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THE HAND OF GOD: AN INSPIRED IMPORT

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Paolo Sorrentino has made some exceptional films, including ‘Il Divo’ and ‘The Great Beauty’ (my favorite) but he says it took twenty years—and the courage he derived from watching Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma—to tell his own coming-of-age story in The…

JOCKEY: BETTING ON CLIFTON COLLINS, JR.

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Many character actors never land a leading role, despite having proven themselves in film after film (from The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit to Traffic and Capote). Clifton Collins, Jr. has been handed a golden opportunity in Jockey by director Clint Bentley and his co-screenwriter Greg Kwedar.…

LICORICE PIZZA: VALLEY HIGH

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Paul Thomas Anderson grew up in the suburban L.A. sprawl known as the San Fernando Valley and has set several of his films there (notably Boogie Nights, Magnolia and Punch Drunk Love). His latest is a flashback to 1973, a kaleidoscopic series…

PARALLEL MOTHERS: ALMODÓVAR’S LATEST

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Pedro Almodóvar is a master stylist and storyteller. As a longtime fan I am glad he is so prolific, because if one of his films doesn’t meet my (high) expectations I console myself with the knowledge that there is…

BEING THE RICARDOS: IN BLACK & WHITE AND COLOR

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I’m not a fan of show-business biopics, on the whole. Too often the leading actors can’t capture what made the stars they’re playing so special. Others succumb to overly familiar Hollywood storytelling tropes. Being the Ricardos is a rare exception because…

NIGHTMARE ALLEY: FILM NOIR PERFECTION

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Some filmmakers get so caught up in the look and feel of their films that they lose their grip on the storytelling. Others know how to tell a good story but don’t have the money or the clout to…

THE TENDER BAR: CYNICS NEED NOT APPLY

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The Tender Bar is based on a memoir by J.E. Moehringer, adapted by the screenwriter of The Departed and Kingdom of Heaven, William Monaghan. It’s a rose-colored remembrance of his youth and transition to adulthood, with an absentee father…

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