LILJA 4-EVER (Lukas Moodysson, 2002)

This film takes an actual socioeconomic phenomenon—in the epidemic of suicides of children, from the former Soviet Union and its satellites, who have been forced into prostitution—and heartlessly exploits it. This is one of the least edifying, least analytical, most sickening movies I have seen. Its 16-year-old protagonist is brutalized by writer-director Lukas Moodysson, who […]

UNDERCURRENT (Vincente Minnelli, 1946)

Stylishly directed by Vincente Minnelli, this captivating thriller finds a chemistry professor’s daughter falling for and marrying a man of many secrets. Ann Hamilton (Katharine Hepburn, so wonderful here that her performance refreshes one’s whole opinion of her) slowly discovers that it is really her brother-in-law, whom she believes she has never met, with whom […]

ANGELA (Luc Besson, 2005)

With echoes of It’s a Wonderful Life (Frank Capra, 1946), Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958), Wings of Desire (Wim Wenders, 1987) and his own La femme Nikita (1990), AngelA is the best thing that Luc Besson has done since squandering the powerful early impression he made with Le dernier combat (1983). A deliriously romantic and funny […]