An electrifying philosophical fantasia that imagines four towering figures of 1960s America arguing over how to navigate racism as Black men. Enraging, but also thrilling, bursting with cinematic joy.
A complete upending of the western, about not wide open spaces but close-in intimacy, with an unusual female gaze and a hugely provocative dare to gender expectations. Both ironic and transformative.
And the winners are…
Achieves that rare cinematic feat of being specific and universal at the same time. A lovely film, plaintive and poignant, with exquisite performances from a beguiling cast, and ultimately hopeful.
Brings a fundamental new humanity to the story of those who court great danger in order to advance human knowledge. Eva Green is immense. Writer-director Alice Winocour’s compassion is achingly acute.
The to-die-for cast can’t quite save this melodrama from its trite obviousness, in which rage and grief are matters of tasteful, upscale lifestyle. But they at least make it passingly watchable.
Acceptably inoffensive, if less than wholly engaging. At least Liu’s strong, stately Mulan is a wonderful role model for girls who aren’t much interested in conformity and adhering to expectations.
Rosamund Pike is perfection in this intellectual romance, an unsentimental portrait of a woman striving to be appreciated for her mind at a time even more anti-woman than today. Feminist and flinty.
Essential portrait of the US Congressman and civil-rights activist, for its lessons in the power of passive resistance to injustice, and its underscoring of how America has regressed in recent years.
A sneak peek at my FULL ongoing ranking of 2020’s new movies. (This post is free for all. Join my Patreon to keep up with the list as it grows over the rest of the year.)