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Yes Not Maybe So: Bombshell

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Directors of For Sama

Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra (Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes (Diamantino)
Wanuri Kahiu (Rafiki)
Jia Zhang-ke (Ash is Purest White)

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Daniel Gives Thanks

Daniel here, and Happy Thanksgiving! I couldn’t be more thankful to be a member of such a lovely film-obsessed sphere as the one here at TFE. From the passionate readers and writers to our fearless leader Nathaniel, it’s a plain and simple thrill to be here with you all. In a year that I’ve found stuffed with cinematic delights, here are ten things I’m especially thankful for…

...the swirling morass of overlapping dialogue in Trey Edward Shults’ Krisha. Nothing says Thanksgiving like talking over your relatives in every room of the house and – in this turkey-trotting tale – conjuring a palpable sense of potential explosion in the process. And if that won’t make your head spin, the chaotic camerawork sure will!

…all eight hours of OJ: Made In America. Give yourself over to this runtime of your life and be consumed by the enveloping weight of its complex themes and rhythms – of which I rambled about one time in 140 character clips. (related: don’t miss Ava DuVernay’s own burning case for civil rights and criminal justice in 13th, streaming now on Netflix and perhaps the most important movie of the year)

…the glorious rear-screen projections in Neruda’s driving scenes. I’m generally not one for nostalgia but I want to live in these colorful, fuzzy throwbacks – one of many ways the film is in conversation with what we expect from movies, especially the biopic.

…more and more female-driven horror films that take the central problems of “women’s pictures” and weaponize them into true terror: Under the Shadow and The Witch, but even elements of The Fits or the fun but not especially fetching Ouija: Origin of Evil.

…Isabelle Huppert’s spectacular double feature of women who refuse to accept the sociological label of “victim” in the aftermath of unexpected psychological jars. Surrounded by disinterested cats, irritating ex-husbands, and serious scores to settle, Huppert’s markedly different performances in Elle and Things to Come sing and sting in equal measure. And keeping in the holiday spirit of families at dinner tables, Elle has an acid-tongued all-timer while Things to Come concludes on a note of warm optimism for the future strung up on Christmas lights.

…the exuberance and kinetic panache of this trio of dancing supporting males: David Oyelowo’s shuffle in Queen of Katwe, Hugh Grant’s fleet feet in Florence Foster Jenkins, and Ralph Fiennes’ full body orgasm set to the Rolling Stones in A Bigger Splash.

Frederick Wiseman winning an Honorary Oscar for a documentary career chocked full of American institutional excavation, rich peer-to-peer pathos, and unexpected humor and tragedy found in the rubble of everyday banalities. I’m doubly thankful for The Cinefamily in Los Angeles running a four-year retrospective series on his work. My personal favorite is 1970’s Hospital, in which the breadth of humanity’s pains and joys can be found under one roof.

…every single shot of side-eyed cigarette smoking from Paulina García in Little Men, the film's brooding heart. Additionally, I am sub-thankful for the Independent Spirit Awards wisely awarding her a Best Supporting Actress nomination.

…at the risk of spoilers, I will just say the following three things about the shaggy transcendence of Toni Erdmann: hairy hug, Whitney Houston, complimentary poolside food.

…the moment in American Honey when the entire magazine crew bounces and shakes on the asphalt to E-40’s “Choices (Yup)”, the hip-hop sing-along as primer to another blazing day on the road. 

Daniel Crooke lives in the hills of Los Angeles, California. He digs a deep dive into the movies even when they're shallow but especially if there’s crosstalk between emotionally underwater caterwaulers. If he could invite four people over for dinner, living or dead, they would be Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Sandy Dennis, and George Segal in character – with The B-52’s as house band. The only thing better than seeing an invigorating surprise on the big screen is coming home afterwards to his stalwart tabby, "Mom". [Follow Daniel on Twitter]

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Reader Comments (3)

Love your Huppert praise <3 Happy Thanksgiving!

November 24, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I cannot express how adorable it is that your tabby is named Mom. Amen on the dancing males!

November 25, 2016 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Seemed like the right name for a pregnant alley cat when I took her in years ago! And Hugh Grant's dancing scene alone is honestly nomination-worthy enough for me.

November 25, 2016 | Registered CommenterDaniel Crooke

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