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TONI ERDMANN, the critics’ winning film at the last Cannes Festival

Peter Simonischek, Sandra Hüller and Lucy Russell
Directed by Maren Ade

The Cannes Festival is long behind us. Audiences have gone home, replaced on the French Riviera by vacationers and a number of controversies, nothing to do with the silver screen. Still, some may remember that the jury, headed by “Mad Max” director George Miller, had dutifully doled out its awards to Cannes stalwarts—Ken Loach, Xavier Dolan, Cristian Mungiu, Olivier Assayas, no surprises there. It ... more >

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IXCANUL, where rite and dream lie

Maria Mercedes Croy, Maria Telon and Manuel Antun
Directed by Jayro Bustamante

The mother and daughter lead the fat sow to the boar’s pen. They pry open their mouths and pour bottles of rum down their throats to get them in the mood. As they begin to mate, the young woman lingers behind to watch. They need the sow to give birth, for soon the young woman’s fiancé and future family will arrive and they will need the meat for the celebration. Her name is Maria (María Mercedes ... more >

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NERVE, the best bad movie in a long time

Dave Franco, Emma Roberts and Emily Meade
Directed by Ari Schulman and Henry Joost

The best thing about “Nerve” is that it doesn’t care what you think of it. While it’s not a crazy surreal soup like “The Lobster,” it’s been awhile since I’ve seen a film that feels quite so free in its own skin. The new Emma Roberts film starts like “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and ends like “The Warriors” or “Escape from New York.| Its’ “The Hunger Games” as told by John Carpenter. “Nerve” is a ... more >

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Woody Allen’s “Cafe Society”

Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg
Directed by Woody Allen

2016 is starting to shape up as the year of the love letter to Hollywood’s Golden Age. We started the year with the Coen Brothers's "Hail Caesar!," a kidnapping comedy set in a fictional fifties studio with million-dollar mermaids, crooning cowboys and blacklisted commie screenwriters. Still to come is Damien Chazelle’s musical "La La Land" with Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. Stuck in the middle is ... more >

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Whit Stillman’s LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP is a win!

Kate Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny
Directed by Whit Stillman

Jane Austen’s world, as we know from a surfeit of book sales, fan clubs and literary societies and, mainly, countless films based on her stories, are filled with wide-eyes innocents who would be dragged into a loveless marriage in order to restore family fortunes, scheming widows weaving complicated plans, poor relatives scorned until triumphant, young men who bestow their affections on unsuitable ... more >

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“Money Monster”

George Clooney and Julia Roberts
Directed by Jodie Foster

I liked "Money Monster," thought I'd that off the top. If that seems like an unusual or lame or unusually lame way to start a film review, that's fine. I wanted to state it firmly. Because there are things in the Jodie Foster-George Clooney political thriller that just made the rounds of the ongoing Cannes Festival that should go wrong. To start with, "Money Monster" quickly violates two of my ... more >

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“Rabin in his own words”

Out in theaters today
Directed by Erez Laufer

A little more than twenty years after the death of Yitzhak Rabin, Israel's now-deceased former prime minister, a new documentary coming out today attempts to give him a voice, to let him speak, and describe, the events that shaped both his personal life and that of his country. As “Rabin in his own words” shows Rabin, that most formidable of statesmen, started out working on a farm, like the ... more >