Category Archives: Love It

Movies I absolutely loved. Love, of course, is a subjective term. For me, loving a film means being wholly drawn into it or being intrigued into watching the film again. If I left a movie with my mouth agape or nodding my head contently, chances are “Love It.” is my short-form review.

Phantom Thread (2017) Movie Review

Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) is a famed couture designer in post-war London. He is quite idiosyncratic, very particular. He has eyes for a waitress named Alma (Vicky Krieps), whom he places in his house and sizes her up for a dress.

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This scene, where Day-Lewis’ Woodcock measures Alma, is the beginning of an intensely fraught yet surprisingly understated romantic relationship. And it is a Continue reading Phantom Thread (2017) Movie Review

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I, Tonya (2017) Movie Review

There is one word that describes every facet of the film I, Tonya. Energy. From the acting performances, to the editing, to the camera work, to the dialogue, to the framing device, to the soundtrack there is a constant and consistent energy. There is never a wasted or dull moment. It is a two-hour movie that breezes by.

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Beneath this energy, which is spear-headed by dark comedy, is a surprising amount of empathy that the film drums up around the figure of Tonya Harding (portrayed here by Margot Robbie). The highly publicized story of Harding plays out in the film in a Continue reading I, Tonya (2017) Movie Review

Call Me By Your Name (2017) Movie Review

Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name is a film that takes its time yet never wastes a moment. It may seem at first that it is slow to startup, but this humdrum beginning that meanders almost lazily through this formative summer of Elio’s (Timothee Chalamet) is used as a basis from which the film’s central relationship can form. From the point at which this relationship comes to be, the film becomes an intensely emotional and sensual experience.

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Certainly, this lengthy and deliberate film will lose some viewers. The simplicity of the plotting does not help in that regard. But beyond mere plot is a film that captures Continue reading Call Me By Your Name (2017) Movie Review

The Shape of Water (2017) Movie Review

Guillermo del Toro, with his latest The Shape of Water, weaves, in effect, a fairy tale monster movie. Imbued with the shadowy lighting and terse patriotism of the Cold War 1950s, in which nationalistic patsies are led by men in trench coats who speak in passwords, the film sets itself in an industrial government building that hides away U.S. military secrets.

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Working in this industrial warehouse, underneath the shadowy government officials and their shills and patsies, is the mute Elisa (Sally Hawkins). With the camaraderie of Zelda (Octavia Spencer), who fills the space where Elisa’s words cannot reach, they clean the facility. This includes cleaning up the blood after a new arrival to the facility causes Continue reading The Shape of Water (2017) Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) (SPOILER) Movie Review

Note: Yep, spoilers. I’m not bothering to attempt this review without actually talking about the film.

From the first sequence of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, it is clear that what you are watching is going to be a different take on the Star Wars universe. It is a dogfight in the skies of space, with the roguish Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) quipping as he leads a squadron of bombers toward the First Order fleet.

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This sequence engages with the formulaic conceit of a Star Wars dogfight, and it even replicates Continue reading Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) (SPOILER) Movie Review

Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) Movie Review

In Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, a title so laborious and specific that it can’t help but get stuck in your head, Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand) rents out three billboards (they haven’t been used in years, not since the highway went up) and plasters a notice up on them. Black on red. A question aimed at Police Chief Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) asking for justice for Mildred’s dead daughter.

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A confrontational pitch-black comedy about reactionary culture and life-altering emotional extremity, Three Billboards delivers one of the Continue reading Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) Movie Review

Mudbound (2017) Movie Review

On the eve of World War II, Laura (Carey Mulligan) is courted by engineer Henry McAllan (Jason Clarke) in the Mississippi Delta. Although Laura is more charmed by Henry’s brother Jamie (Garrett Hedlund), she marries Henry and they raise two children. Henry buys a farm (more precisely, he’s swindled and the family is relegated to a meager shack that is characterized most readily by the puddles of mud in the yard that never dry up). This farm employs the Jackson family, led by pensive Florence (Mary J. Blige) and Hap (Rob Morgan) Jackson.

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When America is drawn into the war effort—Roosevelt’s infamy speech marks the act break—Ronsel Jackson (Jason Mitchell) and Jamie are called on to serve. When they return to the states, inevitably changed, they face Continue reading Mudbound (2017) Movie Review