisible String
    D - Mad Woman, Peace, Hoax, Epiphany

  • Daughters of the Dust

    Daughters of the Dust

    ★★★½

    The past is always with these islanders, haunting them but also providing strength. The present, in upheaval. The future, unknown. Dash and DP Arthur Jafa render this dislocation beautifully with sped-up frames, slow motion, the apparition of the Unborn Child that appears and disappears.

    We close out our Overlooked Auteurs Marathon with a <href="https://www.filmspotting.net/episodes-archive/2020/11/6/800-fall-movie-preview-daughters-of-the-dust-overlooked-auteurs">discussion of the ambitious indie.

  • Dune

    Dune

    ★★½

    I don't believe in guilty pleasures or 'so bad they're good' movies, but I'll say this for DUNE: it challenged that philosophy more than any movie I can think of. So bizarre, twisted and perplexing - with everyone leaning so hard into it - that I appreciated its conviction and ambition. In that MST3K way where you watch something mockingly but also adoringly... I almost got there.

    We discussed Lynch's infamous effort as part of our 8 From '84 series.

  • Stranger Than Paradise

    Stranger Than Paradise

    ★★★★

    And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
    And you may find yourself in another part of the world
    And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
    Same as it ever was, same as it ever was

    We closed out our 8 From '84 series with a discussion of Jarmusch's breakout, a movie about what happens when you discover that there's nothing to discover.

  • The Vast of Night

    The Vast of Night

    Super 8 Track. 

    I like the biscuits this movie is baking.

  • The Nest

    The Nest

    ★★★½

    Durkin craftily navigates a few different fronts here. It’s billed as a thriller and there’s a pseudo-horror aspect to it, but at its core is a domestic drama with a husband and wife having to confront the deception in their marriage - and their self-deception. Carrie Coon is a unique talent, giving a unique, powerful performance, and Jude Law is up to the challenge as well, oozing smug charm.

    For more, check out our review on Filmspotting #793.