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It’s just Life

The other Reader critic gets the rest: Personal Shopper, Wilson, and Raw

Don’t let the cute little baby alien proto-appendage fool you: Life is rough.
Don’t let the cute little baby alien proto-appendage fool you: Life is rough.
Movie

Life **

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Okay, so it’s like <em>Alien</em>, in that a bunch of people in space wind up with a smart, deadly xenomorph on board and have to figure out how to stop it. And it’s like <em>Gravity</em>, in that one of those people would rather be melancholy among the stars than miserable on earth. And it’s like <em>The Martian</em>, in that smart scientists are constantly having to innovate and recalculate based on new difficulties. And it’s like <em>Independence Day</em>, in that the critter has tentacles and sort of a rudimentary face. And it’s like <em>Deadpool</em>, in that Ryan Reynolds cracks wise and suffers horribly. What of it? It’s also unlike all of those films, in that director Daniel Espinosa is capably doling out tension over horror, personal sacrifice over personal crises, the limits of intelligence over its glories, animal instinct over alien malice, and genuine, endless darkness over its chuckleheaded imitation. Here is a story that knows how to put the nihilism in the vast nothingness of space. If you’re into that sort of thing. With Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Fergusun.

Find showtimes

Sometimes, life is kind. Not the movie Life, mind you. That wasn’t kind at all, even if it was kinda good. But real life. Your humble correspondent hit a serious low this week, so it’s probably best that I had just the one movie to think about.

The real kindness, however, comes in the form of Scott Marks and his amazing output. Not only did he review Olivier Assayas’s new film Personal Shopper, he scored an interview with the director, who now has back-to-back critical successes (at least here at the Reader) following 2014’s Clouds of Sils Maria.

Movie

Personal Shopper ***

thumbnail

By day, Maureen (Kristen Stewart) haunts the premium racks looking to outfit her vainglorious celebrity boss Kyra (Nora von Waldstätten). By night, she’s a paranormalist eager to connect with her dead brother’s spirit. (The two made a Houdini pact in which the first to die swore to contact the other.) Presented with what’s easily her most challenging role to date, Stewart crushed it. For his second collaboration with the actress, Olivier Assayas once again relies on sleight of hand to peel back layers of movie star celebrity armor simply by reassigning it to another character, in this case client Kyra. The result is a broodingly erotic, at times hard to fathom, but always elegantly filmed portrait of modern alienation. Throw in a dash of unexpected humor and some rightly spectral — at times, outright ingenious — special effects, and the time flies by faster than the spirited CG ectoplasm.

Find showtimes

And not only did he review Craig Johnson’s film adaptation of Daniel Clowes’s comic-book creation Wilson, he scored an interview with Mr. Clowes, who now has back-to-back-to-back critical successes (at least here at the Reader) following 2001’s Ghost World and 2006’s Art School Confidential.

As if that wasn’t enough, he also reviewed the cannibalistic coming-of-age pic Raw. And if the rumors are true, he’ll have reviews in for CHiPs and T2 Trainspotting before nightfall. If they’d bothered to screen the new Terrence Malick film Song to Song, he might have gotten that one, too.

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Don’t let the cute little baby alien proto-appendage fool you: Life is rough.
Don’t let the cute little baby alien proto-appendage fool you: Life is rough.
Movie

Life **

thumbnail

Okay, so it’s like <em>Alien</em>, in that a bunch of people in space wind up with a smart, deadly xenomorph on board and have to figure out how to stop it. And it’s like <em>Gravity</em>, in that one of those people would rather be melancholy among the stars than miserable on earth. And it’s like <em>The Martian</em>, in that smart scientists are constantly having to innovate and recalculate based on new difficulties. And it’s like <em>Independence Day</em>, in that the critter has tentacles and sort of a rudimentary face. And it’s like <em>Deadpool</em>, in that Ryan Reynolds cracks wise and suffers horribly. What of it? It’s also unlike all of those films, in that director Daniel Espinosa is capably doling out tension over horror, personal sacrifice over personal crises, the limits of intelligence over its glories, animal instinct over alien malice, and genuine, endless darkness over its chuckleheaded imitation. Here is a story that knows how to put the nihilism in the vast nothingness of space. If you’re into that sort of thing. With Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Fergusun.

Find showtimes

Sometimes, life is kind. Not the movie Life, mind you. That wasn’t kind at all, even if it was kinda good. But real life. Your humble correspondent hit a serious low this week, so it’s probably best that I had just the one movie to think about.

The real kindness, however, comes in the form of Scott Marks and his amazing output. Not only did he review Olivier Assayas’s new film Personal Shopper, he scored an interview with the director, who now has back-to-back critical successes (at least here at the Reader) following 2014’s Clouds of Sils Maria.

Movie

Personal Shopper ***

thumbnail

By day, Maureen (Kristen Stewart) haunts the premium racks looking to outfit her vainglorious celebrity boss Kyra (Nora von Waldstätten). By night, she’s a paranormalist eager to connect with her dead brother’s spirit. (The two made a Houdini pact in which the first to die swore to contact the other.) Presented with what’s easily her most challenging role to date, Stewart crushed it. For his second collaboration with the actress, Olivier Assayas once again relies on sleight of hand to peel back layers of movie star celebrity armor simply by reassigning it to another character, in this case client Kyra. The result is a broodingly erotic, at times hard to fathom, but always elegantly filmed portrait of modern alienation. Throw in a dash of unexpected humor and some rightly spectral — at times, outright ingenious — special effects, and the time flies by faster than the spirited CG ectoplasm.

Find showtimes

And not only did he review Craig Johnson’s film adaptation of Daniel Clowes’s comic-book creation Wilson, he scored an interview with Mr. Clowes, who now has back-to-back-to-back critical successes (at least here at the Reader) following 2001’s Ghost World and 2006’s Art School Confidential.

As if that wasn’t enough, he also reviewed the cannibalistic coming-of-age pic Raw. And if the rumors are true, he’ll have reviews in for CHiPs and T2 Trainspotting before nightfall. If they’d bothered to screen the new Terrence Malick film Song to Song, he might have gotten that one, too.

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Comments
2

At first I was thinking Wilson might be about the volleyball from Cast Away who finally comes ashore somewhere in the world. Hey, Wilson would have stories to tell!

None

March 24, 2017

Sorry Lick ART SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL is no GHOST WORLD and neither is WILSON.

April 5, 2017

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