Ela Bittencourt Movie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
4/4 82% The Tin Drum (Die Blechtrommel) (1980) In Volker Schlöndorff's restored version of his 1979 classic, Oskar Matzerath emerges as a tragic anti-hero, whose lustful imagination and prodigious magical gifts can't shield him from the juggernaut of war.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2012
4/4 80% Daisies (1967) The film's daisies are young girls who have reached pubescence, and are fully aware of their sexual power, but aren't ready to embrace it, so they test it first.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Jul 3, 2012
3.5/4 97% Oslo, August 31st (2012) The evocation of things ending suffuses the film with melancholy, as Anders increasingly becomes an observant rather than a participant in his own life.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Mar 19, 2012
3.5/4 94% Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters (2012) Ben Shapiro's goal isn't so much a comprehensive biopic as an in-the-moment snapshot of creative fervent.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Oct 29, 2012
3.5/4 86% Soft In The Head (2014) Nathan Silver captures the young-adult experience, particularly the agony of first sexual pangs, in films that deftly mix beguilement and repulsion. ‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Apr 17, 2014
3.5/4 100% The Vanquishing Of The Witch Baba Yaga (2014) The film becomes akin to variations on a theme, executed with visual finesse, and enhanced by its many rich textures.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Oct 12, 2014
3/4 76% Nymphomaniac: Volume I (2014) But whereas female sexuality was borderline vampiric in Antichrist, this time we're in more ambiguous, contextually richer terrain, where desire is complicated not only by love, but also by a deep need for self-determination, and pride.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2014
3/4 85% Abuse of Weakness (2014) Catherine Breillat's scripting of Maud as fatally distant from her family, willfully independent, but more believably abandoned, is haunting.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Oct 1, 2013
3/4 96% Burning Bush (2014) The decentralized narrative benefits from the film's original conception as a miniseries, with plenty of time to draw us into the morass that was the communist state.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Jun 8, 2014
3/4 92% Neither Heaven nor Earth (Ni le ciel ni la terre) (2016) Shot on digital video and emblazoned with such impressionistic effects as the visions captured by a night-vision camera, Neither Heaven Nor Earth is a contemporary ghost story that's both unabashedly mystical and thrillingly pulpy.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Jun 29, 2016
2.5/4 64% Far From Vietnam (Loin du Vietnam) (1967) Most problematic is the way in which the Vietnamese are romanticized, as if they had not fought for their livelihoods and land, visceral and specific, but for ideals alone. ‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Aug 24, 2013
2.5/4 56% La Rafle (2012) Sentimentality may make the movie's agony more digestible, but its darkness resists any glossing over of what isn't only France's, but Europe's painful legacy.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Nov 10, 2012
2.5/4 92% O Som ao Redor (Neighbouring Sounds) (2012) Kleber Mendonça Filho's Neighboring Sounds is a film one would love to like. ‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Mar 19, 2012
2.5/4 63% Philip Roth: Unmasked (2013) In spite of the film's exhaustive chronology, those who deduce from its title that they're in for an unveiling, or an unraveling, of a major literary figure may come out empty-handed.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Mar 13, 2013
2.5/4 72% American Promise (2013) The documentary's lack of a cohesive thesis may frustrate at times, but its power lies in its exposition of the mundane.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Sep 15, 2013
2.5/4 83% Aftermath (Poklosie) (2013) The film isn't so much about the moral atrophy of people who refuse to come to terms with their past as it is about cosmic karma passed from fathers to sons like an ancient curse.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2013
2/4 55% A Burning Hot Summer (2012) The Louis Garrel character's mixture of self-containment and alleged possessiveness over his wife fails to convince, if not to irritate.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Jun 25, 2012
100% The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach (1968) While the film is mostly focused on the music and the settings in which it was originally played, Anna Magdalena's voice guides us, providing the film's peculiar, illusive texture.‐ Hyperallergic
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2018
100% La Camioneta: The Journey of One American School Bus (2013) Kendall makes his documentary memorable by resisting the urge to give crime center stage. Instead he focuses on the lives being quietly and doggedly built, even if at a great risk.‐ Guernica
Read More | Posted Aug 7, 2018
100% Something Better To Come (2015) With a few painterly strokes, Hanna Polak's camera powerfully evokes the dump's hellish dimension. ‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Jun 5, 2015
100% Shirkers (2018) An irresistible mix of insouciance and precocious maturity. Much of its charm lies in Tan's ironic irreverence as the film's narrator.‐ Hyperallergic
Read More | Posted Feb 21, 2020
100% Shakedown (2018) A thrilling and also valuable film. The audience must take the imaginative leap and accept the contradicting identities that Weinraub presents, without insisting that they must cancel out.‐ Hyperallergic
Read More | Posted Feb 18, 2020
100% The End of Fear (2018) What of art then? Is its thrill ever about aesthetics alone? This question is just one of many raised by Barbara Visser's smart, approachable, and entertaining documentary The End of Fear.‐ Reverse Shot
Read More | Posted Aug 7, 2018
99% The Invisible War (2012) Kirby Dick shows a great commitment to the stories of individual women‐ House Next Door
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2012
99% Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019) Bong harnesses the torment that capitalist greed, deregulation, and gaping inequality have unleashed across the world, making Parasite's dystopian vision ring universally true.‐ Nylon
Read More | Posted Oct 15, 2019
98% In a Lonely Place (1950) In a Lonely Place isn't so much a straightforward thriller as it is a poignant psychological study of a person and a milieu, veiled as an atmospheric noir. ‐ Hyperallergic
Read More | Posted Feb 25, 2020
98% Rojo (2019) Dario Grandinetti's riveting performance as the vaguely menacing yet bureaucratic Claudio is a reminder that repulsive or unfathomable characters can be as fascinating as likable ones.‐ Hyperallergic
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2019
97% Gun Crazy (Deadly Is the Female) (1950) The film may have been a quaint display of American decency and small-town folksiness were it not for the electrifying and darker, more complex presence of Cummins.‐ Hyperallergic
Read More | Posted Feb 25, 2020
97% The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman's Portrait Photography (2017) Elsa Dorfman's work is ephemeral yet grand: using a giant 20" x 24" camera, that is now discontinued, Dorfman has produced some of the world's largest Polaroid images, showing that unwieldy technology does not need to be limiting when used imaginatively.‐ Frieze
Read More | Posted Aug 7, 2018
97% The Edge of Democracy (2019) Engrossing...‐ NPR
Read More | Posted Jun 20, 2019
97% The Cave (2019) Acute sociological tension mingles with the physical and psychological terror of bombings and of the chemical attack.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Dec 3, 2019
96% The Last of the Unjust (2014) Claude Lanzmann's film doesn't so much strive to elucidate the Shoah as to draw us into its infinite moral complexities.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Sep 18, 2013
94% Ouwehoeren (Meet the Fokkens) (2012) A prostitute's sexual freedom is a fiction; though this isn't news, the film confronts the issue with rawness and panache.‐ The L Magazine
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2018
94% Women Make Film: A New Road Movie Through Cinema (2018) Extensively researched and passionately told, at its best, Women Make Film: A New Road Movie Through Cinema is a jazzy, Whitmanian hymn in praise of collective female genius.‐ Hyperallergic
Read More | Posted Feb 27, 2020
93% Farewell, My Queen (2012) It might be that Marie still waits for a true incarnation, but Jacquot's pushing her beyond likeability is refreshing.‐ The L Magazine
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2018
93% Saint Maud (2020) Saint Maud's conjuration of wild daylight visions and spiritual torments skilfully blurs the line between a possible medical condition and outright madness, while also slyly suggesting that the film's heroine may in fact be possessed.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Oct 2, 2019
92% That Most Important Thing: Love (L'important c'est d'aimer) (1975) Zulawski's fluid, roving camera, favoring medium shots and close-ups, and accompanied by Georges Delerue's full-throated score, is so attentive to every pang, twinge, or slightest hint of agony that it seems to expose the characters' every nerve.‐ Film Comment Magazine
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2017
92% Life and Nothing More (La Vida y Nada Más) (2018) Esparza's vision of motherhood, as a fortress whose foundations must hold even on the shakiest of grounds, pulls us into a soaring emotional tide, and keeps us entranced, marveling at Williams's talent and charm as a non-professional actor.‐ Hyperallergic
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2018
92% Cold War (Zimna wojna) (2018) Poland has seen more than its share of war, and of the art and cinema of exile. Pawel Pawlikowski's latest feature, Cold War, is a spirited albeit flawed entry in this category.‐ Film Comment Magazine
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
91% Demon (2016) For a tale of repressed guilt, Demon sparkles with humor, reveling in the macabre.‐ Film Comment Magazine
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2016
91% Bacurau (Nighthawk) (2020) Mendonça and Dornelles's film is... an attempt to grapple with unspeakable, horrifying evil -- but an evil that must be understood in social and historical rather than biblical terms.‐ Harper's Magazine
Read More | Posted May 1, 2020
90% On Body and Soul (A Teströl és Lélekröl) (2018) There is a real tinge of sadness to On Body and Soul, which serves as a quaint allegory on dating in the age of Tinder: a hint that visiting mysterious strangers in our dreams is at times as close we get to intimacy.‐ Hyperallergic
Read More | Posted Nov 6, 2018
89% Gerhard Richter Painting (2012) Shows the process behind Richter's fancy free abstract paintings, but leaves the greater forces and themes that make him not only a famous or a rich painter but an important one unexamined.‐ The L Magazine
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2018
88% Post Mortem (2012) Post Mortem is only Larraín's second feature, but he has already proven a distinct style-an unmistakable deadpan-and an interest in political and personal utopias.‐ Reverse Shot
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2018
88% Scary Mother (2017) Scary Mother proves delightfully off-kilter, the dead seriousness of the social setting and the family conflict pierced by humorous or absurdist moments.‐ Cinema Scope
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
87% The Death of Louis XIV (La mort de Louis XIV) (2017) In the final scenes,... the painterly mise-en-scene and cinematography - golden and ochre hews, Venetian reds, soft camera focus and the glowing whiteness of doctors' caftans, illumined by multiple light sources a la Vermeer - turn death into a feast.‐ Frieze
Read More | Posted Aug 7, 2018
85% Vazante (2018) Thomas implausibly upholds the romantic trope of a doomed heroine.‐ Film Comment Magazine
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2018
85% Antiporno (Anchiporuno) (2017) Cruelty, masochism, parental abuse (in the painter's flashbacks) and schadenfreude of all kinds fuel this feverish op-art dream that turns on us at every corner.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2016
84% Mia Madre (2016) The film is a carefully measured and satisfying, albeit occasionally deaf-tone, suite of fleeting, dispersed impressions.‐ Slant Magazine
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2015
83% A Woman's Life (Une vie) (2017) The narrative is suffused with subtle yet piquant moral commentary.‐ Brooklyn Magazine
Posted Aug 7, 2018