La La Land (2016)

A beautiful, bittersweet, brilliant musical masterpiece. Like director Damien Chazelle’s previous film, “Whiplash”, “La La Land” is extremely well-constructed (Justin Hurwitz’ music is the star of the show, Linus Sandgren’s cinematography is gorgeous,  Tom Cross’ editing is pitch-perfect, and so on), full of emotion, and a powerful, nuanced exploration of artistry, ambition, and the conflict…

Fences (2016)

I knew nothing about this film going into it, but it was immediately obvious to me just minutes in that it was an adaptation of a play. All the elements of the film drawing from that original play (which I later learned is a famous and very well-regarded American play in its own right) are…