Movie Diary 1/28/2014

Labor Day (Jason Reitman, 2013). Implausible but passionate. If that’s the choice, I’ll take it. Winslet is unerring, and it’s a good place for Josh Brolin’s bull-headed there-ness. (full review 1/31)

That Awkward Moment (Tom Gormican, 2014). Likable cast, otherwise mostly bro-stuff. Might have the worst deployment of end-credits bloopers of any movie. (full review 1/31)

Pink Flamingos (John Waters, 1972). Still filthy after all these years.

Fräulein Else (Paul Czinner, 1929). The quick, androgynous presence of Elisabeth Bergner makes this otherwise slow silent film a real source of fascination. She plays the daughter of a family on the verge of bankruptcy; asked to beg for a loan from a wealthy man, she suffers accordingly. Based on a Schnitzler story.

The Past (Asghar Farhadi, 2013). The director of A Separation returns with a story set in France, but the deliberate, achingly empathetic style of the previous film is still very much in place. He also knows how to make a final shot happen. (full review 2/7)

Gloria (Sebastián Lelio, 2013). Another one left off the Oscar foreign-language list. How does that happen? Along with its other well-observed details about the life of a single woman of a certain age, this movie brings a Chilean actress, Pauline Garcia, who arrives as a master you never knew existed. (full review 2/7)

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