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NOMADLAND: WORTH WAITING FOR

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Filmmaker Chloé Zhao opens Nomadland on a tight closeup of Fern’s face—a woman we might chance to meet any day of the week.  Because she is played by Frances McDormand there is no better way to establish a connection between her…

‘MINARI’ IS AN ARTISTIC TRIUMPH

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To have won both the Grand Jury prize and the Audience Award at last year’s Sundance Film Festival indicates, correctly, that Minari is an artistic triumph as well as a crowd-pleaser. Clearly a passion project for writer-director Lee Isaac Chung, inspired…

JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH

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Judas and the Black Messiah is a provocative movie title and the film that bears it lives up to the expectations it generates. Director Shaka King plunges us into action in the opening scene, where a little-remembered figure named Bill…

LAND: AN IMPRESSIVE DEBUT FILM FROM ROBIN WRIGHT

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It shouldn’t come as a surprise that any feature-length film that has earned Robin Wright’s complete commitment—as actress and director—would be worthwhile. But Wright’s film is more than merely competent: her bywords seem to have been simplicity and honesty.…

‘LITTLE FISH’ EXPLORES A DARING IDEA

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I’m not sure when Aja Gabel wrote the story that became Little Fish, but I don’t think it was during the pandemic that has seized the world. In the near-future depicted here it’s a different kind of malady that overtakes…

TWO OF US: A SENSATIONAL SLEEPER

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There’s nothing more exciting to me than making a discovery. I wasn’t at the Toronto International Film Festival when Two of Us made its debut in the fall of 2019. It has played other prestigious festivals, including Los Angeles’ Outfest.…but I…

OUR FRIEND: A CLICHÉ-FREE TEARJERKER

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I was tempted to dismiss Our Friend as just another movie about a loved one’s battle with a fatal disease. Then I watched it. Yes, it’s a tearjerker, but it’s derived from a first-person article from Esquire that won the National Magazine Award.…

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