Movie Diary 4/3/2017

The Assignment (Walter Hill, 2016). A hit man is turned into a woman by unwanted gender re-assignment surgery. Hill’s liveliest film in years is an actual slice of pulp fiction, not a respectable film pretending to be pulp fiction. Michelle Rodriguez plays the central role(s), and Sigourney Weaver is in great form as an androgynous doctor. (full review 4/7)

Billy Liar (John Schlesinger, 1963). Tom Courtenay is outstanding in a famous film of the New Wave in Britain, about a tale-spinner who lacks the courage to follow his own daydreams. Schlesinger already had his yen for social satire in full gear, and the movie’s humor seems right in line with English comedy on the spectrum between the Goon Show and Monty Python. Julie Christie plays the grown-up woman who offers a way out – she became a star off this relatively small role.