The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
The Walking Dead
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Intimate in scope yet thematically expansive, Hale County This Morning, This Evening draws extraordinary insights out of seemingly ordinary moments.
All Critics (63)
| Top Critics (14)
| Fresh (61)
| Rotten (2)
A visually mesmerizing but only half-illuminating documentary on black lives in the Deep South.
At every juncture, Ross elects for ambiguity and poses a question to the viewer to answer how black bodies are viewed, encouraging the audience to perform the labour of challenging their expectations.
There is something visionary in this film.
Vividly sketches African-American lives on an Alabama trek that bypasses stereotypes and narrative conceit, proceeding directly to empathy.
You could call it a transcendental scrapbook, because it wipes away the muck of subjectivity that guides most movies. It turns the audience into direct receptors of experience.
A 76-minute visual poem that pays homage to folks who still harbor hopes and dreams despite a hardscrabble existence.
Ross' film is merely an artistic glimpse of a life, and a community, that most of us will never see firsthand, but a life put in a perspective that we can all understand: sometimes joyous, sometimes mundane and sometimes utterly, utterly sad.
Ross has his own peculiar, attentive approach.
This is an achingly specific picture of mundane moments and sudden sorrows, with long, patient scenes of young men shooting hoops or playing blues guitar, of a toddler tiring himself out, of kids just doing stuff in backyards and fields.
At the same time that Hale County's collage style helps the film avoid becoming a Southern variation on Hoop Dreams, it refuses to lapse into anything resembling hand-wringing melancholy.
The result is impressionistic, a look at daily triumphs and challenges that feels like reverie but couldn't be more real.
Hale County This Morning, This Evening has an impressive pedigree but that wouldn't count for much if it didn't achieve its aim to find a new language for the overlooked parts of neglected lives. But it does -- lovingly.
The kind of ethnographic record that proves that direct observation can sometimes be more revealing than any sort of lecturing, but the only problem is that it is hard to feel invested in what someone wants to show you when not even he really seems that interested in his subjects.
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