in which I count cards with Oscar Isaac...

everything that happened at Flick Filosopher from Monday, September 13th, to Sunday, September 19th

It took me, like, a week to write my review of the new Oscar Isaac–starring, Paul Schrader–directed drama The Card Counter (link below). It’s one of those movies — I come across these not-infrequently — that I almost dread to review.

  • Because I fear I won’t do it justice.

  • Because it’s so difficult to boil down to mere words.

  • Because I know there is going to be so much more to say about it in the future, and whatever I say now will only be the merest gloss on it.

  • Because it’s so very tough to find that balance, with a new film, between saying what I am driven to say without also spoiling it, knowing that most people will not have seen it yet.

Encountering a movie like The Card Counter is exciting — it encapsulates the ineffable magic of cinema — but also frustrating for a critic, especially a critic nowadays, in the era of endless Internet content churn. I like to think I’m writing for the ages, and maybe I will someday be vindicated in this notion, but the virtual economy at the moment cares only for immediate clicks.

I try not to be too precious about situations like this, because there’s always room to revisit a film

if they’d stop making movies so there’s breathing room for that

if so many people would stop acting like a movie is old news the week after its initial theatrical release

but I can’t seem to get past the reality: a review takes as long as it takes to write. It fills one’s head as long it wants to fill one’s head, and there’s no way around that. There is only the journey through it.

I hope you enjoy the review. There are no spoilers!

—MaryAnn

PS: You didn’t miss a Flick Filosopher digest last week. I didn’t do one, because I was having a bad week and posted zip at the site. Sorry about that.


new at flick filosopher, Sep 13–19

new and ongoing cinema releases, US/Can, Sep 17

new and ongoing cinema releases, UK/Ire, Sep 17

  • Action dramedy Gunpowder Milkshake and musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (both also on demand); more… [get the full rundown]

new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, US/Can, Sep 14–17

  • Horror flicks Candyman (new on premium VOD) and Censor; lockdown romantic drama Together; more… [get the full rundown]

new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, UK/Ire, Sep 13–17

  • Action dramedy Gunpowder Milkshake and musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (both also in cinemas); more… [get the full rundown]

question of the weekend: do you miss video-rental stores?

The Card Counter movie review: unnatural stillness at the center of the storm [pictured]

  • Grim, mysterious, and unsettling, never more so than when it is quiet and still. But a brutality lurks below its calm, slick surface. Oscar Isaac’s performance is a work of astonishing minimalism. [read the review | cinemas US]

Copilot movie review: how love warps women’s lives

  • Tragic anti-romance uses cinematic conventions and the presumptions of fiction to disorient us. Bursts the bubble of a certain kind of movie delusion to highlight a harsh reality of women’s lives. [read the review | cinemas + VOD UK]

new and ongoing cinema releases, US/Can, Sep 10

new and ongoing cinema releases, UK/Ire, Sep 08–10

new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, US/Can, Sep 07–10

new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, UK/Ire, Sep 06–10


Tweet of the week…


coming up at Flick Filosopher…

  • Tony Soprano origin story The Many Saints of Newark

  • biopic The Eyes of Tammy Faye

  • crime thriller Copshop

  • video nasty Censor

  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

  • crime comedy Queenpins, starring Kristen Bell

  • The Green Knight

  • Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins

  • Netflix’s animated musical Vivo

  • Space Jam: A New Legacy

  • Mark Wahlberg as Joe Bell

  • Old, the latest from M. Night Shyamalan

  • Summer of Soul

  • The Forever Purge

  • Gunpowder Milkshake

  • Fast & Furious 9

  • Luca, the new Pixar animated feature

  • The Tomorrow War, starring Chris Pratt

  • Oscar’s Best Animated Feature Soul and Best International Feature Another Round

  • Disney origin story Cruella

(I swear, I really do plan to get to all of these…)


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