Movie Diary 11/22/2021

Drive My Car (Ryusuke Hamaguchi, 2021). I hope I’ll be writing about this at some point – the second film this year from its director, after Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy. This one is similarly enchanting.

Agnes (Mickey Reece, 2021). A tale of possible demonic possession in a nunnery, told in an elliptical, sort of blocky fashion. Some familiar tropes are deployed, but never quite in the way you expect them. It felt a little like a Abel Ferrara picture, with an intense concentration on a few scenes, and stuff left out. Odd collection of actors, too. It works, whatever it is.

Mass (Fran Kranz, 2021). Also very concentrated: The story of four people gathering in an agreed-on neutral place (a nondescript anteroom in a church) to hash out … something. The opening 20 minutes are effective partly because you don’t know what the subject is, so we’ll leave it unsaid here – in fact, the edgy buildup is so well orchestrated that there almost can’t help but be a letdown when the cards are on the table. Martha Plimpton and Ann Dowd have the best chances, and they do not disappoint, with Jason Isaacs and Reed Birney in capable support; Breeda Wool makes the most of her comic openings as a chipper church lady.

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