May 29, 2017

Hermia & Helena

HERMIA & HELENA opens in a New York that might, until the clues cohere, be Buenos Aires. Flowers that could be in any garden, fulgent with color. The echo of drumming on the avenues. A city park ...
Jan 10, 2017

Julieta

At the start of JULIETA, the folds of a red cloth expose a recognizable lushness. This is “Un film de Almodóvar.”  The cloth belongs, when the shot pulls back, to a dressing gown worn by Julieta...
May 24, 2016

ma ma

I am avoiding the obvious word to describe Penélope Cruz in MA MA, but so be it if by saying that she illumes the screen I call the cliché to mind. Magda is among her finest creations, a great scree...
Jul 2, 2015

The Princess of France

There is a type of film that tells a story from Shakespeare, with or without his language, that happens in a time and place that might be called “a world without Shakespeare.” A plot unfol...
Mar 7, 2015

Wild Tales

Damián Szifron’s movie WILD TALES opens with a prologue in which the laughs come at you like Roman slaves claiming to be Spartacus, one after another. It’s the first, and shortest, of six revenge...
Sep 4, 2013

Una Noche

Lucy Mulloy’s UNA NOCHE is exquisitely edited. There are maybe two or three clichéd shots, which stand out precisely because the film as a whole is so fluent and sure handed in its visual rhythms. ...
Aug 26, 2013

The Artist and the Model

Cinema is the art of the photographic image as it slips away, failing to establish itself, and is given over to the death of the present and the rebirth of the moment. The motion picture that is consc...
Apr 4, 2013

Blancanieves

Black-and-white filmmaking can be ravishingly beautiful, and Pablo Berger’s BLANCANIEVES had me from start-to-finish by virtue of its images alone. The title is Spanish for “Snow White,” the sto...
Mar 27, 2013

Todos tenemos un plan

There is an implicit moral cynicism in the title of this engrossing film from Argentina, which in Spanish is called TODOS TENEMOS UN PLAN. We all have a plan, a game to play, a scam, perhaps, things w...
Jun 22, 2012

Americano

AMERICANO is a thoughtful and richly acted film about an inheritance and the psychological issues raised by it. The main character is a French-American with two passports who flies from Paris to L.A. ...