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Old Joy

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    Honey Boy (2019)

    Shia LaBeouf, that former child star who graduated to starring roles in massive, multi-million dollar Hollywood blockbusters, and then more or less imploded, wrote the screenplay for what would become Honey Boy in rehab, as part of his required therapy. Admirably, he could have stayed away from the whole thing, or taken over and managed it himself, but instead, he gave it to director Alma Har'el. (They had worked together previously on the Sigur Rós music video "Fjögur píanó.") Then, as further therapy, LaBeouf agreed to play a version of his own father — similar to Mario Van Peebles in Baadasssss! — and act out painful moments that might have led to LaBeouf's being diagnosed with PTSD. It's quite an act of emotional bravery, and LaBeouf gives it everything, even going so far as to wear a prosthetic device in his nose to make his speech sound nasally and restrict his breathing, suggesting years of cocaine abuse. read more...
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      Honey Boy (2019)

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      • With: Shia LaBeouf, Noah Jupe, Lucas Hedges, FKA Twigs, Laura San Giacomo, Maika Monroe, Clifton Collins Jr., Byron Bowers, Martin Starr, Natasha Lyonne
      • Written by: Shia LaBeouf
      • Directed by: Alma Har'el
      • MPAA Rating: R for pervasive language, some sexual material and drug use
      • Running Time: 94 minutes
      • Release Date: 11/15/2019
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      Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988)

      This forgotten gem from the 1980s gets a Blu-ray release at long last. A feature directing debut by the acclaimed English filmmaker Terence Davies, Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988) is a two-parter (part one is "Distant Voices" and part two is "Still Lives"). Both parts tells the story of a family living in Liverpool during the 1940s and 1950s, with their trials and tribulations, weddings and funerals. Pete Postlethwaite plays the father, sometimes tender, but frequently cruel, although not everything is grim and depressing here. Davies uses popular music and the concept of memory to tell his story, deliberately allowing artificiality and staginess in his scenes, but always in a way that flows softly and lyrically. It's a beautifully poetic movie, and a small masterpiece. read more...
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        • Overall Depth ▶ Deep or penetrating
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      Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988)

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      • With: Pete Postlethwaite, Freda Dowie, Lorraine Ashbourne, Angela Walsh, Dean Williams, Jean Boht, Michael Starke, Andrew Schofield, Debi Jones, Chris Darwin, Vincent Maguire, Pauline Quirke, Toni Mallen
      • Written by: Terence Davies
      • Directed by: Terence Davies
      • MPAA Rating: PG-13
      • Running Time: 85 minutes
      • Release Date: 09/10/1988
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      Hale County This Morning, This Evening (2018)

      RaMell Ross's Hale County This Morning, This Evening could have been one of those things that gets shot by your friend that always has his camera on, and then cobbled together on iMovie, but instead it's a deeply poetic, lyrical film that understands the beauty and importance of small moments of seeming nothingness. The movie ostensibly focuses on Daniel, who goes to college to play basketball, and Quincy, who winds up having children, but the film barely provides any biographical details or soul-searching moments. It simply watches them do what they do. They sometimes speak to, or acknowledge the camera, but mostly not. It's almost like a Frederick Wiseman film, but looser, taking time out for a time-lapse shot of cows in a field or stars at night. The result is less a complete portrait of people or a place than it is a meditation, or an impression, and it's a highly satisfying one. It's fitting that the great Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul served as "creative advisor," as Hale County This Morning, This Evening is the kind of experimental non-fiction work that Weerasethakul's debut feature Mysterious Object at Noon was. Danny Glover was an executive producer. The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature. read more...
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        • Originality ▶ Different or novel for its time
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      Hale County This Morning, This Evening (2018)

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      • With: Latrenda 'Boosie' Ash, Quincy Bryant, Daniel Collins, RaMell Ross
      • Written by: RaMell Ross, Maya Krinsky
      • Directed by: RaMell Ross
      • MPAA Rating: NR
      • Running Time: 76 minutes
      • Release Date: 09/13/2018
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      At Eternity's Gate (2018)

      Artist and filmmaker Julian Schnabel's fragmented, interior look at Vincent Van Gogh's life, captured with roving, POV camerawork and experimental sound, is challenging, but sometimes quite powerful. read more...
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        At Eternity's Gate (2018)

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        • With: Willem Dafoe, Rupert Friend, Oscar Isaac, Mads Mikkelsen, Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Seigner, Niels Arestrup, Anne Consigny, Amira Casar, Vincent Perez, Lolita Chammah
        • Written by: Jean-Claude Carrière, Louise Kugelberg, Julian Schnabel
        • Directed by: Julian Schnabel
        • MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some thematic content
        • Running Time: 110 minutes
        • Release Date: 11/15/2018
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        Toni Erdmann (2016)

        Written and directed by Maren Ade (Everyone Else), the strange German film Toni Erdmann recently snagged the #1 spot on Cahiers du Cinema's top ten list, and looks to be the front-runner for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. It's made with Ade's usual immersion into life, intense focus on character and behavior, but at its heart, it's a lot like a Mike Myers film that goes on too long. read more...
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        Toni Erdmann (2016)

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        • With: Peter Simonischek, Sandra Hüller, Michael Wittenborn, Thomas Loibl, Trystan Pütter, Hadewych Minis, Lucy Russell, Ingrid Bisu, Vlad Ivanov, Victoria Cocias
        • Written by: Maren Ade
        • Directed by: Maren Ade
        • MPAA Rating: R for strong sexual content, graphic nudity, language and brief drug use
        • Language: German, English, Romanian, with English subtitles
        • Running Time: 162 minutes
        • Release Date: 12/24/2016
        Find tickets and showtimes on Fandango.
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