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BEST OF 2019: “Tel Aviv On Fire,” “This Must Be Heaven” and others make this film critic’s year

"Tel Aviv on Fire" (directed by Sameh Zoabi) (featured image) This Israeli film by Sameh Zoabi, an Arab Israeli, comes to us boasting a number of awards but that doesn’t prepare us for the treat of this thoroughly enjoyable and unpretentious story [...] (full review) "Pain and Glory" (directed by Pedro Almodovar) Antonio Banderas, in one of his most attaching roles ever (Banderas’s American ... more >

BEST OF 2019: Michael Apted’s “63 up” tops leaderboard

Runner-ups include, "A thousand miles behind," "Zulu summer" and "Apollo 11"

All week our film critics weigh in on a year that (almost) was by naming their favorite films “63 Up” The filmmaker Michael Apted has been checking in on a group of British folks every seven years since they were children of seven, with the initial mission being to discover both A) if Great Britain still had a class system; and B) if the aphorism “give me a child and I’ll show you the man” still ... more >

“Rabid”

A frightening epidemic takes hold
Laura Vandervoort, Benjamin Hollingsworth and Ted Atherton
Directed by Jen Soska and Sylvia Soska

Jen and Sylvia Soska have not directed a remake of David Cronenberg’s 1977 film “Rabid”, they have reimagined the piece for our current social climate. In doing so, The Soska Sisters have created a bizarrely relevant and unique Horror parable and a respectful tribute to Cronenberg himself. Written by the Soska Sisters and co-writer John Serge, we are introduced to Rose (Laura Vandervoort giving ... more >

Céline Sciamma’s “Portrait of a lady on fire” enters the cannon

French film will be a part of the Criterion Collection

NEON and The Criterion Collection have announced the addition of Céline Sciamma’s "Portrait of a Lady on Fire" to The Criterion Collection library. The Cannes winner was recently nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Foreign Language Film, nominated by the Hollywood Critics Association for Best Foreign Language Film and was awarded Best Cinematography by the New York Film ... more >

“Queen of Hearts”

A tale of high personal drama
Trine Dyrholm, Gustav Lindh and Magnus Krepper
Directed by May El-Toukhi

The professional relationship between director May el-Toukhy and actress Trin Dyrholm is becoming quite important to world cinema. From their collaboration on the enjoyable relationship film “Long Story Short” to the Bergmanesque brilliance of the Danish series “The Legacy,” the two artists seem to have an artistic symmetry to their collaborations. The director gets naturally powerful performances ... more >

“The Laundromat”

Not Soderbergh's winningest (by any stretch), Meryl Streep at the top of her art
Directed by Steven Soderbergh

Steven Soderbergh is perhaps our most adventurous filmmaker. He straddles the worlds of big-budget Hollywood and Independent cinema with ease and skill. We never know what kind of film he will do next and, good or bad, Soderbergh always surprises. His latest film is “The Laundromat,” a look at the Panama Papers scandal based ever so loosely on Jake Bernstein’s book “Secrecy World.” Adapted ... more >

Scorsese’s ‘The Irishman’ is a sprawling masterpiece, Joe Pesci gives memorable performance

Frank, tell us about the old days
Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci
Directed by Martin Scorsese

Scorsese has directed many a cinematic winner. But, with the exception of 2016’s “Silence” (which I found to be brilliant on so many levels) it had been a while since the accolades of brilliance could be applied to this filmmaker. Make no mistake, it is rare when he fumbles, and most of his films have found their way unto my Ten Best lists of their respective years. But over the last decade, ... more >