Senses of Cinema

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
The Beast (1975) Cerise Howard A satirical, Buñuelian comedy of manners brimming over with pre-nuptial intrigue. EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2019
América (2018) Jordan M. Smith América reverberates with deep emotion as it explores the power and limits of caring for ailing loved ones on the homefront... EDIT
Posted Dec 5, 2018
Bisbee '17 (2018) Jordan M. Smith The play between past and present political predicaments of immigration, unionisation and corporate corruption piercingly resonate thanks to Greene's ingenious sense of staging... EDIT
Posted Dec 5, 2018
Won't You Be My Neighbor? (2018) Jordan M. Smith Neville's film proves that despite an aesthetic approach that mimics its subject's vintage gentility, if one is keen to read between the lines, politically profound ideas ... might be at play in even the most wholesome of places. EDIT
Posted Dec 5, 2018
Kinshasa Makambo (2018) Jordan M. Smith Kinshasa Makambo daringly depicts the resistance as a fractured assemblage of discordant voices - including the filmmaker himself - at once forlorn and unfaltering. EDIT
Posted Dec 5, 2018
The Portrait of a Lady (1996) David Kelly The point of this imagery is not that Isabel has relapsed into the figure of the Gothic heroine, but that that figure in part informs her sense of self. EDIT
Posted Oct 26, 2018
Feathers in My Head (2003) Dan Sallitt The subject matter... could have been unbearable to watch, but [director Thomas] de Thier finds in the woman's solution the springboard of an artistic approach built around emotional counterpoint. EDIT
Posted Oct 18, 2018
Zhou Yu's Train (2002) Dan Sallitt One can quibble with the film here and there, and it takes a turn toward conventional sentiment at the end, but it's a pleasure to be able to describe a film as Hollywoodish and mean it as a compliment. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2018
Identity Kills (2003) Dan Sallitt Despite its modest presentation, Identity Kills eventually impresses with its undeniable intelligence and its knack for hiding its story in plain sight. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2018
The Brown Bunny (2003) Dan Sallitt I couldn't appreciate Gallo the director's Cassavetes-like taste for the realism... But Gallo films locations with a stranger's lucidity and an impressive commitment to natural sound and undoctored images. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2018
8:17 p.m. Darling Street (2003) Dan Sallitt [Director Bernard] Émond's account of the fall and rise of a fragile man covers little new territory as a story, but his intelligent script immerses us in the literate sensibility of his protagonist. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2018
Storm Season (2003) Dan Sallitt The overt realism of [director Solveig] Anspach's camera style is a cover for a dreamlike, melodramatic narrative where will and emotional connection transcend practical considerations. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2018
Shara (2003) Dan Sallitt Connection is entirely what [director Naomi] Kawase is about, and the film's narrative strands come together in... a scene that does just about everything that cinema can do. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2018
The Magic Gloves (2003) Dan Sallitt [Director Martin] Rejtman depicts every crisis and solution in the film in the same unflappable, static style, generating humor from the characters' and the camera's persistent lack of reaction. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2018
Chokher Bali (2003) Dan Sallitt Serene and pictorial, Chokher Bali becomes convincing as a social critique by taking a genuine interest in the minutiae of family life and the interaction between erotics and politics. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2018
Toutes Ces Belles Promesses (2003) Dan Sallitt Certainly it's been a while since any filmmaker saw fit to express the joys and sorrows of the human condition through the very serious business of women trying on hats. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2018
Ana and the Others (2003) Dan Sallitt [Director Celina] Murga's sympathy for Rohmer's aesthetic is so natural that she is able to create with freedom and inspiration within the parameters of his conventions. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2018
Raja (2003) Dan Sallitt Depicting both French and Moroccan culture with sympathy and wit, Raja uses the language barrier between the would-be lovers as an excuse to throw up a network of perpendicular commentary. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2018
Gaz Bar Blues (2003) Dan Sallitt A nostalgic story of a family-owned gas station... [director Louis] Bélanger's film plays just a little cute, but is perceptive and light-footed in sketching the anxiety of the benevolent paterfamilias. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2018
Memories of Murder (2003) Dan Sallitt A perplexing film in many ways - and one that must play quite differently to South Korean audiences, who are familiar with the unsolved murder case - Memories is almost too much of a good thing in the variety and complexity of its director's sensibility. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2018
Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003) Dan Sallitt Ultimately, Los Angeles Plays Itself plays out as a document of the conflict between Anderson's love of movies and his distrust of mass media. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2018
November (2003) Dan Sallitt Achero Mañas's November (2003) a mock-documentary account of the history of a street theatre troupe, is more ambitious than the director's earlier El Bolo (2000) but somewhat less satisfying. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2018
() Dan Sallitt As in his earlier Krampack (Nico and Dani, 2000), [director Cesc] Gay seems a little tidy and schematic at first, but gradually arrives at a plausible level of entropy and openness, creating appealing complexities. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2018
Nathalie... (2003) Dan Sallitt One fears at this point that [director Anne] Fontaine's considerable talent has been submerged for the sake of Euro-prestige. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2018
Errance (2003) Dan Sallitt And yet Errance is ultimately a film about true love - a love helpless in the face of human weakness and doomed from shot one, but nonetheless enduring and inevitably moving. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2018
Happiness (2007) Dan Sallitt Beneath the emotive surface of Happiness, its melodrama is inflected with stoical detachment, right up to the beautiful desolation of the final crane shot. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2018
The Story of Marie and Julien (2003) Dan Sallitt I can't always see what [director Jacquees] Rivette gains by stripping his presentation down to such bare patterns of encryption, but his cerebrality paradoxically heightens the sensual impact of his imagery. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2018
The Far Side of the Moon (2003) Dan Sallitt Unflagging in visual and verbal wit, and yet emotionally true to its protagonist's weltschmerz, [director Robert] Lapage's meditation on reconciling the banal and the essential calls to mind the work of Sacha Guitry. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2018
Cold Showers (2005) Dan Sallitt The script by Cordier and Julie Peyr is full of characterizations and incidents that are too neat or too cute, all of which Cordier the director hypes enthusiastically. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2018
The Forsaken Land (2005) Dan Sallitt Only 27 when the film was shot, [director Vimukthi] Jayasundara already displays a complete command of the medium. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2018
Dreaming of Space (2005) Dan Sallitt Confusing and confused though it may be, Kosmos Kak Predchuvstvie has surprising emotional range, and [director Alexei] Uchitel displays a Hollywood-like fluency in mixing a variety of disparate camera styles. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2018
() Dan Sallitt The shapeless quarrels express no progression and give the marital crisis no specific profile. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2018
A Perfect Day (2005) Dan Sallitt Directors Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige seem quite confident about their strategy: they have a strong sense of location and sound. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2018
La Neuvaine (2005) Dan Sallitt Though the intertwining of these story lines is disorienting at first, each story fragment is quiet and direct, and the tension of the film eventually empties out into the still landscapes of rural Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2018
Perpetual Motion (2005) Dan Sallitt The project never unifies, but ultimately [director Ning Ning's] dramatic skills outweigh her lapses in judgment. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2018
C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005) Dan Sallitt Playing the charismatic, androgyne hero in his older incarnation, Marc-André Grondin is surprisingly able to hold his own in his lifelong power struggle with veteran Michel Côté's ultracool patriarch. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2018
Backstage (2005) Dan Sallitt Feet of clay notwithstanding, [Emmanuelle] Seigner's larger-than-life idol never completely loses her magical quality... and ultimately Backstage's considerable pleasure comes from the breathless feeling of making a map of sacred ground. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2018
Benares (2006) Dan Sallitt First-time director Barlen Pyamootoo, working from his own novel, uses a simple camera style, paying too little attention to ambient sound, and troubling the film with an odd light-jazz score. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2018
Time Off (2005) Dan Sallitt Like François Truffaut, [directors Francisca Schweitzer and Pablo Solís] deploy conspicuous technique in order to obscure psychology, introducing an element of poetry into the simple task of making story connections. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2018
You Bet Your Life (2005) Dan Sallitt The film is a showcase for the oily charisma of Georg Friedrich, playing Kurt, a ne'er-do-well and gambling addict who threatens to take the film down with him to the depths of sociopathic self-destruction. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2018
In His Hands (2005) Dan Sallitt Practically a remake of Claude Chabrol's Le Boucher (1969), Entre ses mains makes a certain number of irritating commercial concessions. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2018
À travers la forêt (2005) Dan Sallitt Varying its level of artifice according to a plan that is revealed only gradually, Forêt benefits from a second viewing, so that the viewer can try on different interpretations of Arielle's strange journey into the afterlife. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2018
April Snow (2005) Dan Sallitt [Director Hur Jin-ho] defers the melodrama as long as possible in his quiet, stoical way, but the characters never become more than pawns, moved from place to place to suit the needs of the purely sentimental story. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2018
Sa-kwa (2005) Dan Sallitt Often very funny, Sa-kwa nonetheless delves into uncomfortable relationship problems that the audience cannot expect to vanish after a last-scene reconciliation. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2018
Angel (2005) Dan Sallitt [Director Jim] McKay never finds an effective way to drive this paradox home, though he is an honest enough filmmaker to expose it. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2018
Wassup Rockers (2006) Dan Sallitt So often called exploitative, Clark instinctively avoids exploitation where most filmmakers plunge in, showing both the terrors and joys of the kids' inner city existence without amplifying them into dramatic hooks. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2018
Oliver Twist (2005) Dan Sallitt Certainly Polanski deserves our gratitude for obliging the cast not to sink their teeth too deep into Dickens' juicy dialogue. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2018
The Notorious Bettie Page (2006) Dan Sallitt A rote assembly of as many character quirks as could be dug out of the public record. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2018
Mrs. Henderson Presents (2005) Dan Sallitt Ultimately the film arrives at obligatory moral lessons and a bit of patriotic uplift. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2018
The Banishment (2007) Dan Sallitt [Director Andrei] Zyvagintsev's beautiful compositions [brings] out uncanny aspects of natural setting. EDIT
Posted Oct 12, 2018