AUTUMN SONATA (Ingmar Bergman, 1978)

An Ibsenian chamber drama completing the unofficial trilogy begun with Cries and Whispers (1972) and continued with Scenes from a Marriage (1974), Autumn Sonata (Höstsonaten, a translation of which I cannot find) is one of Ingmar Bergman’s sparest, most accessible films. Based, like the other two, on an original screenplay of his, it addresses some […]

THE AVIATOR (Martin Scorsese, 2004)

Martin Scorsese’s directorial contributions to American cinema are dubious; his films, including Mean Streets (1973) and Raging Bull (1980), are shallow, structurally deficient, mean-spirited—for instance, misogynistic. The charm of Scorsese the tireless advocate for good cinema is hard to reconcile with the god-awful movies he has mostly made. (Robert De Niro, Sarah Bernhard and Jerry […]

JERRY MAGUIRE (Cameron Crowe, 1996)

Unlike Oliver Stone’s listless Wall Street (1987), which at least has good intentions, Cameron Crowe’s Jerry Maguire really believes that greed is good. To distract us from this cynical message, however, the movie lathers over it, in sentimental and tear-jerking fashion, decoy noises about love, caring, and marital commitment, none of which it believes in. […]