Plus grounded human experiences, from escaping a cult to — yes — doing an espionage. (First published June 3rd, 2022, on Substack and Patreon.)
With its melancholy regret and bittersweet nostalgia, this is far superior to the 1986 blockbuster. But as the sun goes down on American imperialism here, the last-gasp celebration of it unsettles.
Cold War propaganda that is weirdly apolitical. Sunny, breezy homoeroticism that is surely unintentional. What a hoot this is! Mostly not in a good way, but its impact on pop culture cannot be denied.
The deep, honest emotion undercutting the performative toxic masculinity of these young men is beyond charming and vitally essential, but the melodramatic randomness of the plot ultimately lost me.
No movie has ever been higher-concept than this: Today-aged Will Smith versus CGI-young Will Smith! It’s the future of film in an anemic, tedious, ironically dated spy-action shell. Bafflingly awful.
Our most honored films are Roma (five awards), The Favourite (four awards), and Can You Ever Forgive Me? (three awards).
Masterful. I had so much fun with this, often laughing out loud in relief when the tension of a breathless action scene finally broke. So why am I feeling a bit meh about it?
The Shape of Water wins Best Film, and Best Director goes to Guillermo del Toro. Agnes Varda is Defying Age and Ageism, and Hollywood’s sexual tormentors are inducted in the AWFJ Hall of Shame.
Style and humor galore, and a hugely entertaining performance from Tom Cruise. But should a true story of immense governmental corruption be quite this fun?
Jack Reacher is back. And no one seems to know why. Low stakes, a rote plot, and undistinguished action add up to a pointless and unnecessary sequel.