Henry VI, Part 2 (1591) by William Shakespeare

A welcome escalation from the more languid “Henry VI, Part 1”, with vastly more at play. “Part 1” lacked anyone as compelling as Jack Cade, Richard of York (the elder), or Queen Margaret, and the issues Shakespeare here raises of the nature of justice, the role of religion in politics, what constitutes weak or strong…

Florence Foster Jenkins (2016)

There’s an interesting real-life story here, but it doesn’t exactly comfortably fill up a feature-length runtime, and the pacing lags as the filmmakers struggle to develop the concept beyond the premise. Information about the relationship between the principal characters is doled out slowly over the course of the film, presumably to create some sort of…

The Aroma of Tea (2006)

A more abstract work of director Michael Dudok de Wit, compared to his more direct and structured earlier short films. A lot more is left up to interpretation here. I liked it as a sort of rumination on the cycle of conception, life, and death, but really, there’s so little solid here that one could…

Father and Daughter (2000)

A lovely, aching short film about the relationship between a father and daughter. The animation is impressive and engaging, the music is pleasant, the story is affecting. Easy to see why it won an Oscar. I liked using changing environments to communicate the daughter’s changing frame of mind. I give it three and half bikes,…

The Monk and the Fish (1994)

A big step up from director Michael Dudok de Wit’s previous effort, the “Tom Sweep” short, in terms of animation, story, and scope. There’s more here than just a series of comic punchlines, as entertaining as they in the first few minutes of the short. The deeper comment on the connection between humans, their dissatisfactions…

Tom Sweep (1992)

A bright, fun little short film about the little guy. Charming animation, but nowhere near the beauty director Michael Dudok de Wit would eventually achieve. A fun little early look at his career though. I give it two and a half bins, and a big old mess.

Moana (2016)

A solid, enjoyable Disney effort. The setting is unique for Disney, and absolutely dazzlingly rendered visually, but the film loses a ton of steam after the first act. The music is enjoyable, the protagonist is strong (definitely a richer character than many other Disney princesses) and relatable, but the pacing and some of the comic…