Movies Update: ‘The Card Counter’ and More

Plus, the must-see films from the fall festivals

Author Headshot

By Stephanie Goodman

Film Editor

Hi, film fans!

The fall festival season is now in full swing, and in the last week you could find our critics and reporters in Telluride, Venice and Toronto.

In Colorado, among the films A.O. Scott discovered was “Petite Maman,” from Céline Sciamma (“Portrait of a Lady on Fire”). It revolves around two 8-year-old girls living in similar houses in the woods, but he didn’t give anything else away, calling the picture “exquisite and strange.” That’s another addition to my ever-growing list of must-sees this season.

In Venice, Kyle Buchanan reported on “The Lost Daughter,” the latest entry in the genre that’s come to be known as “resort horror” (a term coined by the Vulture critic Alison Willmore). Think “The White Lotus” or “Nine Perfect Strangers” — getaways gone wrong. “The Lost Daughter,” which also happens to be Maggie Gyllenhaal’s feature directing debut, is adapted from an Elena Ferrante novel and stars Olivia Colman as a British professor coming undone on a trip to Greece. Why are we getting so many of these projects? Our columnist’s theory: “Rich people in Hollywood go on lots of vacations. They write what they know!”

As for Toronto, Manohla Dargis will file her report next week. In the meantime, enjoy the movies!



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Jeremy Mackie/Shout! Studios

‘Language Lessons’ Review: Who’s Zooming Who?

Natalie Morales and Mark Duplass play a teacher and student in this found-footage story of a long-distance friendship.

By A.O. Scott

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Vertical Entertainment

‘Small Engine Repair’ Review: Of Mechanics and Men

John Pollono directs and stars in an adaptation of his play that adds depth to the original text but also struggles in its translation from stage to screen.

By Maya Phillips

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Faye Murman/Discovery+

‘No Responders Left Behind’ Review: Heroes Need Heroes Too

John Feal works tirelessly as an advocate for rescuers injured or sickened in the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and their aftermath.

By Nicolas Rapold

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Elliott Erwitt/Magnum Photos/Greenwich Entertainment

‘The Capote Tapes’ Review: New Narratives and Unanswered Prayers

This documentary adds some material to the tragic tale of a great American writer, but also teases at what it can’t deliver.

By Glenn Kenny

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Jonathan Griffith/Red Bull Media House/Roadside Attractions

‘The Alpinist’ Review: Dizzying Heights

This documentary tries to shed light on the attitude of a Canadian rock climber it describes as “elusive.”

By Ben Kenigsberg

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IFC Films

‘Dating & New York’ Review: Texts and the City

A winning cast helps sell a too-familiar premise about commitment-phobic millennials.

By Ben Kenigsberg

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STX Films

‘Queenpins’ Review: Suburban Scammers

Two cash-strapped neighbors devise a multimillion-dollar coupon swindle in this mildly entertaining comedy.

By Jeannette Catsoulis

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Sarah Shatz/Apple TV+

‘Come From Away’ Review: Looking for Light in Somber Times

The filmed version of this Broadway musical lands on Apple TV+ to deliver hope and kindness.

By Elisabeth Vincentelli



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Lilies Films

Critic’s Notebook

At the Telluride Film Festival, Both Magic and Normalcy

In movies as different as “King Richard,” about Venus and Serena Williams’s father, and “Petite Maman,” filmmakers can’t stop thinking about children.

By A.O. Scott

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Yannis Drakoulidis/Netflix

the Projectionist

Venice Film Festival: Elena Ferrante, Olivia Colman and Resort Horror

“The Lost Daughter,” like “The White Lotus” and “Nine Perfect Strangers,” takes its characters on vacation but they’re hardly getting away.

By Kyle Buchanan

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Sarah Palmer

‘The Contender’ Lit Me on Fire. Now It’s a Cringe Factory.

A movie about a female senator navigating a sex scandal felt revolutionary when a writer saw it in 2000. But its stab at feminism feels clumsy now.

By Taffy Brodesser-Akner

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Joel C Ryan/Invision, via AP

The Projectionist

Venice Film Festival: Tim Blake Nelson Gets the Lead. Someone Send Him a Tux.

The veteran character may have been featured in Coen brothers movies, but for a small western, he’s the one who is working hard to get it seen.

By Kyle Buchanan

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Gabrielle Russomango

The Next Act for Marcel the Shell (and Jenny Slate)

The internet’s favorite mollusk is the subject of a new film. In the process of making it, she realized, “I was doing something that actually was very personal.”

By Nicole Sperling

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Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

My Ten

Mark Duplass Can’t Get Enough of ‘Rocky II’

The filmmaker and star of “Language Lessons” discusses his teenage education in indie cinema and the screenwriting lessons in “Waiting For Godot.”

By Kathryn Shattuck


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