critics and their criticism

Everybody is nothing until you love them Everybody is nothing until you love them

Truly, I think it would be almost impossible to overpraise Anna Magnani in a performance that’s absolutely riveting from start to finish

on January 18, 2021 at 1:32 PM
The remains of the gay The remains of the gay

This year’s earth-shaking advance in gay cinema apparently was the first inclusion of same-sex couples in “Christmas rom-coms.”

on January 12, 2021 at 10:18 AM
Out of frame Out of frame

In the past when I’ve read through the scads of year-end best lists, there have always been a few titles that I just didn’t “get” but there were more than usual in 2020.

on January 06, 2021 at 10:53 AM
Lady drinks the booze Lady drinks the booze

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: nobody hits rock bottom like Susan Hayward.

on January 04, 2021 at 9:20 AM
I guess that’s why they call it the blues I guess that’s why they call it the blues

The first thing I noticed about Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is how it’s been slimmed down and punched up—clocking in at just 95 minutes, it hits all the marks of August Wilson’s original while smartly settling into a snappier, more focused filmic style.

on December 21, 2020 at 9:00 AM
I soil easily I soil easily

I have to say I struggle with I Want to Live! The camp appeal of it—including Hayward’s performance—is undeniable… yet it’s also a sincere and even important movie.

on November 30, 2020 at 10:00 AM
There’s a speed limit in this state There’s a speed limit in this state

While I would say that the great James M. Cain remains underappreciated as a novelist in literary circles, he’s generally done very well by Hollywood. The Postman Always Rings Twice, Mildred Pierce, and Double Indemnity have had multiple film adaptations, and at least one of each is a classic.

on November 23, 2020 at 10:00 AM
‘Morning’ has broken ‘Morning’ has broken

Pretty, petite and forgettable where her predecessor was striking and irresistible, Susan Strasberg doesn’t convince as the headstrong, mercurial aspiring actress who takes Broadway by storm.

on November 02, 2020 at 3:23 PM
Just turn her loose on Broadway Just turn her loose on Broadway

Beatrice Page is a wonderful fit for Ginger Rogers, who plays it with brassy charm and a laudable sense of humor, since the character seems not to notice that she has aged out of her 20s by a couple of decades.

on October 20, 2020 at 10:00 AM
Velvet underwhelmed Velvet underwhelmed

“Camp” is exactly the lens through which The Velvet Touch is best examined, including an utterly bewildering cross-pollinating of genres.

on October 12, 2020 at 1:13 PM
A life in the theater A life in the theater

While I’d stop short of calling All About Eve a camp classic, it holds an undeniable and lasting interest for gay viewers.

on September 26, 2020 at 12:44 PM
To seek and find To seek and find

The candor of some aspects of Now, Voyager—which at times can feel fairly formulaic—has moments that are truly startling, and there is something surprisingly modern and frank in the not-entirely-fulfilling concluding moments.

on September 10, 2020 at 1:00 PM
Slow curtain Slow curtain

We put together these two very different movies from more than half a century apart—Of Human Bondage (1934) and The Whales of August (1987)—and thus get a sense of the long arc of a career.

on August 31, 2020 at 12:39 PM
Do you ever dream of Vienna? Do you ever dream of Vienna?

Johnny Guitar, the delightfully subversive Western by director Nicholas Ray, features one of Joan Crawford’s most iconic performances.

on August 20, 2020 at 11:20 AM