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"It's not what a movie is about, it's how it is about it." ― Roger Ebert

The Machinist

In this psychological thriller film, starring Christian Bale, a machinist fighting with chronic insomnia loses weight until he becomes severely emaciated. Directed by Brad Anderson, and also starring Jennifer Jason Leigh, this film was well received by critics with Rotten Tomatoes reporting 77% positive reviews.

Roger Ebert awarded the film three stars out of four, stating, "The director, Brad Anderson, working from a screenplay by Scott Kosar, wants to convey a state of mind, and he and Bale do that with disturbing effectiveness."

Andrea Gronall, writing for Film Search, said “Until now Bale's screen persona has been defined by a graceful athleticism; here his physicality is repellent, yet he carries the occasionally creaky plot of Scott Kosar's unsettling screenplay to a resonant finish."

High Fidelity

This American comedy-drama directed by Stephen Frears and starring John Cusack, is about a music geek with a poor understanding of women. Featuring 70 cue songs, this movie received high reviews, like The Observer’sHigh Fidelity is an extraordinarily funny film, full of verbal and visual wit. And it is assembled with immense skill.”

Film critic Roger Ebert gave the film four out of four stars and wrote, "Watching High Fidelity, I had the feeling I could walk out of the theater and meet the same people on the street — and want to, which is an even higher compliment".

In his review for the Washington Post, Desson Howe praised Jack Black as "a bundle of verbally ferocious energy. Frankly, whenever he's in the scene, he shoplifts this movie from Cusack."

In his review for The New York Times, Stephen Holden praised Cusack's performance, writing that he was "a master at projecting easygoing camaraderie, he navigates the transitions with such an astonishing naturalness and fluency that you're almost unaware of them."

The Barbarian Invasions

This French-Canadian drama, written and directed by Denys Arcand, won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2004. In this sequel to The Decline of the American Empire the story revolves around the character Remy’s battle with terminal cancer, and the efforts of his estranged son to make the father more comfortable.

Starring Remy Girard, Stephane Rouzzeau, and Marie-Josee Croze, the film won over a dozen awards, including two, Best Screenplay and Best Actress for Marie-Josee Croze at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival.

Roger Ebert gave it four stars, writing, “This is a fantasy for adults. It is also a movie with brains, indignation, irony and idealism -- a film about people who think seriously, and express themselves with passion."

Being Julia

This drama with comic undertones is set in 1938 London and focuses on a highly successful and popular theatre actress. Directed by Istvan Szabo, and starring Annette Bening and Jeremy Irons, the film won a Golden Globe Award, a Satellite Award and a National Board of Review Award all for Best Actress for Bening.

Richard Nilsen, writing for the Arizona Republic, said, "Bening brings such vitality to the role that she sweeps aside all the quibbles, and you have to sit back and enjoy what is a masterly performance by a great actor playing a great actor."

And Connie Ogle of the Miami Herald wrote “This is, of course, the sort of role about which actresses dream, and it is Annette Bening who brings Julia to raging, mischievous, unforgettable life."

Body Double

This American thriller film, directed by Brian DePalma, and starring Craig Wasson, tells a story about a struggling actor with claustrophobia, who makes friends with another film class student.

On release, this movie, with its lurid violence, sexuality and new wave soundtrack, received many poor reviews, but "developed a dedicated cult following, which remains strong today, perhaps due to its directional and aesthetic indulgences".

Blu-Ray DVD Review had the following to say about the film: "When "general moviegoers" think of Brian De Palma, they probably remember SCARFACE, THE UNTOUCHABLES or MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE. But when the hardcore movie geeks discuss De Palma, you can bet good money that BODY DOUBLE is among the most frequently-mentioned titles. It's a mystery, a romance, a horror flick, and a straight-faced parody all rolled into one unique little movie."


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