Friday, February 16, 2018

Blessed Event

1932, US, directed by Roy Del Ruth

Terrific pre-Code fun, with motormouth Lee Tracy as that most unscrupulous of columnists; it's not quite as strong or, ultimately, as committed in its cynicism as Five Star Final, but it's still a pretty heady early 1930s brew, delivered at an absolute breakneck pace. Glenn Kenny's 2011 capsule review is well worth revisiting, too. 

Sunday, February 11, 2018


2017, US, directed by Lee Unkrich

Stunning animation -- especially on the big screen -- and a beguiling, often very funny storyline. One we've already watched several times with the kids.

Saturday, February 10, 2018


2016, France, directed by Mia Hansen-Løve (aka Things to Come)

Another fine, and attractive, recent French film, this time from Mia Hansen-Løve, and on the strength of this she's a very mature and assured filmmaker from the perch of her mid-30s, working with Isabelle Huppert in reliably strong form. Huppert plays a middle-aged professor dealing with a variety of familial upheavals, and Hansen-Løve astutely avoids the various pitfalls (though she does also set the viewer up to some degree); as with La Belle saison, the political backdrop is strong and there's an interesting, latter-day, riff on the city/country interplay that feels very much of the recent moment while also nodding to the 1960s/1970s back-to-the-land movement. The final shot is quite wonderful.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Le Million

1931, France, directed by René Clair

René Clair at his 1930s peak; the sudden eruptions of song are a particular delight, and its notable that the device has only rarely been used as effectively in the many years since. 

Thursday, February 01, 2018

La Belle saison

2015, France, directed by Catherine Corsini (aka Summertime)

A fine film from Catherine Corsini about the romance between two women, one a Parisian sophisticate, the other a newly-arrived country girl. The backdrop, very well-evoked, is the social upheaval of the early 1970s, and the tension between the two modes of life; the depiction of debate and discussion by those engaged in social activism is especially fascinating. The obvious recent point of comparison is Blue is the Warmest Colour, including with respect to the directorial depiction of the physical relationship between the characters, though each film ultimately has quite different concerns (and each has its own strengths). The leads are both excellent, with Izïa Higelin especially convincing as the rural half of the central pair, while the evocation of the French countryside is utterly seductive in its own way. 


List of all movies

Most of the images here are either studio publicity stills or screen captures I've made myself; if I've taken your image without giving you credit, please let me know.

About Me

Boston, Massachusetts, United States