Movie Diary 3/27/2012

Laura (Otto Preminger, 1944). Nothing against early noir contenders such as I Wake Up Screaming and Stranger on the Third Floor, but I propose you can see the moment the detective movie turns into film noir about halfway through Laura: just when Dana Andrews is mooning about Laura’s apartment in the night, wandering from room to room without an investigative reason, drinking her booze, falling asleep in her chair beneath the portrait. Now we’ve tipped over into the world of noir, and there’s no going back.

The Kid with a Bike (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, 2011). It’s amazing that the Dardennes have their kitchen-sink, handheld style, yet leave behind a real sense of mystery. This movie’s got that too, and is beautifully observed, even with the vague sense that maybe the filmmakers have been here before. (full review 3/30)

At What a Feeling!, we continue browsing 1980s reviews with the anti-Red Dawn, Rick Rosenthal’s Russkies, featuring then-Leaf, now-Joaquin, Phoenix.

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