Movie Diary 12/8/2019

So I have been catching up on 2019 titles.

Hustlers (Lorene Scafaria, 2019). This movie got some critical acclaim, of the “Hey, check out this termite-art coolness” variety, and Jennifer Lopez just won Best Supporting Actress from the L.A. Critics. To which I can only cite the wisdom of Kenan Thompson: Nope.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Céline Sciamma, 2019). Two women (but really three women) on an island, one painting a portrait of the other. A superb, passionate, mysterious film from the director of Girlhood.

The Two Popes (Fernando Meirelles, 2019). Jonathan Pryce and Anthony Hopkins as Francis I and Benedict XVI, in a surprisingly thoughtful talkfest. Not without its cornball moments, for sure, and Meirelles has his usual over-amped busyness on display. (full review 12/12)

Motherless Brooklyn (Edward Norton, 2019). An odd item, with Norton’s performance a highly amusing turn, and Dick Pope’s cinematography doing its share of the period-NYC heavy lifting. But an extremely odd project.

Honeyland (Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir Stefanov, 2019). Documentary, set in rural (almost otherworldly) Macedonia, which starts out as a study of a woman tending her bees and turns into a scathing panorama of capitalism, neighbors, broken family dynamics, greed, and everything else. Not quite sure how this movie was made, but it is something. One consolation: that after humans have destroyed ourselves, the bees will take over and get to keep everything.