I see a lot of movies before other people do. Great job? Yes! Except when the films stink. So as awards season ramps up, I’m sharing my thoughts on new releases as they they hit L.A. area theaters.
I’ll give you what you need to know in descending order of what I liked best in order to help you make weekend entertainment choices – or give you ammo for questioning my taste. There’ll be some raves, there will be pans, and sometimes I’ll just write the silliest thing I thought about the picture.
It’ll be fun. And if we’re really lucky, most of the films discussed will be more fun.
1. Professor Marston and the Wonder Women: This is one of the best films of the year. With unapologetic intellectual rigor, sensuality, keenly attuned cultural observation and engulfing emotional sensitivity, writer-director Angela Robinson reveals the curious minds (and other organs) of the trio that invented both the lie detector and Wonder Woman. Incomparably witty as they are impressively smart and achingly vulnerable, Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall and Bella Heathcote create a perfect menage-a-everything as the power exchange-obsessed psychologist, his even smarter wife and the younger woman they both love. The most genuinely adult movie ever made about a comic book.
2. Faces Places: Another one of 2017’s top films. Co-directed by 89-year-old Nouvelle Vague eminence Agnes Varda and the photographer/muralist who goes by JR, this celebratory, humane but never candy-coated documentary charts the filmmakers’ journeys around the French countryside. JR takes large, black-and-white pictures of locals and their goats, his team pastes the pics several stories high on homes, barns and other structures, and the resulting imagery is a visual feast like none other. Meanwhile, the wizened Varda, her sight starting to fail, tries to coax her 33-year-old collaborator into removing his ever-present sunglasses. That’s a running metaphor for the comedy and poignancy theses two generate…