Film Review: FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD May15

Film Review: FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD

FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD Directed by Thomas Vinterberg Written by Thomas Hardy (novel) and Dave Nicholls (screenplay) Starring: Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael Sheen, Tom Sturridge I don’t know if it was the late sixties curriculum or my particular English teacher, but we read a lot of Thomas Hardy in high school. His themes seemed to resonate with the ideals of a Christian high school. Characters were punished for sins both large or small in his novels. Or punished just for the heck of it. FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD was not one of the novels we read however. I also missed the seventies film so I went into the theater...

Film Review: EX MACHINA May01

Film Review: EX MACHINA

Ex Machina Written and Directed by Alex Garland Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Oscar Issac, Sonaya Mizuno I’m going to try to tell you how great this movie is without telling you exactly why. It’s the story of a young programmer, Caleb, (Gleeson) at a very large Internet company, who’s chosen to perform a Turing test on an humanoid (Vikander)created by the company’s creator, Nathan. (Issac). Caleb is flown to a remote island where his assignment is laid out for him. The humanoid is Ava and he will spend most of his time with her, assessing his employer’s success in advancing the technology, in...

Film Review: LE JOUR SE LEVE (DAYBREAK) Apr24

Film Review: LE JOUR SE LEVE (DAYBREAK)

LE JOUR SE LEVE (DAYBREAK) Directed by Marcel Carne Written by Jacques Viot Starring: Jean Gabin, Jules Berry, Jacqueline Laurent, Arletty LE JOUR SE LEVE debuted in 1939 and quickly ran into trouble. Almost immediately it fell into the hands of the Vichy regime and numerous changes were made to make it more palatable to fascist standards of the time. The film now making the rounds of art houses has been fully restored with all the missing parts reinstated. And what a terrific film it is. Gabin plays a sand-blaster in a working class French town who murders another man and barricades himself in his sixth floor room where he considers the...

Film Review: DANNY COLLINS Apr17

Film Review: DANNY COLLINS

DANNY COLLINS Directed and Written by Dan Fogelman Starring: Al Pacino, Annette Bening, Jennifer Garner, Christopher Plummer, Bobby Cannavale Has there ever been a movie about the life of a singer where an actor (or even someone dubbing for him) sang so little? I can’t think of one. In DANNY COLLINS, Al Pacino plays a washed-up rocker who now, at best, performs as a lounge act. He has a signature song but not much else. But when his agent (Plummer) brings him a recently discovered letter from John Lennon applauding Collins’ talent back in the seventies, Danny begins to examine his life. As he prepares to revive his career, he...

Film Review: WHILE WE’RE YOUNG Apr10

Film Review: WHILE WE’RE YOUNG

While We’re Young Written and Directed by Noah Baumbach Starring: Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Adam Driver, Amanda Seyfried, Charles Grodin The basic premise of WHILE WE’RE YOUNG seems oh, so familiar. A forty-something couple, male (Stiller) and female (Watts) yearn for the freedom they find in new twenty-something friends (Driver and Seyfried). Stiller also basks in the adulation Driver lays on him. What makes this film stand out is that Stiller doesn’t really appear burdened with any of the responsibilities you would expect at all. Nor does Watt. An exceedingly indulgent father-in-law (Grodin) finances their projects in...