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    End of Year MOVIE JOURNAL

    End of Year MOVIE JOURNAL



    Not in NYC this season but still hope to get caught up on the year's most admired movies though I had to send off my IndieWire questionnaire before seeing some films I'm likely to rate high. I will need to see: 1917, THE FAREWELL, JOJO RABBIT, LITTLE WOMEN, PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE UNCUT GEMS. Also being mentioned: DOLOMITE IS MY NAME, AMERICAN FACTORY, ONE CHILD NATION (which I also have not seen). And some current ones including A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, DARK WATERS, QUEEN AND SLIM, BOMBSHELL. Plus I'm keeping an eye on Mike D'Angelo's best list including IT MUST BE HEAVEN, FIRST LOVE (Miike) and HIGH FLYING BIRD.

    I am surprised that the grim pseud-doc THE CHAMBERMAID (Lila AvilÚs) and the actual doc HONEYLAND (Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir Stefanov) are making multiple ten-best lists, though I myself like HONEYLAND. Ken Loach's PETERLOO is being mentioned but I found it underwhelming. Meanwhile:




    FORD v FERRARI (James Mangold 2019). Interesting that this is about Ford's successful campaign to beat Ferrari at Formula One racing at Le Mans yet the bad guys are the Ford execs. But it's mainly about the colorful personalities of tough ole' boy automotive designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and fearless and colorful British race car driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale), with Bale giving one of his most engaging performances. Tracy Letts' Henry Ford II isn't one of his more interesting bad guys, but the talented Noah Jupe charms again (after his star turn with SHia Laboeuf in HONEY BOY) using his own English accent as Ken's son Peter. A fun picture whose in-the-cockpit moments are particularly intense and real, but there is nothing new. Watched at Hilltop Dec. 7, 2019. Metascore 81%.



    DARK WATERS (Todd Haynes 2019). A Cincinnati corporate lawyer (Mark Ruffalo, gaining pounds to channel an ordinary guy) winds up fighting for the public against a giant corporation, Dupont, over environmental poisoning with hydrocarbons (and "Teflon") in this film adaptation of the New York Times Magazine article, "The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare." This invites comparison with Michael Mann's 1999 THE INSIDER, about pursuing the legal case against cigarette companies. This is just as dreary and exhausting and less satisfying. Chemical companies seem even more resilient, numbingly determined and indifferent to human life than big tobacco. Worthwhile, but very unfun, doubtless a passion project for Ruffalo, who produced. A change to see the director of VELVET GOLDMINE, FAR FROM HEAVEN, I'M NOT THERE, and CAROL doing something so earnest and fact-based. With Anne Hathaway, Tim Robbins, Bill PUllman. Watched at Hilltop Dec. 8, 2019. Metascore 73%.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 01-04-2020 at 02:50 AM.

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