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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 an unsteady cam ~for realism~ and cannot end until at least one character has floated […]

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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 finds his best efforts further alienate or enable the child’s behavior; the child, meanwhile, struggles […]

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‘Sorry to Bother You’ is weird, cool, but not quite wonderful

There’s something extraordinary about Sorry to Bother You. Maybe it’s rookie writer-director Boots Riley’s unique take on science fiction. Maybe it’s the timely discussion of the evils of capitalism and importance of labor unions. Maybe it’s the practical special effects, hearkening back to early sci-fi with a contemporary, satirical sheen. Maybe it’s Lakeith Stanfield’s stellar performance, or Tessa Thompson’s badass hair, make-up and wardrobe. […]

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