Movie Diary 1/21/2019

At Eternity’s Gate (Julian Schnabel, 2018). As a filmmaker, Schnabel still seems like more of a hobbyist to me, but he’s certainly a very sincere one. The life of Vincent Van Gogh remains a compelling one for movies, and 63-year-old Willem Dafoe – Vincent died at 37 – proves that age is no barrier to the exploration of a soul.

Ben Is Back (Peter Hedges, 2018). Stellar performances by Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges (the director’s son) keep this addiction drama on a steady path – but it’s actually pretty steady overall. If somebody had decided to get an Oscar campaign going for Roberts, it’s hard to see how she misses, but it’s really all about the campaign.

All That Heaven Allows (Douglas Sirk, 1955). Checking out the Criterion blu-ray. Wowza!