The Prom

Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.

This is far from a perfect film, but the parts which work, do so really, really well.

And most of those parts are the ones featuring young actress Jo Ellen Pellman, who rocks in her debut movie, outshining all-timers like Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman.

As a young lesbian who wants to take her girlfriend to their Indiana high school prom, only to find a great deal of (temporary) resistance, Pellman glows with a rare light every time she’s in front of the camera.

A star is born, with a song on her lips.

 

The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Venison is a dish best served cold.

Wait, that’s revenge…

There are no real deer involved in this loopy creep-fest, but a whole lot of payback is involved, both physical and psychological.

As a cardiac surgeon burdened with nasty secrets, Colin Farrell wanders in a daze, unable to stop his family from falling deathly ill from unknown causes.

It all seems to lead back to an eerie teen who blames the petulant papa for the loss of his own dad, and now wants blood for blood.

Odd, yet utterly absorbing, this one will linger in your brain pan for days.

Moulin Rouge!

Here we are now, entertain us.

There is no middle ground when it comes to the most berserk musical of the 2000’s.

You either love it, or you’re completely devoid of joy and you need to go far, far away and contemplate where your life first went so wrong.

I’m pretty sure director Baz Luhrmann’s middle name is Wild Excess, and he’s operating in his sweet spot here, mixing swirling colors, high-kicking showgirl legs, and a never-cooler Ewan McGregor.

It all adds up to a 100-proof hit of sweet, candy-coated movie nirvana, which he injects straight into your veins.

Destroyer

Nicole Kidman gets nasty.

Covered in layers of grime, regret, and self-loathing, the porcelain one sinks deep into the mire as a woman on a mission, a bad cop who struggles to connect with her daughter, while living out her final days as an avenging angel driven by a need to brutally fix the mistakes of her past.

The scars run deep, some visible, others not.

An undercover assignment went wrong, really wrong, and now our mentally and morally troubled heroine is coming in hot, guns blazing, tongue lashing everyone in sight.

A powerhouse performer in her prime.