Tag Archives: Tilda Swinton

The Souvenir (2019) Movie Review

Honor Swinton Byrne is phenomenal in The Souvenir. The film from Joanna Hogg presents a coming of age story for Swinton Byrne’s Julie, who is in the process of making a feature for film school. If you don’t recognize Swinton Byrne’s talent by this late juncture of the film, then you will see it when she looks directly at you, through the camera, following filming a take of her own. It is a shot that really shouldn’t be this powerful. It is too reflexive, too direct. But Swinton Byrne carries the weight of the film that has played out before her, and she puts that weight on you when she goes direct-to-camera.

Julie’s relationship to the audience may be as fraught as her romantic relationship with Anthony (Tom Burke) is. For one, it becomes increasingly hard for Continue reading The Souvenir (2019) Movie Review

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Okja (2017) Movie Review

Okja is an elephant-sized genetically modified pig, raised for 10 years by Mija (Seo-Hyun Ahn) and her grandfather in the Korean mountains. To one, Okja is a giant teddy bear of a pet. To another, namely the head of the company that created him Lucy Mirando (Tilda Swinton), it is a massive money-making food commodity.

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Okja is, once it gets going, a chase film involving three (eventually two) parties. This chase cuts through a narrative with tropes of coming of age and satire, neither of which reach their full potential.

If the indelible adorableness of Okja does not get to your heart, then this story may Continue reading Okja (2017) Movie Review

War Machine (2017) Movie Review

Glenn McMahon (Brad Pitt) is a celebrated, if not eccentric, United States Marine General tasked with leading NATO forces in 2009 Afghanistan. In 10 minutes, David Michod’s War Machine introduces McMahon’s team, none of which appear as appealing as Pitt’s left-eye bulging, tight-lipped officer of the people.

McMahon is tasked with handling relations with Afghanistan while the war winds down under the Barack Obama administration. It is a “nation-building exercise,” one which McMahon takes on with gusto.

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Pitt’s character is, in delivery, an aged version of Lt. Aldo Raine. A gruff southern accent and a high degree of eyebrow expressivity control them both. Except, here, Pitt’s McMahon is Continue reading War Machine (2017) Movie Review

Doctor Strange (2016) Movie Review

Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), a cocksure neurosurgeon with the mind of a savant, becomes victim to a (rather excessive) car wreck. His hands smashed through the windshield and succumbing to massive nerve damage, he may never practice surgery again. Wonderful parallel shots show his fall from grace in a shot structure that seems almost too elegant for a Marvel film.

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When a physical recovery becomes impossible for him, Strange seeks Continue reading Doctor Strange (2016) Movie Review