The Awful Truth: Divorce, McCarey Style
With a mix of improvisation, balletic physicality, and slapstick humor, Hollywood master Leo McCarey crafted the most sublime of screwball comedies.
iClouds of Sils Maria
In Olivier Assayas’s 2014 film Clouds of Sils Maria, Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart play out a story centered on the complexities of female relationships, the making and undoing of boundaries between people, and our anxieties about the passag…
The Soft Skin: Love and Betrayal on the Lecture Circuit
François Truffaut’s adultery drama is at times corrosively funny and at others frighteningly tense, but it’s always incisive and humane.
Ace in the Hole: Noir in Broad Daylight
Billy Wilder’s Ace in the Hole almost requires an honorary expansion of the term film noir. There are no private eyes in seedy offices or femmes fatales lurking in the shadows of neon-lit doorways, no forces of evil arrayed against a relatively hon…
Nashville: America Singing
With its dazzling array of characters, acerbic take on American entertainment and politics, and innovative approach to sound, this is the ultimate Robert Altman movie.
The Earrings of Madame de . . . :
The Cost of Living
For those of us who rank The Earrings of Madame de . . . at the top of our list of all-time favorite films, the mystery is why our passion isn’t universally shared. Every year, thanks to committed revival houses, new members are recruited to our cu…
The Life and Death and Life of Colonel Blimp
Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s adroit masterpiece is war film, dark comedy, historical drama, poignant romance, and a portrait of the modern woman.
That Hamilton Woman:
Real Love/Reel Love
Is That Hamilton Woman, starring Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier at their most heart-stoppingly beautiful and mutually enraptured, one of the most romantic movies ever made because or in spite of the fact that it was designed as propaganda? It was …
Claire’s Knee: Rohmer’s Women
It’s both hard and not so hard to believe that Eric Rohmer’s “Six Moral Tales” were conceived—indeed, written initially—as a novel. On the one hand, he’s the grand master of dialogue as an instrument of narrative. His characters muse, …
À nos amours: The Ties That Wound
The teenage girl on the cusp of sexual awakening is a beloved icon of French cinema. Part child, part femme fatale, innocent and dangerous in equal proportions, these schoolgirl seductresses, born to blossom under the eye of the camera, have exerted …
Cléo from 5 to 7
Agnes Varda’s Cléo from 5 to 7, the first fully-achieved feature by the woman who would become the premiere female director of her generation, dazzled when it opened, and looks even more timely today in its tackling of the fashionable subject of f…