The glory of those Gene Kelly musicals—you know, Singin’ in the Rain, An American in Paris—is the ease with which Kelly, and everyone else, for that matter, did incredibly difficult things. It never, ever looked like they were trying.
A funny thing about grief is how much time you spend wondering if you’re doing it right, and how much time you spend around other people who are wondering the same thing. Manchester by the Sea absolutely nails the confusion, frustration, and awkward weirdness that comes along with dealing with the untimely death of a loved one, maybe better than any movie I’ve ever seen.
The first few shots of Nocturnal Animals—I’m not going to tell you what they are—made me think we were in for a really grimy trash-fest, on the level of a much more serious version of John Waters. And this excited me. I love good trash.
There’s a moment fairly early on in The Edge of Seventeen when Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld), angry with her friend, takes off her shoe and throws it at the wall of a burger joint. It’s a strange thing to do, and it’s one of those scenes that bothers me in movies—no one in real life takes off their shoe and throws it at the wall in a burger joint. It’s just a bit too scripted.
The three reviews I have read about Arrival all seemed to be about the opening situation; they said that Amy Adams was recruited to establish communication with a group of outer-space aliens who had landed in various spots all over the world, and that her military boss was Forest Whitaker and a fellow scientist was Jeremy Renner, but they said almost nothing about anything beyond that starting situation.
Hacksaw Ridge is interestingly similar to the Gary Cooper classic Sergeant York. Both tell the supposedly true story of an unsophisticated young man with religious objections to killing, even in war, who goes on to win a Congressional Medal of Honor in combat without changing his religious beliefs, though only Hacksaw Ridge has him doing this without so much as touching a weapon.
It is a puzzle to me that all the promotions I have seen for Denial insist that Rachel Weisz has to prove that the Holocaust really happened. There are hundreds of hours of newsreels to prove that, and hundreds of survivors of the death camps, not to mention liberators and railroad records and documents including confessions to prove that. And anyway, that's not what she's asked to prove.