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It’s hard not to be concerned about a particularly vulnerable child’s welfare, and Robertson’s performance as Oliver impresses, conveying the boy’s sensitive and perceptive nature without his ever uttering a word. The Swimmer is a decidedly quirky film, with a Twilight Zone-esque storytelling style that depicts a day in the life of Ned Merrill (Lancaster), an aging yet remarkably athletic “suburban stud.” Bronzed, trim, and only ever clad in a tight pair of navy trunks, Ned is given to front-crawls and breaststrokes while his friends of similar age lounge, drink, and bloat. Adapted by Eleanor Perry from a strangely beautiful eleven-page novella by John Cheever and directed by Perry’s husband Frank, The Swimmer retains the plot economy and intensity of its concise source material, making up for the gaps in detail with things Cheever couldn’t give his readers in even a thousand pages: zany, sun-drunk cinematography, a swooning theatrical score, and character embodiment by the likes of Burt Lancaster and Joan Rivers (in her film debut). Though Jane’s dramatization of rage is haunting and shrewdly comical in its overt and ultimately moving über-manliness. As it happens, Charlotte has just discovered that she’s pregnant, which means that the family line can continue even after Ben’s death. Let Him Go is chockfull of characters telling each other to get to the point, but that directness comes at the cost of getting to know most of the characters, the battered Lorna included, outside of these melodramatic showdowns. Though the second film, most commonly known in America as The Road Warrior, is often cited as the masterpiece of the series, the original Mad Max is still the most ferocious and subversive. Chopra homes in on how vast an age difference of even a year or two can seem when, for example, Connie’s friends want to go to a movie, only for the youngest among them to become exasperated when the others are willing to bail on the movie that she now wants to see due to their learning that a group of cute guys are seeing something else. “You’re the smart one and I’m the cool one,” one guy says to his girlfriend before the mayhem gets underway—and that’s about the extent of the film’s character shading. Naturally, Katherine’s overbearing, protective nature only exacerbates her child’s adolescent sense of rebellion, driving Connie to spend as little time at home as possible. Tired of London and seeking inspiration for her new novel, she accepts an offer from her publisher John Bosload to stay at his home in Luberon, in the South of France. Despite a searing performance from Diane Lane, writer-director Thomas Bezucha’s Let Him Go ultimately self-immolates. But while each twist of Jordan Peele’s film delves deeper into the visceral surreality of racism, Kindred doesn’t twist so much as it loops, taking us repeatedly through the same trauma of escape and recapture. (Tellingly, the death of the livestock here is more moving than the brutal demises of any of this film’s humans.) It is, as Mr. Peterson states, his “one final lesson.”. Unfortunately for them, Jimmy’s stepfather is one of the Weboys, a family of sadistic North Dakotan brothers under the thumb of their mad matriarch, Blanche (Lesley Manville). Bowen, The Invitation filters each sinister development through Will’s (Logan Marshall-Green) unreliable perspective, to the point that one friend’s failure to turn up at a lavish dinner, or another’s precipitous departure, appear as if submerged, changing with each shift in the emotional current. Koko-di Koko-da is intellectualized and predigested, abundant in fraught yet self-conscious signifiers that are either derivative, such a shot of a spider in its web, or willfully random, like a white cat in the forest or the dead dog that the stereotypically “weird” carnies have with them. 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Bertino certainly doubles down on familial decay in The Dark and the Wicked, a supernatural fable that elevates the subtext of the director’s earlier work to the level of text, in the process nearly dispensing with a monster altogether. These films show us utopias, dystopias, distant planets, and our own Earth destroyed. Sydney Pollack (director of Out of Africa and Tootsie; then early on in his career) was brought on to direct these, as well as some additional scenes that were intended to make the film’s transitions more lucid. The primitiveness of the animation paradoxically suggests the enormity of loss, with the gradually dying bird embodying the extinguishing of Elin and Tobias’s love. The story, which concerns a black woman gradually discovering that a charitable offer from her dead white beau’s family conceals a plot to kidnap, exploit, and possibly kill her, is redolent of Get Out. The sequence could pass as a riff on Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man Is Hard to Find as much as Oates’s harrowing short story, a confrontation with a cosmic sort of nihilism as much as the allegorical embodiment of men’s potential for danger. The literary genre, which originated with a series of 18th-century “woman trapped in a creaky old estate with a questionable aristocrat” novels, has always used women’s justifiable fear of men as the basis for titillating tales. Some of these depictions are humorous, others haunting. It’s not hard to imagine they all enjoy healthy careers in “plastics”. Joel’s memories go backward in time from the last gasp of their love to their initial spark, but there are sideways detours along the way that take him to infancy and memories of his first childhood humiliation. Even their body language changes depending on the setting: At home, Connie is awkward, as if unsure how to handle her gangly frame, but as she walks around casting flirtatious glances at boys and teasing retail workers, she exudes a veneer of confidence inspired by magazines and TV. 1 in G Major,” two pieces whose overriding affect is serenity, into ironic horror-movie motifs. Bertino pushes a funereal quality to its breaking point, which is very much the intention, however maddening. Far scarier than any one specific moment is the uncomfortable line the director allows his characters to walk between the deadpan and the grotesque. Vincent Canby of the New York Times thought the music was of a type that “would sound overly passionate in a Verdi opera,” but that histrionic style only adds to the idiosyncratic allure of the film. Our aesthetic perception is linked to our perception of Henry himself, so that the film becomes a study of empathy through aesthetics. Bertino’s formalist brio prevents The Dark and the Wicked from entirely slipping into a coma of its own. Swimming Pool focuses on Sarah, a rigid and conservative, yet successful English mystery writer. Keith Watson, With Mud and Take Shelter, writer-director Jeff Nichols has already used withholding narratives to weave distinctly Southern tales about fringe believers, survivalists who could also be seen as evangelists. Fox) and Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) need to accomplish and its steadily mounting series of mishaps demonstrating how they can go wrong represent probably the most carefully scripted blockbuster in Hollywood history, but the film’s real coup (and what separates it from the increasingly fluent pack of Spielberg knockoffs) is in how it subtly mocks the political pretensions of the era—not the 1950s, but rather the 1980s. The 1985 film centers on Connie (Laura Dern), a 15-year-old from a farm in the Northern California suburbs. Slowly, however, the mood shifts, with Arnold giving more and more details about Connie’s life that make obvious that he has been spying on her, and his come-hither entreaties take on a dark, predatory edge. Ash (Bruce Campbell), horrordom’s most memorable wuss, and his girlfriend, Linda (Betsy Baker), share an intimate, peek-a-boo moment in which he gives her a necklace, and when he’s later forced to kill her, Raimi takes great joy in referencing this coquettish exchange of affection. Such songs allow us, no matter how insignificant we may often assume ourselves to be, to momentarily feel bigger. But they’re united by their fearlessness in breaking down boundaries and thrusting us into worlds beyond our own. We’re seemingly caught up alongside the protagonists in a temporal loop, a la Harold Raimis’s Groundhog Day and its many imitators. A Native American drifter (Booboo Stewart) who befriends them and briefly recounts his traumatizing experience at a culture-crushing boarding school offers a wistful glimpse at the kind of character-driven storyline that the film deserts halfway down the road. Wilkins, Director Mike Flanagan’s Before I Wake hints—in flashes—at a remarkably cruel psychodrama, physicalizing one of the worst and most common fears that orphans share: that they’re awful and unlovable, and therefore undeserving of parents. 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