32 posts categorized "LGBTQ"

April 25, 2022

PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE — THE CRITERION COLLECTION

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

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ColeSmithey.comCéline Sciamma's lesbian romantic fantasy almost works on its own terms, but falters during crucial elements.

18th century French portrait painter Marianne (Noémie Merlant) travels by boat to paint a wedding portrait of Héloïse (Adèle Haenel) at an idyllic seaside estate surrounded by a community that consists solely of women.

Héloïse is bereft over the recent loss of her sister, and angry about her arranged fate of marrying a man she doesn't know.

Screen Shot 2022-04-25 at 12.40.20 PM

Thus the table is set for a doomed lesbian tryst after Héloïse's mother leaves the women alone for a few days.

ColeSmithey.com

An abortion subplot, involving the mansion's servant, allows for a scene of artistically inspired exploitation that breaks the film.

"Portrait of a Lady on Fire" is Céline Sciamma's weakest film to date.

Rated R. 122 mins. 

2 StarsCozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon

March 05, 2022

BENEDETTA — CANNES 2021

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon. Thanks a lot pal! Your generosity keeps the reviews coming!

Cole Smithey on Patreon

ColeSmithey.comDaring, and bristling with bold artistic license, this social satire burns at the stake.

It's dizzying.

Virginie Efira is electric as Benedetta, a 17th century lesbian nun living in a convent in Renaissance Italy.

Fearless.

Catherine Deneuve's baton has successfully been passed down.

Screen Shot 2022-03-05 at 12.45.56 PM

Based on Judith C. Brown's book "Immodest Acts: The Life of a Lesbian Nun in Renaissance Italy," "Benedetta" juggles religion, politics, and sexual identity like so many electrons in a social atom attempting to split.

Holy fucking hell.

Screen Shot 2022-03-05 at 12.51.59 PM

Paul Verhoeven's cinematic mastery just gets sharper.

This is a high-wire act that not many seasoned filmmakers would attempt, lest they fall flat on their blushing faces.

Screen Shot 2022-03-05 at 12.51.04 PM

Long live Paul Verhoeven.

No prisoners taken. Many gifts given.

Not Rated. 131 mins.

5 Stars

Cozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon

February 25, 2022

MERRILY WE GO TO HELL — THE CRITERION COLLECTION

ColeSmithey.comYou'll discover a glimpse of how great Hollywood could have been if not for the Hays code (1934 to 1968) that permanently fucked up Studio filmmaking in America. 

Doroty Arzner is the baddest ass Hollywood woman director you've never heard of.

Lesbian to boot.

Fuck with that.

ColeSmithey.com

Socially pointed satire aimed squarely at Roaring '20s culture of booze and sex, takes a running start at the Depression that fell on the country as this 1932 drama was released into theaters.

ColeSmithey.com

You don't know acting until you've seen Sylvia Sidney and Fredric March.

Criterion collectors rejoice; this baby has legs.

Not Rated. 83 mins.

5 Stars

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon. Thanks a lot pal!

Cole Smithey on Patreon

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