“I think so many people going into the movie might feel one way, and feel very strongly that way. By the end of the movie, it’s not that I hope the movie changes their mind, but I hope that it at least puts a question mark there. That they’re saying, maybe I don’t know everything, and maybe that’s not the point.”
– Lulu Wang
The Art of Self-Defense is a strange little comedy I couldn’t have disliked even if I had wanted to try to do so, Stearns’ latest a gleeful bit of martial arts rebellion I’m excited to see again.
The Farewell is one of the best films of 2019. Heck, it might even be one of the best of the entire decade.
“It’s all a cross-section of my brain. It’s like martial arts, comedy, drama, metal; everything that you want in a movie. It’s all personal experience stuff for me. It’s very, very, very loosely based on feelings and experiences and passions of mine. The fact that people have been responding to it the way that they have is somewhat surprising.”
– Riley Stearns
Anchored by a superb performance from comedian, author, podcaster and essayist Maron and featuring wonderful supporting works by all three of his primary costars, especially a delightfully anarchic Watkins, Sword of Trust is a fast-paced O. Henry meets Mark Twain meets Tom Wolfe-like absurdist lark that sent me out of the theatre smiling.
Wild Rose is a universally aspirational story of retaining one’s individuality in the face of societal roadblocks that prefer conformity and the status quo over anything unique, its songs of faith, family and friendship worth singling along with.
The last third of Yesterday is an ineffectual slog that wastes the talents of its stars, and as breezy, inoffensively enjoyable and as adorably light as so much of this was to suddenly hear it hit so many sour notes was undeniably disappointing, my emotions gently weeping the more I keep thinking about it.
But it’s all haphazardly thrown together and never coherently focused, Jarmusch allowing The Dead Don’t Die to have a disheveled lackadaisical momentum that’s too nondescript to resonate and too messily pieced together for events to emotionally matter.
Like the character she portrays rules her evening talk show, Thompson towers over this movie with a stunning magnificence that’s extraordinary, and when I watch Late Night again in the future I will do so entirely because of her.