196 posts categorized "Women's Cinema"

December 08, 2023

MAY DECEMBER — CANNES 2023

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Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.ColeSmithey.comThis ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel. Punk heart still beating.

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ColeSmithey.comTodd Haynes has crafted the best movie of 2023.

Working from a flawless script by wife/husband screenwriting team of Samy Burch and Alex Machanik, Haynes deftly allows narrative resonance to expand in the mind of the viewer.

"May December" firmly establishes Todd Haynes as one of America's finest filmmakers. If there was ever any doubt that Todd Haynes is the heir apparent to the likes of Martin Scorsese, here is the proof.

Mind-blowing.

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Using the story of convicted pedophile Mary Kay Letourneau as their inspiration, the screenwriters create a complex nesting doll story that addresses American society at its core. The experience is unforgettable, and profound.

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Natalie Portman portrays Elizabeth Berry, a B-list (Method) actress tasked with visiting ex-convict Gracie Atherton-Yoo (Julianne Moore) at her home in Savannah, Georgia to prepare for her portrayal of Gracie in an upcoming movie.

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Since her release from prison, Gracie has married Joe (Charles Melton), the boy she seduced when she was 36, and he was 13 years-old at the pet store where they both worked. A high school graduation party for the couple's twin girls coincides with Elizabeth's unethical mission of sense memory discovery. Gracie and Elizabeth are both emotional vampires, playing for keeps.

Each leaves behind a traumatic trail of misery in their wake.

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What follows is a nuanced study in coldhearted narcissism, where victims continue to be victimized, and opportunists get their hands sticky by association.

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Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore equally deliver tour de force performances that match relative newcomer Charles Melton's empathetic portrayal of Joe, this movie's troubled protagonist.

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If ever there was, or is, a filmic antidote to the corporate gaslighting garbage that a movie such as "Barbie" represents, "May December" is it.

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Prepare to be transformed.

Rated R. 117 mins.

5 Stars

Cozy Cole

ColeSmithey.com

December 05, 2023

GASLIGHT — CLASSIC FILM PICK

Welcome!

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.ColeSmithey.comThis 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 acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

ColeSmithey.com

 

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George Cukor's masterful adaptation of Patrick Hamilton's 1938 stage play is a cinematic feast of noir suspense. Gleefully dark, seamlessly directed, and packed with surprising plot twists, "Gaslight" is truly a masterpiece of Cinema.

Glory!

Ingrid Bergman won a much deserved Best Actress Oscar in 1944 for her nuanced portrayal of famed opera singer Paula Alquist.

Stunning!

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Retired Paula returns to London (circa 1880) to live with her new husband Gregory Anton (Charles Boyer) in the house where her late aunt lived before she was murdered ten years earlier. 

Gregory is a skilled technician in the practice of gaslighting. Convincing Paula that she is losing control of her mental faculties is just a smokescreen to cover up Gregory's criminal activities. 

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Joseph Cotton's Scotland Yard detective Brian Cameron becomes suspicious of Gregory, whose refusal to let his wife go out in public raises a red flag.

Ingrid Bergman's flawless performance is endlessly watchable.

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The late, great Angela Lansbury steals every scene she's in as Nancy, the flirtatious maid that Gregory hires to keep an eye on Paula while he's busy with his skullduggery.

This is much more than a solid period drama from one of Hollywood's most revered directors.

ColeSmithey.com

If you haven't yet seen "Gaslight," you are in for a rare treat. You'll certainly be keenly aware of other's attempts at leading you down a path of self-doubt after watching this amazing film.

Repeated viewings are in order.

ColeSmithey.com

If you discover that someone is attempting to gaslight you, you'll know what to do; exit the relationship on the spot.

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"Gaslight" remains remarkably topical for its relevance in the modern world. This Cinema classic is essential viewing if only for its clear definition of the now-popular term.

Not Rated. 114 mins.

5 StarsCozy Cole

ColeSmithey.com

December 21, 2022

ELVIS — CANNES 2022

Welcome!

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

ColeSmithey.com

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel. Punk heart still beating.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Thanks a lot acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

ColeSmithey.com

 

ColeSmithey.comThis soup-to-nuts musical biopic about Elvis Presley is a stunner.

Wow!

Sit back and enjoy.

Best if you're watching "Elvis" on a big screen; this is 100% a BIG SCREEN movie.

No holding back.

Tom Hanks delivers the most superb performance of his legendary career as con-man/music agent Colonel Tom Parker.

Hanks delivers the goods in spades. This is the work of a dedicated creator of character.

Tom Hanks is truly an actor's actor.

Screen Shot 2022-12-21 at 2.38.53 PM

Likewise, “Elvis” proves to be director/co-screenwriter Baz Luhrmann’s best film by far.

Screen Shot 2022-12-21 at 2.07.36 PM

As for the film’s lead actor, Austin Butler is phenomenal in his deeply executed portrayal of Elvis Presley.

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Butler’s performance is much more than an impersonation. You feel in touch with the real Elvis Presley through Austin Butler’s dynamic use of acting craft.

Fire, baby.

Screen Shot 2022-12-21 at 2.26.33 PM

Talk about range. 

This young man has range to spare.

And yes, that's Butler singing every Elvis song with his own vocal cords and skill.

Insane in the membrane.

Shut the front door, and listen to unadorned perfection.

Screen Shot 2022-12-21 at 2.03.15 PM

Let’s just give Austin Butler his Best Actor Oscar now.

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Credit goes to co-screenwriters: Sam Bromell, Craig Pearce, and Jeremy Doner for authoring a truly masterful script.

Film courses will focus on this movie.

ColeSmithey.com

Mandy Walker's cinematography is strictly superb.

On fleek bitches.

 

Screen Shot 2022-12-21 at 2.04.22 PM

Elvis Presley’s personal and public story is a cautionary tale connected to the turbulent American decades that witnessed political assassinations, rampant racism, puritanical assaults on freedom, and the best voice that you could possibly imagine, namely that of one Elvis Aaron Presley.

Screen Shot 2023-01-16 at 8.53.33 PM

Baz Luhrmann and his truly gifted team of dedicated actors and filmmakers do Elvis Presley’s rich musical legacy proud.  

ColeSmithey.com

If you only see one movie from 2022, "Elvis" is the one to choose.

Rated PG. 159 mins.

5 StarsBMOD COLE2

Cozy Cole

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