Tessa Strain

Tessa Strain

back and worse than ever

Favorite films

  • Sunset Boulevard
  • Pee-wee's Big Adventure
  • Manhunter
  • The Age of Innocence

Recent activity

  • Fallen Leaves

  • The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

  • Maestro

  • The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes

Recent reviews

  • Fallen Leaves

    Fallen Leaves

    A movie that refuses to cede romantic love to the bourgeoisie—contemporary American movies seem to think that if you don’t handwave all socioeconomic or political realities out of the sphere of romance that romance itself will be trivialized. It’s a form of denialism but it’s also, DARE I SAY IT, an embarrassing lack of faith in love, not as a solution to life’s ills but as something worth valuing in and of itself. People fall in love every day, whether…

  • The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

    The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

    The biggest obstacles to romance are colonialism and small business owners. Makes you think…

    Absolutely laughed out loud when the mom says she’s sorry Geneviève is stuck in “this dreary shop” and there is the loudest pink wallpaper I’ve ever seen in my life directly behind her.

    I like that we can track Guy’s emotional decline based on the fact that he’s no longer wearing a festive sweater under his work coveralls.

    Geneviève leaving her small child in a freezing…

Popular reviews

  • May December

    May December

    Demented, funny, heartrending—no working director understands melodrama like Haynes. He threads the needle between exaggerated camp and genuine pathos so effortlessly (maybe more than any of his other movies this one feels like it’s in conversation with Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story). The orchestral sting with “I don’t think we’re going to have enough hot dogs” is so disarming and hysterical—both letting you know what you’re in for while reminding you that you can’t possibly know what you’re in for.…

  • The Holdovers

    The Holdovers

    Almost pathologically normal movie. I can’t resist wide wale corduroy or Miller High Life, but as a former (reformed?) Classics major I can tell you there is no earthly way this specific teacher would be able spend two weeks with a kid whose surname is Tully without bringing up the fact that that’s the name they use[d] for Cicero in Britain.