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Monthly Archives: December 2019

MY TOP FILMS OF THE YEAR

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People love lists because they stimulate discussion and debate. I don’t enjoy compiling them because they are so arbitrary, but who am I do sit out this year-end ritual? I can’t call this a “top ten” because I couldn’t…
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1917: A WARTIME EXPERIENCE LIKE NO OTHER

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1917 wastes no time establishing its premise and introducing us to its leading characters, two young British soldiers (newcomers George Mackay and Dean-Charles Chapman) who are handed a perilous assignment: deliver an urgent message that will stop thousands of troops…
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WHAT SHE SAID: A VALUABLE DOC ABOUT PAULINE KAEL

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Believe it or not, there was a time when film critics were widely discussed and debated, none more so than Pauline Kael during her long tenure at The New Yorker. Equal parts essayist, crusader and provocateur, she famously championed emerging…
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LITTLE WOMEN: AS GOOD AS IT GETS

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I love the 1994 version of Little Women written by Robin Swicord and directed by Gillian Armstrong, and I’ve always had a special place in my heart for the 1933 adaptation directed by George Cukor and starring Katharine Hepburn. I didn’t…
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STAR WARS: VARIATIONS ON A THEME

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I saw Star Wars in 1977 at the Loews State Theater in Manhattan, now long-gone. Little did I know that the universe George Lucas created would still be alive and well decades later. Diehard fans have a singular attachment to this…
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CATS: MUSIC MINUS MAGIC

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Some things shouldn’t be tampered with. I enjoyed Cats onstage, where the theatrical experience worked its magic to great effect. The new film never swept me up as I hoped it might; for all its rich ingredients it felt like a…
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BOMBSHELL: MUCH ADO

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It’s not uncommon for me to stare at a beautiful woman like Charlize Theron, but in Bombshell I was fixated on her face for the wrong reason: I kept trying to figure out why it looked odd. That’s because her features…
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