Can You Ever Forgive Me? / On the Basis of Sex / Boy Erased (2018) / Isn’t It Romantic (2019)

CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? [2018, B+] – Delicately told narrative handled with precise direction and masterful tonal shifts. McCarthy, Grant securely evoke humor, pathos in beautifully flawed characters. Thrills in its unshowy attention to detail. Confidently humane storytelling.

ISN’T IT ROMANTIC [2019, B] – Narrative quickly runs out, but then commits to the film’s premise (cinematography! production design! music!) and allows Wilson to shine as a rom-com lead. Occasionally endangers itself in falling to the tropes it’s parodying, but Wilson’s a keeper.

ON THE BASIS OF SEX [2018, B] – Succeeds more as time capsule of gender struggle than as clear-eyed portrait. On the verge of making its subject saint-like. Economically visualized. Musical machinations obvious at times. Jones in top form, bringing necessary gusto. I teared up.

BOY ERASED [2018, A-] – Confidently photographed. Amplifies nuances of each emotional beat. Slowly, ever carefully nudges the narrative stakes up. Hinges on assured direction and terrific performances. Exudes so much power in subtlety, punches up skillfully in crucial moments.

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