Brooklyn: I’ve been a loyal Nick Hornby fan since middle school, reading all his books and now watching all the movies he writes. This is almost definitely his best movie writing. Saoirse Ronan is extraordinary as Eilis–vulnerable but no fool– and I felt for her as she plumbed the depths of homesickness. And ya know I’m all about those plush colors and drool-worthy 50s styles.
Love & Mercy: Just enough storytelling experimentation to make it a more memorable biopic than most. I ♥ you, Brian Wilson!
Me, Earl & The Dying Girl: Any movie starring a high schooler doing his best Werner Herzog impression is a movie I will love but there’s a smartness and deepness here I wasn’t expecting. I laughed! I cried! My only gripe is that The Dying Girl (played to perfection by Olivia Cooke), remains more of a plot device than her own full character.
Belle de Jour: This was my second time watching Belle de Jour and it still fucking slays with style. Catherine Deneuve as Severine is so startlingly beautiful, it makes me laugh. Too much perfection in those ’60s coifs, not a hair out of place– and those stunning YSL outfits. Possibly the most elegant movie concerning the sex industry. I still see the ending as an unhappy one.
10 Cloverfield Lane: It’s only rated PG-13 but you’d never guess cuz the tension is off tha chain! I was completely sucked into the chaos, having a slow meltdown in my theater seat. The less you know about it going in, the better, but the minimal cast shines with Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s character as a standout hero.
The Stink of Flesh: If you’ve ever wondered how polyamourous couples carry on in the wake of a zombie apocalypse, this is a movie for you. Low budget, Troma-style effects, swingers, zombie killings, weird conjoined sisters!
Maggie: And in a totally different take on the zombie apocalypse, here’s a slow burn with Arnold as the loyal father of a zombie daughter. I think I’m in the minority of liking this one. The tone was interesting to me and, I dunno, I bought Arnold’s emotional range.
Amy: The highly-publicized tragedy of a self-destructive starlet, poignantly presented. A couple sillier observations: First, I didn’t realize Amy Winehouse was so petite. I guess the hair, voice, and tough-girl cheekiness made me think she was tall like an Amazon. The documentary definitely succeeds in showing how vulnerable she was. Second, Yasiin Bey/Mos Def and Amy woulda been a really cool couple.
Dope: Totally lives up to the hype. A drug caper/teen comedy set in South Central LA with Shameik Moore portraying Malcolm, AKA the most likeable, non-conformist protagonist in recent memory. Malcolm and his friends are “90s hip hop geeks” who end up dealing drugs. The trio is funny and fun but the stakes are real.