Anamaria Marinca and Laura Vasiliu in Cristian Mungiu’s beautiful and harrowing Romanian drama '4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days'

‘4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days’ on The Criterion Channel

Cristian Mungiu’s beautiful and harrowing Romanian drama 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2007) won the Palme d’Or at Cannes and Best Film at the European Film Awards, yet didn’t even make the short list for Best Foreign Language Film nominations. I can’t fathom this defiant snubbing of such a powerful and provocative film, […]

Sasha Lane and Shia LaBeouf in "American Honey," directed by Andrea Arnold

‘American Honey’ – Youth unbound on Netflix

American Honey (2016), the first American film from British filmmaker Andrea Arnold, is a road movie powered by the restlessness and passion of its young heroine Star (newcomer Sasha Lane), the eldest daughter of a deadbeat mom and a skeezy father (step-father?) who won’t stop pawing her teenage body. Recruited by Jake (Shia LaBeouf), a […]

Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz star in 'The Lobster' from Yorgos Lanthimos.

Love is strange: ‘The Lobster’ free on Kanopy and Hoopla

Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos describes his English language debut The Lobster (2015) as his film about love (following Dogtooth, his film on life, and Alps, on death). Which is not necessarily to call it a love story. It is, in its own way, but it just as much about the social expectations of love and […]

What to stream: ‘Happy as Lazzaro’ and ‘1983’ on Netflix and Kanopy has the great American indies

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, Showtime Anytime, video-on-demand, and other streaming services … Alice Rohrwacher won the screenwriting prize at the Cannes Film Festival for Happy as Lazzaro (Italy, 2018, PG-13, with subtitles), a modern parable of a holy innocent (first-time actor Adriano Tardiolo) that […]

François Leterrier in the 1956 Robert Bresson film

‘A Man Escaped’ – Robert Bresson’s prison break on The Criterion Channel

“This story is true. I give it as it is, without embellishment.” That’s an understatement of an opening remark. A Man Escaped (France, 1956) is a mesmerizing meeting of opposites: a prison escape thriller directed by the austere, introspective Robert Bresson. Based on the memoir by Andre Devigny, a member of the French Resistance imprisoned […]

Harry Dean Stanton in the film by Wim Wenders

‘Paris, Texas’ – Wim Wenders’ America on Criterion Channel

Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival, Paris, Texas (1984) was not Wim Wenders’ first American film—that would be Hammett (1982), which proved to be a dispiriting experience when producer Francis Ford Coppola decided to step in and re-edit Wenders’ vision to something more commercial (so much for the creative freedom […]

Harvey Keitel and Keith Carradine star in the directorial debut of Ridley Scott

Ridley Scott’s ‘The Duellists’ on Amazon Prime Video

“The duelist demands satisfaction. Honor for him is an appetite.” The Duellists (1977), the feature debut of Ridley Scott, begins in 1800, “the year Napoleon became ruler of France,” with an early morning duel in a dewy green meadow where French military officer Gabriel Feraud (Harvey Keitel) runs his opponent through and then busies himself […]

Benicio Del Toro is Ernesto Che Guevara in Steven Soderbergh's biographical drama

Benicio Del Toro is ‘Che’ on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

Steven Soderbergh’s two-part Che (2008), starring Benicio Del Toro as the revolutionary leader turned martyred legend and idealized cultural icon, is not a tradition bio-pic. Spanning four-and-a-half hours over two films—Part One on the triumph in Cuba, Part Two on the failure in Bolivia—it’s both two films and a single, unified work that focuses on […]

Juliette Binoche vacations in ‘Slack Bay’ on Netflix

Bruno Dumont, once the chronicler of misery, alienation, and violence in rural France, has become a director of odd comedies with dark edges, first with the miniseries Li’l Quinquin and now Slack Bay (France, 2016). Slack Bay is set on the coast of Northern France in 1910, where the eccentric and wealthy Van Peteghem family arrives to […]