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Andrewski

An extraordinarily human movie, with characters and pacing you recognize and relate to. Lifted from life, you are given a chance to empathize with all of the characters at once (easier to do in a movie than in life).
3 years 10 months ago
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Andrewski

There’s a lot to say about this movie, but I have a few small thoughts: 1. My kids loved it. They laugh so much at these Miyazaki movies! 2. The world is so large. It’s just a bathhouse but there’s just so much depth and breadth to the imagination. 3. Chihiro and other Miyazaki characters are always finding their way, either back home or to a new home.
4 years 3 months ago
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Andrewski

There’s a great core here about feminism and what the world (patriarchy) tries to do to women, but it’s mired in a lot of details that distract from it: the family, the first act with a very different Ruth/Winslet character. It works in the end, but it is tricky to get there.
4 years 3 months ago
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Andrewski

Lots of great ensemble setup and a classic soundtrack by Explosions in the Sky.

Maybe it’s just because I watched the TV series first but I just wish they used the supporting characters more.

Also, wouldn’t it be interesting to see what the “red team’s” story was? They sure seemed like they had one to tell too.
4 years 4 months ago
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Andrewski

This sticks out from Bergman’s other movies. Apparently this was his first movie with cinematographer Sven Nykvist, and the stark lighting and theatrical shooting are there for sure, but beyond that the music and pace are unusual. They sure heighten the Fellinian quality of the melodrama of the day to day for the circus folk.

The fatalistic despair of the main characters, and the pride and self-consciousness they feel is quite well portrayed. Each of the circus members seems to want to escape their life, but they can’t: whether by choice or by circumstance.
4 years 4 months ago
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Andrewski

I too am surprised about the divisive comments here so I’ll leave a casual comment to tip the scales.

What a delight! Watching this with the kids and getting their laughs is just the best. Great imagination, great animation. I’d love to watch it again in Japanese but it’s nice to have great voice acting in English. You know, for kids.
4 years 4 months ago
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Andrewski

Probably my favorite anti-capitalist family dramedy, but easily in my top 3.
4 years 4 months ago
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Andrewski

From the opening shot we are left unsure what we are seeing. After all, what truly matters is hidden.

There is a lot to love about this movie, and it works on so many layers. I appreciate the broadest implications about national reckoning with colonialism and the past, but with an eye toward the future and repeating our mistakes.

(I’m intentionally vague, so I won’t call this a spoiler, but I don’t think you should read the rest if you haven’t seen this.)

But the story of Georges and his own guilt staring him in the face is the most resonant. Here we see a brilliant portrayal of burying one’s feelings about the past, running from yourself, and how that can implode later in life. (I don’t expect anyone else to understand but this feels so parallel to Hereditary to me, albeit in a very different arc and genre!)

Because of those themes I kind of ignored the open question about who was sending the tapes and drawings. It felt like it had one or two clear answers that we weren’t going to know in the end, and that’s okay. The story is about what those revelations does to you.

One of the first things I do after watching a good movie is go read Roger Ebert’s review. Sometimes it serves as a proverbial discussion with him about a movie I enjoyed, other times an aid in me grappling with something I did not. Here it helped me see something I missed! The closing shot reopens the question of who sent the tapes, and while the “whodunnit” is not the most important, the closing shot implies another possibility, one that makes another statement about how to reckon with the past—and who can do it.
4 years 4 months ago
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Andrewski

The third Petzold movie I’ve seen, and not having seen Carnival of Souls I went in lacking narrative context. Ah well, everything I need is here: Petzold’s understated style, Nina Hoss, and… balance sheets? I mean: simmering tension.

Where the story works it ratchets up the tension surrounding Yella’s life: her escape from the East, narrow escape from death, struggles to find work, and to keep away from Ben. People driving in cars again! And the concealed motives that go along with that. As it progresses the struggles get tougher, the stakes higher. Things go poorly and in the end we see what we didn’t want to know all along.

That’s part of where the story doesn’t work so well: it seems in hewing to the original Carnival it has nowhere to go from what it set up. Petzold made a unique choice to translate the “ghosts” as metaphorical: the past, the ex, capitalism itself. It transcends the original story by my quick reading. But the ending brings it right back down.
4 years 4 months ago
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Andrewski

The second of Petzold’s movies I’ve watched and I’m really enjoying his style. This is another understated, very human drama with great performances and simmering tension. The camerawork and scene setting really make the emotions land, even if I felt like they needed a bit more backstory to why Thomas and Nina went to such lengths to be together. But the confinement everyone feels is almost palpable.

I saw a blurb about how he uses cars throughout his movies as an analogue to his characters or the stories, and that is an almost on-the-nose feature of this movie (since it’s so much about driving around), but it’s really so subtle. Just people in cars, but how that brings them together or separates them is always a question being answered, or maybe a dynamic being demonstrated. Really effective storytelling.
4 years 4 months ago
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Andrewski

Understated period drama with very composed cinematography? And in German? Sign me up. Oh, there’s more with the director and lead actor? Ausgezeichnet!

I enjoyed how sparse this was, and how that helped to focus on the tension, simmering beneath the surface, lurking behind every corner. The character of Barbara and her actions and choices are at the forefront, and it’s moving to see where things land as you discover her backstory.
4 years 5 months ago
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Andrewski

The moments and journey in the balloon were really moving: the sense of wonder, of pioneering, and of vulnerability. Redmayne and Jones are both great in their roles too. The pacing and flashbacks interrupted the flow a bit though.
4 years 5 months ago
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Andrewski

My kids and I watched this, with me narrating the subtitles. It doesn’t feel quite like a kids’ movie, but I really enjoy watching movies with them *about* kids.

This is a slow and tender look at a boy’s grief juxtaposed with his extended family’s difficulties living in the Ethiopian countryside. His lamb serves as an object of his grief and his only faithful companion as everyone else around him is also struggling with their own lives. There were a half dozen scenes of the sheep just chewing that really show a camaraderie between them, a very patient and effective tactic. I also enjoyed the long shots of the countryside as punctuation of the arc of his life thus far, both physically and emotionally.
4 years 5 months ago
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Andrewski

The Expressionism was very real! But the story and characters were quite opaque and even for a pretty short movie this dragged on in the last act. Novel ending and certainly some scenes were memorable but I was expecting more.

(It’s possible I’d feel stronger about a restored copy. What I watched was probably one of the worst quality I’ve seen of anything in the era.)
4 years 5 months ago
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Andrewski

Fans of The Walking Dead will see a lot of similar material here: the zombies are not the real villains but the people around you and how they react.

However, this is put together as a claustrophobic and effective thriller with a very human and emotional core, so it feels very fresh with characters you are really rooting for.

Without getting spoilery, it's satisfying to see the characters' choices really affect them, and to see the continual lesson of empathy carry throughout the movie. More like this please!
4 years 5 months ago
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Andrewski

That camera! The impressionistic characters and plot. So much to enjoy.

It’s easy to take the cinematography for granted and to try to map the plot points out, but both really land even now considered in context to other silent movies.

The second act did drag on a bit for me, but that first act with its brooding atmosphere and brilliant camerawork really hooked me. The last act was thus very satisfying.
4 years 5 months ago
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Andrewski

A great anti-war drama with so much heart. Between the three acts, it shows such a prescient perspective on World War II that I had to double-check partway through when it was made. It’s kind of amazing to see a dozen war movie tropes on screen here.

The camerawork and locations were also ahead of their time, very naturalistic and fluid. Extremely easy to watch even with a relatively slow pacing from my contemporary vantage.
4 years 5 months ago
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Andrewski

What a great set of scares! Loved the premise, the jump scares felt mostly natural, and the not-jump-but-accidental-noise scares were fittingly worse. That first scene was “great” for pulling you right into their world.

However, there was just so much happening that it was hard to really keep in the tension. spoiler

And then a few things really bothered me: spoiler

Anyway, this was solid! A well-crafter monster movie, and solid direction from Krasinski. I would (will) watch more!
4 years 5 months ago
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Andrewski

I’m glad I went in with no expectations and ideas about what this would entail because this was quite a ride. The second act hit me in a very personal way, and how tenderly and affectionately it was handled was moving, even if I knew already that the summer would end.

The last act was heartbreaking, and while I read some reviews about Bergman being smitten enough by Andersson to have let Monika off the hook, I didn’t get that impression myself. It was nuanced enough to relate to both Monika and Harry, but I don’t know how anyone could come away from that thinking Monika was completely blameless. (If nothing else, her duplicity toward Harry’s aunt was enough to show that she wasn’t at peace with her choices.) 


Anyway, from Bergman’s early movies this one emerges in a very personal and empathetic way, and it resonates deeply. That’s what I show up for.
4 years 5 months ago
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Andrewski

A beautiful love story and a reminder not to build walls around our hearts.
4 years 5 months ago
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Andrewski

What an amazing flurry of emotions here. It’s all about family, even though the characters are barely related, if at all. And while they live in squalor you can see how good they have it. You even relate to them on a fundamental level.

[spoiler]And then, when the house of cards tumbles down, and you see how (pretty objectively) everything was terrible, and the adults are kind of terrible, you still aren’t sure any of them has landed in a better place. Because the place they had was each other, and they all more or less chose that place.
4 years 5 months ago
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Andrewski

Much has been said about this movie, rightly so. I’ll just say this: watching a story of unprocessed grief is just so hard. You want the best for these people, and you know they’re trying their best, but it’s just not happening.

The acting aside, the editing and dialogue make this such a great movie. It feels like a natural way to tell their stories even though, afterward, you can see why it was carefully crafted. Really well told.
4 years 5 months ago
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Andrewski

It’s nice to see such a race-forward movie; the perspectives and humor are refreshing! But it still gets mired in predictable tropes and plots whose payoffs aren’t any more satisfying.
4 years 5 months ago
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Andrewski

An extremely sparse plot with little action, and even less characterization. Hard to imagine this launching a series of sequels.
4 years 6 months ago
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Andrewski

This is a very moving movie for any child of divorce. The performances were great and so many moments hearken back to some tough moments.

However, I think the story is a bit one-sided. It’s set up to be on Charlie’s side. The characters overlook his affair, the career changes line up so he is the one chasing his son and balancing his work, family court too, we end up in his head and from his vantage for the last act, and he gets the final word through the song. (That did make me cry, of course. I am human.)

(My sister mentioned to me some background with Baumbach’s own divorce that may have informed some of this balance in the script? I don’t know much there, but that’s interesting.)

Ultimately, I think the movie has some nuanced things to say about marriage, divorce, and family; I just wish they were said through a more neutral story.
4 years 6 months ago

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