Brian De Palma

The Cruelty of Growing Up: Carrie

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As far as formative experiences go, high school is one of the big ones. There is nothing like the stress of trying to fit in, one of those age old stories that effectively describes humanity cruelty to one another and to the Other. You could argue that, from high school on, everything is the same, just perhaps more brutal and more overt in this enormous seeming microcosm with deadly fluorescent lights. But no one is deadlier than Carrie White, whose special powers render others to be lifted up or to be thrown into deep peril. In Kimberly Pierce’s adaptation of Stephen King’s breakout novel Carrie, the director and screenwriters Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Lawrence D. Cohen update high school Hell to contemporary times, offering a middling depiction of the bitch of growing up and finding empowerment.

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2012 in Film: #52 – The Untouchables

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2012 in Film: #52

The Untouchables (1987) | Directed by Brian De Palma

Grade: B+

Thoughts: Paying homage to classic gangster flicks from the likes of Wilder and Hawks, De Palma’s gem is just as its title suggests in terms of quality and stunning performances. After having seen the “Odessa Steps” sequence parodied and recreated so many times, it’s a rare film like this that can pull it off with such elegance.