A Few Recent Movies

I was very impressed with “The Lost Daughter,” based on the Elena Ferrante novel, streaming on Netflix. An absorbing, assured, sensitive directorial debut from Maggie Gyllenhaal. Incisive comments here from her about how the material’s meant to expand the spectrum of the parental behavior we see and judge. Parents aren’t just ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ We have our moments. (Relatedly, it was … interesting to hear two non-parent critics refer to one of the film’s kids as “a terror” and “a brat,” respectively. I’m assuming like millions of others who spend their weeks guiding young toddlers through a day’s ups and downs, I just found her to be a kid going through a spiky 30 minutes.)

I’ve enjoyed stretches of the recent Bond movies, and I’m always rooting for Daniel Craig. Interesting guy who brought some heft to the role. I found “No Time to Die” an uninteresting let down with a burdensome 2:45 running time. Bummer.

“First Cow,” on the other end, was original and humane and memorable. Made by Kelly Reichardt, whose “Meek’s Cutoff” and “Certain Women” I also greatly enjoyed. Two-thirds of the way through, I realized that beyond the indie artistry I was happy to take in, the story had me on edge more than any moment of the Bond thriller. So grateful Reichardt’s making her signature films, and that I can watch them.

Stephen Schenkenberg @schenkenberg