The Scottish play comes alive in imaginative new Joel Coen film

Who needs another version of Macbeth on film? You may find yourself asking this question with the release of director Joel Coen’s The Tragedy of Macbeth, which stars Denzel Washington in the title role and, in the part of Lady Macbeth, Coen’s seemingly ubiquitous wife, three-time Academy Award winner Frances McDormand. Continue Reading...

The French Dispatch is a nostalgic look back at a Paris of the imagination

I offer you a series on Hollywood as seen by its artists, on the occasion of the impending Oscars. I don’t mean the dominant liberal arrogance that has doomed cinema, but rather the efforts of artists who have spent their careers trying to advance a view of America that might bring us together, or at least help prevent us coming apart, the concern of all decent people who have influence. Continue Reading...

Don’t Look Up looks down on you

The techno-gossip that passes for objective knowledge these days assures us that the Netflix movie Don’t Look Up was watched extensively—more than 321.5 million hours streamed. Does that mean about 150 million people around the world watched it? Continue Reading...

Peter Bogdanovich left behind one last cinematic gem

Peter Bogdanovich has died, America’s only famous chronicler of Old Hollywood, a young friend of Orson Welles and an admirer of John Ford, and a director in his own turn of celebrated dramas like The Last Picture Show (1971), a coming-of-age story about bored kids who don’t like their small town and have only their good looks to recommend them, a Hollywood specialty that won him Oscar nominations for Best Director and Best Screenplay, and What’s Up, Doc? Continue Reading...

Resolve this New Year to visit Billy Wilder’s The Apartment

Christmas movies tend to be sentimental, to emphasize the struggles that define our society and our souls, but ultimately they are hopeful and even joyful. Humanity triumphs at the end of the story—for evidence, read my series of essays on The Bishop’s Wife, The Shop Around the Corner, Christmas in Connecticut, and Miracle on 34th Street. Continue Reading...