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CRITICAL Darling 

Is it just me, or is contemporary cinema feeling a bit … rehashed of late? Who said that that 1970s-style of storytelling — upon which Scorsese radiates his patron-saintly glow — is relevant again? (It was a mercy Oscar, people.) And why is everyone doing coke? Is everyone doing coke? If so, why hasn’t anyone offered me a line? Wrong crowd, I guess.

It’s not just the drugs we like (or someone does); our recent films are populated with 1970s/80s-ish mafioso drug dealers, too — real and fictional. They could found a small village. (Freebaseburg.) Is it actually War-on-Drugs-era nostalgia we’re dealing with here? Regardless, I’m growing bored.

I can’t even heap that much praise on Sidney Lumet’s new, superbly directed, fantastically acted film, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (which Brian Villalobos reviews on page 31), because it’s got this ’80s, Mamety, Wall Streetish, “Oh, how we men struggle, how we carry the weight of the world on our shoulders while you women sit around and do NOTHING but spend our money and sleep around” vibe to it. And there’s coke-snorting, but that’s beside the point, which is: How many people can really empathize with the characters in this outdated morality play? XO.


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