Film Review: FORCE MAJEURE Jan23

Film Review: FORCE MAJEURE

Force Majeure Written and Directed by Ruben Ostlund Starring: Johannes Kuhnke, Lisa Kongsli A Swedish family is on a ski vacation. They are enjoying lunch at an outdoor restaurant when it appears that an avalanche is rushing toward them. The father (Johannes Kuhnke) tells the family it is a controlled avalanche but moments later changes his mind, picks up his cell phone, and takes off. His wife (Kongsli) stays with the children under their table. (This was an extremely frightening scene, beautifully put together). Two things happen as a result of this incident: the father cannot admit he ran away and his wife cannot let go of both his...

Film Review: BIG EYES Jan16

Film Review: BIG EYES

BIG EYES Directed by Tim Burton Written by Scott Alexander and Larry Kraszewski Written by Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, Krysten Ritter Amy Adams, who seems adept at playing any part at this point, is Margaret Keane in BIG EYES. The movie begins with her fleeing her first abusive husband with her young daughter. She gets a job painting pictures on baby furniture, but her real love is painting oils of big-eyed children. When she sets up shop at a local art market, she meets Walter Keene, a painter of Paris street scenes but also a more entrepreneurial personality. Soon they are married and Walter quickly finds that her canvasses are the more...

Film Review: WILD Jan09

Film Review: WILD

WILD Directed by Jean-Marc Vallee Written by Nick Hornby, based on the book by Cheryl Strayed Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Gaby Hoffman, Thomas Sadoski This is the story of Cheryl Strayed (Witherspoon), who went into a tailspin after the death of her beloved mother (Dern), had affairs, took drugs, spun out of control. When her marriage collapses under the weight of her bad behavior, she decides to straighten herself out by hiking the Pacific Coast Trail entirely on her own and with very little hiking experience. The movie spends time on her relationship with her mother (which comes across as a little too fizzy to me), her bad...

Film Review: FOXCATCHER Jan02

Film Review: FOXCATCHER

FOXCATCHER Directed by Bennett Miller Written by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman Starring: Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Vanessa Redgrave FOXCATCHER tells the story of the relationship between John duPont (Carell) and two brothers, Dave and Mark Schultz (Tatum and Ruffalo), who he sees as the backbone of a dominant wrestling team for the 1988 Seoul Olympics. His hope for success in this endeavor is mostly based on his ability to provide a top-notch facility for wrestling and in paying the athletes to use it. He has no skills as a trainer or a wrestler although he believes himself to be a leader of men. He drags them all out to...

Film Review: TOP FIVE Dec19

Film Review: TOP FIVE

TOP FIVE Written and Directed by Chris Rock Starring: Chris Rock, Rosario Dawson, Gabrielle union, J. B. Smoove, Kevin Hart A few years ago, Chris Rock made an insightful movie called BAD HAIR. It looked at the impact that white culture’s ideas of beauty has on African-Americans, especially where hair is concerned. It was funny but also pithy. In that film, he served as the narrator rather than a character, a role that worked better for him. The same humor and pithyness is true with TOP FIVE, which also has some common plotting with the recent BIRDMAN. In both films, the stars (Keaton and Rock) have made their reputation from playing...