Keeping Up with the Classics #12

Updated: Nov 20, 2020


As COVID-19 keeps all of us indoors, I've taken advantage of the time by viewing as many

films as humanly possible.

Over the past few weeks, I have seen considerably less films, so I decided to condense those weeks into one article. These were the highlights:

New and Notable Recommendation

Shirley (Dir. Josephine Decker, 2020) - A psychodrama centered around gothic writer Shirley Jackson, Josephine Decker's expressionistic SHIRLEY is a one-of-a-kind work from a director with a vision. Elisabeth Moss carries almost the entire film on her shoulders as the tempestuous writer, and Odessa Young provides a wonderful complement to her (Michael Stuhlbarg and Logan Lerman, both strong, co-star). While watching an author go through the creative process of writing a book may seem like watching paint dry, it is quite the opposite in SHIRLEY thanks to Decker and her cast, as the film's dazzling cinematography, eerie atmosphere, and stellar performances keep it riveting. SHIRLEY is available to rent or purchase everywhere and to stream on Hulu.

Da 5 Bloods (Dir. Spike Lee, 2020) - While its first hour drags, Spike Lee's urgent and timely, DA 5 BLOODS, about a group of black Vietnam War veterans who return to Vietnam to find the remains of their squad leader as well as gold buried during the war, is a worthwhile and beautifully-crafted piece of work. The highlights of the film, though, are the outstanding performances, particularly that of a powerful Delroy Lindo.

Monster (Dir. Patty Jenkins, 2003) - Patty Jenkins' debut feature, MONSTER, should have launched her into the stratosphere long before that ended up happening (she most famously directed WONDER WOMAN). A phenomenally disturbing and gritty but oddly moving character study of notorious serial killer Aileen Wuornos, MONSTER digs devastatingly deep into the psyche of a tortured mind. As Wuornos, an unrecognizable and stunningly committed Charlize Theron (winner of the Best Actress Oscar for this role) gives one of the greatest performances in the history of cinema. Theron immerses herself in her character, nailing every tick and mannerism, making a monster that's both horrifying and empathetic.