Being Julia (2004)

Unaware This is a well made movie. Such things are rare, and when they come around, we celebrate them. Many extend this celebration to Bening, who is similarly competent. But something is ajar. The project is based on a familiar device: we see a film (really a play) which has a character who is an… Continue reading Being Julia (2004)

Bee Season (2005)

Letters to God I am coming to believe that no effective movie can be deeply spiritual. We know the problem with cinematic love: how do you show it? Sex? Placed in the midst of larger flows like war? Mystical forces are similar, internal. A bond, a sway that cannot be seen by definition, cannot be… Continue reading Bee Season (2005)

Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (2007)

Space There are from time to time successful presentations in the sense that the characters work. You understand them well enough to have some genuine acceptance of their reality as humans, but that means you realise that there are things going on that do not have straight-line causal mechanics. This inscrutable humanness gets you past… Continue reading Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (2007)

Before Sunset (2004)

Reluctance Finally, Linklater does something with his talent. His strength in the past has been to shape the form of his films to match the subject. At least that’s been true when the subject is the tentativeness of existence. He’s done well enough in the past, but since his characters were aimless his projects inherited… Continue reading Before Sunset (2004)

Æon Flux (2005)

Credible World Science fiction movies are an odd thing. They and “detective” movies depend more heavily on literary conventions than other types of films. But you know, where detective movies have swallowed the form and adapted in rich ways, science fiction hasn’t settled gently into film. Its an odd, unintuitive truth, despite the flood of… Continue reading Æon Flux (2005)