• Strangers in Love

    Strangers in Love

    ★★

    This is nominally a comedy. It does end on a promise of happily ever after. But to get there, the viewer must sit through near-interminable sequences--as funny as an attack of gastroenteritis--in which Fredric March flails pathetically while trying to pass himself off as his stuffy twin brother.

  • The Marriage Playground

    The Marriage Playground

    ★★

    A semi-faithful adaptation of Edith Wharton's dysphemic novel of how the upper classes live--divorcing and remarrying almost as easily as they dispose of last year's wardrobe, and leaving the children more or less to raise themselves. And once again I fail to see the appeal of Frederic March.

  • Behind the Make-Up

    Behind the Make-Up

    ★★

    Universal is probably doing the world a favor by keeping this one in the vault. Question to William Powell completists: what on earth is that accent he's attempting?

  • For the Love of Mike

    For the Love of Mike

    ★★½

    A confusing comedy--something about a self-made man and his improper intentions toward his beautiful young ward...'s estate. Its only saving grace is a pas de quatre with four of the male characters--fighting over a vase that contains a crucial document--in a mashup of ballet and rugby.

  • The Saga of Gosta Berling

    The Saga of Gosta Berling

    ★★★½

    What's Swedish for "homme fatal"?

  • Drive My Car

    Drive My Car

    Right this minute I'm disappointed with the entire Oscar Bait category of films. Maybe with a little distance I'll be able to better appreciate this.

  • I'll Be Alone After Midnight

    I'll Be Alone After Midnight

    ★★★

    What's French for "friend-zoned"?

    Monique, furious at her husband's flagrant infidelities, vows to pay him back generously and in kind. Dismissing MIchel, her neighbor/long-time admirer, she sends out balloons across Paris with her calling card and the message "I'll be alone after midnight." And as this is a musical comedy, the recipients one by one collect in Madame's drawing room. And the shenanigans begin....

  • Don't Look Up

    Don't Look Up

    ★★★

    It Is Easier to Imagine an End to the World Than an End to Capitalism: The Movie

    Parodying the political and economic shenanigans of the last several years would be as easy as shooting fish in a barrel. And it still didn't produce a satisfying movie.

  • Whoopee!

    Whoopee!

    ★★★

    Not gonna try to defend the portrayal of Indians, or Cantor's inevitable blackface. But as a glimpse of entertainments targeted to the "tired businessman," it's an interesting window on Broadway.

  • A Warm Corner

    A Warm Corner

    ★½

    A sadly labored farce.

  • Absinthe

    Absinthe

    ★★

    The grandfather of Just Say No propaganda--a young artist tries the stuff, and we see him lose his model/fiancee, his friends, and his humanity.

  • Three Women

    Three Women

    ★★★½

    A melodrama of a triangle between a fortune-hunting playboy, an affluent widow, and her unworldly daughter, who has just come of age. The template for High Camp Joan Crawford (especially in the courtroom scenes), two decades early.