FUERA DEL CIELO (Javier Patrón, 2006)

The intelligent screenplay by Vicente Leñero and Guillermo Ríos is not without contrivance, but its structuring device is brilliant: the mission of two brothers, during a long day and ultimately fatal night in Mexico City, to score crystallized methamphetamine for their mother (Isela Vega, best supporting actress Ariel). “Marlboro,” the older brother, has just been […]

BROKEN FLOWERS (Jim Jarmusch, 2005)

Writer-director Jim Jarmusch’s Broken Flowers, which richly deserves the Grand Prix it won at Cannes, begins tiresomely, with a long, gratuitous analysis of mail processing and delivery. It improves. In a tour de force of formal expression, Jarmusch creates a “road picture” that articulates a tension between goal-oriented plot and an open-ended transport through a […]

THEY KNEW WHAT THEY WANTED (Garson Kanin, 1940)

Harry Stradling’s gorgeous, moody black-and-white cinematography lends poetic touches to the third film version of Sidney Howard’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 1924 play, They Knew What They Wanted, directed by Garson Kanin as a memorial tribute to Howard. The title is ironical; the three main characters—wealthy Italian immigrant, Napa Valley ranch owner Tony Patucci, waitress Amy Peters, […]