Little of this comes through in the film, which is about the mayfly moment and three people at its center. For those who don’t have enough information to connect the dots, that may not be enough. Maybe you had to be there, but it’s a movie’s job to take us, and this one gets only partway.
Languorous and enigmatic, “Long Day’s Journey” is the very definition of art cinema, and it will baffle and possibly enrage casual filmgoers expecting such niceties as plot. It is a movie not to be followed but steeped in and ultimately surrendered to.
Compared to a second installment that expanded the established Keanuscape in ways the “Matrix” sequels only wish they had, “Wick 3” fumbles for compelling, organically incorporated territory to explore.
Never has space travel looked so sordid, debased, mean-spirited, or crummy, qualities intensified by the (intentionally) ugliest cinematography ever — except for the close-ups of faces — from the great Agnès Godard, Denis’s longtime collaborator. But seldom has space travel served as such an eloquent and tragic representation of the human condition.
To Dust has several things to recommend it. It’s decidedly different, and that is no small accomplishment in this day and age. Snyder’s direction has real assurance, though not enough to overcome the films self-conscious — maybe self-congratulatory — weirdness.
Like much of Godard’s recent work, The Image Book is a rumination on art, politics, history, and mankind’s eternal folly disguised as a cinematic collage. It’s plotless but it has shape; random but with purpose. After initially fighting the movie, one might find oneself giving into its flow, the visuals scudding across one’s retina, the assemblage of quotes and mournful pensees on the soundtrack seducing one into following along in its wake.
The stone-faced silent comedian’s influence on every possible aspect of physical comedy is wide and deep, attested to in this movie by entertainers old (Bill Irwin, Paul Dooley, Richard Lewis), ancient (Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner), youngish (Bill Hader, Quentin Tarantino), and random (Cybill Shepherd, Werner Herzog).
The documentary is good on the gay aspect of 54, and disco generally. Schrager became highly successful as an impresario of boutique hotels. Still, when he talks about Studio 54 there’s a touch of wonder in the tough-guy growl.
With all that good will and with an abundance of source material, why does the documentary Love, Gilda feel like such a disappointment? It’s fine for casual viewers: you’ll come away reasonably satisfied if you want to catch up on the basics of Radner’s life and career while having your nostalgia gently stroked.
The Children Act isn’t all that interesting a movie, despite the many talented people involved and the generally high level of work they do. The most interesting thing about it is how it presents a case study in the very different way style can determine what works on the screen vs. what works on the page.