To Be - ★★½☆☆
I was talking with a friend who remembered this existentially terrifying (and of course Canadian) cartoon he'd seen as a kid, and tracked it down for myself. It's a little bit long.
Special Delivery - ★★½☆☆
Another from the same animator as To Be, John Weldon. This one won the Oscar™ for best animated short. I don't love it, but it does seem like a more interesting time for the short film Oscars™. It's on YouTube.com here.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - ★★★½☆
I'm pretty sure this was a rewatch, but I had no memory of what actually happens in this movie. It's like a puzzle box I can enjoy anew from start to finish each time I come back to it.
Arrival - ★★★★★
Great! I know we're just getting into the season*, but I wonder if this isn't my best picture pick. It's a nominee, at least, since sci-fi won't win it. As a generalization, I love it when a movie that is not a romance doesn't have a romance, and it's kind of clever how they get to have it both ways here. All the linguistic stuff really (ahem) speaks to me too. Fake etymology is one of my favorites of the fake sciences. Or, the fake humanities, I guess. I'm looking forward to having had seen it again some time.
*Sorry, that must seem a little bit insane. The capsule reviews are usually done sort of close to when I saw the movie, but they print each week here four at a time. If I get too far ahead you end up seeing me speculate about awards season after it's over. I can see how it would make more sense to publish in a timely fashion, or to post a new blog every time I rack up four movies, but... that's not what this is right now.
Also, like all movie reviewers, my star ratings are arbitrary and meaningless, and totally bendable by payola, if anyone's got some to spare.