First Impressions: The Salt of the Earth, Clouds of Sils Maria, Predestination

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A time-traveling terrorist hunter. A photographer who descends into the world's most harrowing hells. An actress desperate to defend her reputation and legacy from a reckless upstart. You never know where the movies will take you.Well, actually, yes — you do know where movies will take you. Most of the time. I'm not interested in the routine — that's why I'm not reporting on Avengers: Age of Ultron. You could go see that, I suppose. It might be fun and momentarily distracting. Or you could op … [Read more...]

Summer Hours (2008)

This review was originally published at Image.-Olivier Assayas’ beautiful new movie Summer Hours begins as three successful, well-educated siblings reunite in the backyard of the rural French house where they grew up. They’re celebrating their mother’s birthday with a leisurely party on her beautiful property.And yet their mother Hélène (Edith Scob)—whose family history is full of art-making and art acquisition—is jumpy and distracted. She’s nearing the end of her life, and everyone i … [Read more...]

In the Olympics of Stupid Movie Ideas, America Keeps Winning Gold.

So, the filmmaker Olivier Assayas makes a beautiful, poetic film called Summer Hours, which ends up among the handful of movies most celebrated by critics in 2009.It's hard to find any fault with it. It explores a broad array of subjects - art history, nostalgia, globalism, family ties - and it does so because of its particularity. It is grounded in the experience of a specific family, deeply rooted in French history and tradition, and considers the influence of the European Union (EU) on … [Read more...]


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