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An overly in-depth and totally not bitter alternative Best Picture list

After dozens of forays to FilmScene and local multiplexes in 2018, crunching countless popcorn kernels in anticipation of celebrating the best of the best come February 2019, it was both anticlimactic and disappointing to see a line-up of Best Picture nominees that included the likes of Bohemian Rhapsody, Vice, Green Book and Black Panther. […]

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A valuable ally and a cunning enemy: Intrigue and rivalry shine in Lanthimos’ ‘The Favourite’

As with most of Lanthimos’ work, ‘The Favourite’ really defies category. Though the historical setting is inseparable from the narrative of the film, to call this a historical drama would clearly be wrong — the choreography, the foul-mouthed modern insults and the mostly casual regard for historical accuracy would all disqualify it. […]

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Alfonso Cuarón’s masterpiece ‘Roma’ is now on Netflix — but it’s worth a trip to FilmScene

There’s a fine line between a movie that’s “artsy” and one that’s “artistic,” at least in my mind. Artsy films I associate with a palpable (and largely unearned) sense of importance, originality and depth. They may be unnecessarily abstract, employ […]

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‘At Eternity’s Gate’ is a well-worn story worth the retelling

‘At Eternity’s Gate,’ now playing at FilmScene, offers little new to the lore and legacy of van Gogh. Nonetheless, an homage to one of the very founders of modern art — as well as the idea of the modern artist — by one of its 21st century practitioners feels right, and Schnabel’s admiration for his subject informs every moment of this film. […]

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FilmScene’s featured Oscar contenders continue with ‘Beautiful Boy,’ a familiar but effective addiction narrative

You know this story. Whether or not you’ve read David Sheff’s memoir Beautiful Boy or Nic Sheff’s memoir Tweak, you’ve likely heard — or lived — the film’s central scenario: a parent tries desperately to save their drug-addicted child, but […]

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Guadagnino’s ‘Suspiria’ a psychoanalytic playground with uncertain feminist cred

‘Suspiria’ is polarizing, as reflected on Rotten Tomatoes (currently 62 percent approval rating) with critics either praising Guadagnino’s bold and heady filmmaking or deriding the movie as pretentious and boring. Many critics, including this one, find it to be both at the same time. […]

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Up 3,000 feet without a rope: The horror and beauty of ‘Free Solo’

Edge-of-your-seat suspense. Sky-high stakes. Psychological intrigue. Queasy cinematography. And enough unadulterated fear to make your heart pound and palms sweat. Perhaps FilmScene’s most viscerally frightening showing this month is ‘Free Solo,’ a documentary about the death-defying free solo rock climber Alex Honnold.
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