It's the sustained, full-bodied mania of Melissa McCarthy's performance that anchors the film's many winning blind-alley gags.
As in Rodney Ascher's previous film, Room 237, the subject of obsession is complemented by a despairing attempt to process it, corral it, and somehow conquer it.
It confirms the Roy Andersson universe as one of near-fossilized similitude, in which any effort or movement is disruptive, revealing new cracks in the set illusion of order.
Bill Pohlad seems never to have met a metaphor he couldn't bludgeon into its most rudimentary and literal interpretation.
Appropriately, the images in the film, the most fluidly beautiful and resonant of Nathan Silver's career thus far, suggest flashes of memory relived from the vantage point of the future.
Throughout, Saverio Costanzo hypocritically drapes his scenes in a cloak of faux-empathy.
The film's subtitle is apropos, as this is a decidedly locked-down and lead-footed talk-o-rama.
Patch Town finally displays a degraded cultural sensitivity that makes something as wretched as The Love Guru seem learned.
It finally offers little more than a moderately engaging slice of contemporary aboriginal life that mostly fails to dig beneath the surface of this underrepresented world.
The opposite of enlightenment, the film hides its anxieties behind a mélange of third-rate grit and playful xenophobia.
This is the kind of filmmaking that gets touted as "workmanlike" when it's really straight-laced to the point of tepidness.
After a while, the film's sing-a-song-for-the-world vibe, so buoyantly optimistic at first, becomes grating and smug.
Andrew Bujalski seizes upon physical training as a resonant metaphor for the work and risk that are inherent in cultivating significant interpersonal connections.
In the film, the biggest earthquake in recorded history is less natural disaster than divorce negotiation process.
The film dabbles in the French romantic-comedy tradition and simultaneously spoofs it, committing to neither.
One of the most harrowing cinematic depictions of drug addiction in recent memory.
Stéphane Lafleur denies Nicole the angsty treatments given similar characters in films like Frances Ha by refusing to saturate the film with an undergirding sense of charm.
The film settles into a time-honored groove of so many forgettable juvenile comedies before it.
Writer-director Daniel Peddle's anthropological concerns never really wed themselves to a sturdy narrative bedrock.
Samuel Fuller's film is an amazing example of what might be called noir jazz.
The film's troubled aesthetics are exacerbated by a screenplay that contains the trappings of amateur toil, including dialogue that harps on innocuous moments and trifling exposition.
If the documentary isn't quite dynamic in its revelations, it's considerably more so in its challengingly essayistic presentation.
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