THE VISITOR (Thomas McCarthy, 2008)

I am contemptuous of writer-director Thomas McCarthy’s “quirky” The Station Agent (2003), one of the worst American movies ever made. The Visitor, McCarthy’s follow-up, is a decided improvement, however. It is drearily underlit, but it is engaging while taking on an important theme: U.S. insanity, heartlessness and viciousness toward Islamic immigrants post-9/11. Hopefully, under Obama, […]

A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (Elia Kazan, 1951)

Vivien Leigh (best actress, Venice; BAFTA, Oscar, New York critics) is brilliant as Blanche DuBois, whose layers of theatricality attempt to bury a tragic memory, which she is doomed to revive periodically by re-enacting the original event in a masked form.      Why is Leigh so much greater in Elia Kazan’s absorbing film of A Streetcar […]