Melissa Anderson

Posse riot; Credit: Universal Pictures

Sisterhood is Powerful — and Pugnacious — in Girls Trip

Truth in advertising: Girls trip hard during their New Orleans getaway in Girls Trip, which maybe doesn’t need that possessive apostrophe after all. Malcolm D. Lee’s comedy, written by Kenya Barris and Tracy Oliver — the same creative team behind last year’s uneven Barbershop: The Next Cut — pops with......
Ain't them bodies haints.; Credit: A24

David Lowery’s A Ghost Story Gets Lost in Time and Space

“Every love story is a ghost story,” David Foster Wallace wrote, more than once. That evocative observation is probed in David Lowery’s A Ghost Story, a film that occasionally reaches a similar level of eloquence. Lowery’s fourth feature reunites Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck, the leads of his second, the......
Ain’t them saints bodies: Paul Hamy and Xelo Cagiao; Credit: Strand Releasing

Flying High on The Ornithologist's Shape-Shifting Impieties

Portuguese director João Pedro Rodrigues has called The Ornithologist, which follows a lone bird expert in a remote northern part of the country, an “adventure film.” It’s a genre he fantastically destabilizes to encompass martyrdom, transmigration of the soul, and wild revelers cavorting in Mirandese, a nearly extinct language spoken......
Nicole Kidman; Credit: Ben Rothstein/Focus Features

Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled Skims the Civil War Past

Ever since her feature debut, The Virgin Suicides (1999), a dreamy, diaphanous tale about the mysteries of girlhood, Sofia Coppola has ranked among the finest distillers of mood (especially languor) and milieu. Those qualities abound in The Beguiled, her sixth film, an adaptation of Thomas Cullinan’s Civil War–set novel of......
Emmanuelle Devos as Diane; Credit: Film Movement

Emmanuelle Devos Makes the So-So Thriller Moka Worth Watching

Though it’s a phlegmatic, sometimes stumbling thriller, Moka, directed and co-written by Frédéric Mermoud, still has its share of gripping suspense. These tense moments arise not from any plot machinations but from the anticipation of the next exquisitely calibrated response by Emmanuelle Devos, the film’s star, who appears in every......
Hayek's Beatriz makes it all all awkward; Credit: Lacey Terrell/Roadside Attractions

Salma Hayek Commandeers Beatriz at Dinner's Nimble Class Comedy

A film often smartly attuned to language, Beatriz at Dinner — a sober comedy about class clash and soft-to-hard racism directed by Miguel Arteta and written by Mike White — operates in several different idioms. English and Spanish (sometimes unsubtitled) are spoken, as are the lexicons of healing and affluence......
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