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"How Dirty Girls Get Clean"
5 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "The year is still relatively young, I suppose, but is hard to think that there will be a more discomfiting cinematic experience this year that “Her Smell,” writer-director Alex Ross Perry’s brutally visceral drama that introduces viewers to a character that most viewers will write off as a spectacularly vain and self-absorbed monster after only a few minutes and then unsparingly observes her in unsparing detail as she goes completely off the rails thanks to a toxic combination of drugs, ego and neediness and then as she struggles to come to terms with everything that she lost along the way. For many viewers, it will all simply be too much—and at 135 minutes, it may strike others as too much of too much—but for those who are able to endure it all, his portrait of a toxic and self-destructive personality crisis writ large is a strangely compelling affair that is anchored by one of the most hellaciously go-for-broke performances that you will likely encounter on the big screen anytime soon." (more)
"Slight, but with two very charming performances."
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... ""The Chaperone" is cheerier and more effervescent than it sometimes seems like it should be; it tells the story of a woman who finds happiness and otherwise makes a less-than-ideal situation better in small, pragmatic ways in a way that's faithful to its 1922 setting despite the modern instinct to want more confrontation and a sharper edge. This movie is pleasant and accommodating even when it seems like it maybe shouldn't be, but that's hardly a mark against it - it's a modestly delightful story that makes a virtue out of finding the best way to look at difficult situations." (more)
"Charming, beautiful, just generally well-done."
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... "There were only a handful of people in the theater for a 3D screening of "Missing Link" on a Sunday evening two days after it opened, and while there are potential reasons for sparse attendance in the description, I'm starting to wonder what more Laika has to do to get people to come out for their movies. "Missing Link" is, as is customary with this company's productions, whimsically designed, big-hearted, impeccably voiced, precisely and beautifully filmed one frame at a time, and just generally everything one might wish a movie for the whole family to be. What else do these guys have to do?" (more)
"The Windmills Of His Mind"
5 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "Whatever else one might have to say about the current state of contemporary cinema, one has to feel some small degree of excitement at the recent appearance of legendary titles that many observers figured that they would never actually see in their lifetime. Last fall saw the release of Orson Welles’s infamous “The Other Side of the Wind,” a work that had gone unseen for decades for numerous complicated reasons. Last week saw the kickoff of the release of “Amazing Grace,” a stunning concert film featuring Aretha Franklin that was shot in 1972 and shelved, first for technical reasons and then, once those were finally deal with, because Franklin inexplicably refused to sign off on its release. At this point, if the announcement of this year’s Cannes lineup included the world premiere of “The Day the Clown Cried,” I wouldn’t be half-surprised. The latest infamous title to finally arrive in theaters (however briefly, as we shall see) is “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote,” a passion project that Terry Gilliam, whose difficulties in getting his films made over the years have been so pronounced that even those who don’t believe in curses may find themselves wondering if there is a voodoo doll out there with his name on it." (more)

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