Daniel Elford's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

The Handmaiden (Ah-ga-ssi)
20 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Saw the extended cut; occasionally a little self-indulgent, however, with some trims for the theatrical release, Park Chan Wook's loose adaption of a Sarah Waters novel might be his best effort since the classic 'Oldboy'. Typically beautiful and knowingly controversial, 'The Handmaiden' seduces with its mystery, and holds us on edge for the full run time with a wicked and relentessly writihing plot. By turns dark, funny, moving, romantic, and yes, vividly erotic, with those idiosyncratic perversions for which Wook's work is now known (notably 'Stoker') never far from the surface, this is a must for fans of the director, or anyone with the patience to put themselves at the mercy of a master, allowing a twited tale to reveal itself as he sees fit. At the right length, this could be a five star.

Manchester by the Sea
3 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

There are elements to be admired here, not least of which, the outstanding and ever-growing Casey Affleck, whose understated and precise performance warrants close attention to detail, and with a film that is as much about that which is not communicated as that which is, one cannot help but admire the realistic, almost fly-on-the-wall feel to some of the most powerful moments. That said, it is frustrating to see Michelle Williams sidelined to, essentially, one important scene; the appropriate level of awkardness is achieved in a strong exchange where nothing and everything is said by two actors at the top of their game, but it is simply not enough to warrant our emotional investment. Some parts are over-scored while other parts are lacking thd drama of necessary music. Most notable is the dreary pace applied throughout, makin what should be a 90 minute emotional drama feel far too long for its own good, sapping it of a lot of its kick. Not without merits, but a frustrating disappointment.