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- 1.MoonlightThe more I think about it, the more I realize there isn't a single false moment in this completely unexpected picture. Directed by Barry Jenkins, it's divided into three chapters using three different actors to play Chiron, who struggles with his identity as a man and takes his torment into his twenties. There are at least seven career-making performances in this breathtaking movie.
- 2.Manchester by the SeaI think filmmaker Kenneth Lonergan is America's answer to Yasujiro Ozu, both masters at exploring complex emotional terrain without exploiting the characters with heavy-handed theatrics. Only his third film in the last 16 years, it covers unimaginable tragedy and features stellar work from Lucas Hedges, Michelle Williams, and a never-better Casey Affleck.
- 3.La La LandDirected with panache by Damian Chazelle, this audacious bit of movie magic was both old-fashioned and new-fangled. The middle sags a bit, but the dream montage finale is almost worth the price of admission by itself. The leads are appropriately magnetic. Emma Stone moves fluidly and sings well, Ryan Gosling a bit less so. Old queen Rex Reed proclaimed it as a tribute to the great MGM musicals of Vincente Minnelli made by people who have never seen one. Maybe so but I still loved it.
- 1.Tokyo Story (1953)
- 2.Good Morning (1959)
- 3.Late Spring (1949)