The Elton John-produced “Rocketman” by far surpasses last year’s neutered and insulting Freddie Mercury flick “Bohemian Rhapsody” and, even beyond that slightly unfair comparison point, is a pretty fabulous ode to a legend.
From spectacular set pieces to colors that threaten to overwhelm the screen to dance numbers that give the old classic Disney tunes a modernized lift, there’s no denying this new “Aladdin” intends to entertain. But live action can’t do everything animation can.
“What Is Democracy?” is vast in its exploration of politics from ancient Greece to today’s U.S. upheaval, juxtaposing everyone from trauma paramedics to Marxist theorists, and has sheer ambition that elevates it above just being a rehashed history lesson.
The characters in Yorgos Lanthimos’ latest all still do wretched things to one another – but this is the most the director has ever signaled empathy for his characters, making for an enriching picture and, hilariously, his most accessible.
In “Shoplifters” every truth builds on secrets, and moments of hope tremble precariously over defeat. Director Hirokazu Koreeda never lets his characters or audience forget there’s no possibility for “more” without the chance of loss.