STORIES FROM TOMORROW: CASEY AFFLECK AND THE WORLD TO COME

“You transform pain into other things as you go through life. That was all him working through it. I like stories about storytellers and I like stories within stories. Obviously, I wrote and directed a movie that starts with a twelve-minute bedtime story. I love that. I know that other people don’t love it as much as I do, so I have to be careful about it.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 02/17/2021

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WILLY’S WONDERLAND

“It’s almost as if there are two movies going on here at the same time: a sparse, surrealist spatter film with our silent star fighting mechanical monsters, and a nigh-unwatchable horror comedy in which half a dozen or so obnoxious teens show up to interrupt him, dispensing bad banter and laborious backstory while we wait impatiently for them to die.” – North Shore Movies, 02/14/2021

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BARB AND STAR GO TO VISTA DEL MAR

“Inventing its own comedic ecosystem as it goes along, Wiig and Mumolo’s bonkers follow-up to Bridesmaids proceeds as a cockamamie collection of non sequiturs including an orchestra of mice playing the movie’s musical score, a lounge pianist who sings only about ‘boobies’ and sage words of advice from a talking crab voiced by Morgan Freeman.” – North Shore Movies, 02/14/2021

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JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH

“Director Shaka King has fashioned this harrowing history lesson into a passionate, pulpy crime drama in the mold of The Departed and earlier Warner Bros. gangster pictures, but with a pointed political agenda. Though set in 1969, the film feels like very much a product of our recent, culture-wide reckoning with America’s racist power structures.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 02/11/2021

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PVT CHAT

“Fox has an almost comically carnal screen presence that feels like a wonderful affront to a contemporary American cinema more sexless than the days of the Hays Code. You feel like you’re doing something dirty just by looking at her, and the first half of the film works best because she’s allowed to be an obscene abstraction.” – North Shore Movies, 02/08/2021

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TWO OF US

“Meneghetti’s camerawork is as furtive as their affair, spying on the characters through peepholes and around corners. It’s a visceral film, fervent and sensual, flooded with unruly emotions. You feel the ardor of the lovers in their impossible circumstances, and swoon at the flickers of recognition that cross Chevalier’s otherwise immobile face.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 02/05/2021

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SUPERNOVA

“A nice movie about nice people. These are gifted under-actors, with Firth doing that thing where he conveys enormous amounts of emotion without moving any of the muscles in his face. What’s missing from the film, I’m afraid, is the terror. All the postcard cinematography and pleasant parties paper over what’s ugliest about this damnable disease.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 02/05/2021

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SUNDANCE 2021 PART FIVE: WE’RE ALL GOING TO THE WORLD’S FAIR, THE DOG WHO WOULDN’T BE QUIET, MASS, THE WORLD TO COME

My fifth and final dispatch from the 2021 Sundance Film Festival contains capsule reviews of Jane Schoenbrun‘s We’re All Going To The World’s Fair, Ana Katz’s The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be Quiet, Fran Kranz’s Mass and Mona Fastvold’s The World To Come.

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