Aug 10, 2022

Nope: Mopey gloom and doomsayers are no match for Keke Palmer’s shine.

Jordan Peele’s NOPE opens with a chimpanzee wearing one of those outfits that barely contained Gene Kelly’s biceps in An American in Paris (1951). Unlike Kelly, Gordy the chimpanzee doesn’t dance across a movie screen awash in pastels. The striped sleeves of his cotton shirt are stained and dripping...
Jul 20, 2022

Hee Haw!: ‘My Donkey, My Lover & I’ passes the ‘Make It French’ test

When it comes to curious mental games that critics sometimes play, one of the most entertaining is “Make It French.” It works like this: In the midst of watching an ordinary, insipid American-made romantic comedy, the viewer...
Jul 13, 2022

Un-Bridaled: ‘The Silent Party’ happened in Argentina. Don’t let it happen here.

On the way to their wedding in the countryside, the prospective bride and groom can’t seem to stop arguing with each other. Uh-oh. Then there’s an odd little incident as the car carrying Laura (Jazmín Stuart) and Daniel...
Jul 6, 2022

The Forgiven: Lawrence Osborne revisits Paul Bowles’ themes of alienation

After the death of their child, Jo and David Henninger take a trip to Morocco. They’re visiting Richard and Dally, a gay couple celebrating their newly refurbished desert retreat. When The Forgiven begins, we don’t know the...
Jul 6, 2022

A Woman’s View: The work of legendary actor-director Tanaka Kinuyo lights up BAMPFA

Admirers of classical Japanese cinema are undoubtedly well aware of actor Tanaka Kinuyo (we’ll follow the Japanese style, family name first, for all proper names). The dignified, durable leading lady is probably best known for her work...
Jun 29, 2022

Plastered in Paris: Ridicule, snobbery and ‘Lost Illusions’ in Balzac’s uproarious 19th-century Paris

The setting is France in the early 19th century. Young Lucien Chardon, a classic ink-stained wretch addicted to writing poetry and working in printers’ workshops, departs his provincial hometown of Angoulême for Paris, taking care to adopt...
Jun 22, 2022

All Shook Up: ‘Elvis’ is almost as discombobulated as the man himself. But it...

The summer’s most anticipated “delayed by COVID” movie has arrived. Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis is big, glossy, rollicking, intermittently entertaining and easy to figure out. Elvis Presley (Austin Butler) is what he is widely supposed to be—good-looking and...
Jun 15, 2022

‘Phantom of the Open’: The Legend of Maurice Flitcroft

The British film industry produces at least one movie a year that contends with their unyielding class system. Some of the more light-hearted ones do well in the United States even though Americans refuse to believe the...
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