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“Hidden figures” is a keeper (here’s why)

Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson and Janelle Monae
Directed by Theodore Melfi

Several viewings of the trailer for “Hidden Figures” before my usual cinema-going routine failed to convince me that it was a film worth seeing. On the strength of those two minutes, I quickly pegged it as yet another moral, inspirational tale about disadvantaged people overcoming great odds. Talk about disadvantage. The three main characters in question are women--not easy today and even less ... more >

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20th century women, it’s primo turns and great American cinema!

Elle Fanning, Annette Bening and Greta Gerwig
Directed by Mike Mills

The mood is melancholy, the road ahead unclear. Which may explain the slew of biographical, autobiographical novels and films in a meandering Proustian fashion that go for the past. And, just like Proust’s oeuvre, never boring but intriguing and beguiling at the same time. After the Norwegian Karl Ove Knausgaard’s six-volume memoir, “My Struggle,” the gorgeous Mike Mills film, “20th Century ... more >

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“Arrival” by Denis Villeneuve

Amy Adams, Jeremy Renners and Forest Whittaker
Directed by Denis Villeneuve

After too many Metaphysics 101 (Malik’s “Tree of Life” and Gaspard Noe’s “Love” come to mind) and anguished what’s-the-meaning-of life questions awkwardly addressed, Denis Villeneuve’s “Arrival” takes us into adult territory. The Canadian filmmaker has already accustomed us to his diverse and masterful corpus of works, so his venture into science-fictionish territory doesn’t disappoint. Twelve ... more >

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They Don’t Make Them Like That Anymore? “La La Land”

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling
Directed by Damian Chazelle

The feel-good La La Land, director Damien Chazelle's prohibitive awards favorite, is a movie of mystery. Can Emma Stone sing? (She can.) Can Ryan Gosling sing and dance? (As a singer, he makes an OK dancer.) The real and lasting question rising from its smoggy, sunny success, however, is this one: Why don’t they make more musicals? Every week a pigeon flies in from “The Death of ... more >

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Jackie

Natalie Portman and Caspar Philipson
Directed by Pablo Larrain

Probably the most famous first lady in the history of the United States, people remember Jacqueline Kennedy for riding next to her dying husband in the most perfect pink dress anyone had ever seen. This image permanently stuck in our head lights Pablo Larrain’s “Jackie” is fueled by this incoherent image pink and bloody – the glamour and the grief.   Jackie isn’t the story of a murder. It’s the ... more >

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Allied, the good, and the bad

Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard
Directed by Robert Zemeckis

Oh, what, you want to talk about “Allied,” the film? Where’s the fun in that? Wouldn’t you rather talk about Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Marion Cotillard? Popcorn, please! Look in the mirror and be honest with yourself. Would you really rather go in-depth on the art direction? Twice Brad Pitt has made espionage movies about a spy married to a woman who might be an enemy out to betray him. ... more >

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Five things to expect from “Logan”

Doris Morgado, Hugh Jackman and Boyd Holbrook
Directed by James Mangold

The first few months of the year can be a little bit slow at the cinema, but in 2017 film fans will have something to look forward to. “Logan” is due out in March as the finale to Hugh Jackman’s seventeen-year run playing Wolverine and expectations are already high. The trailer got the whole internet excited, and while the "Wolverine" spin-off films haven’t always been particularly successful, ... more >