Monos (2019)

Monos
Director: Alejandro Landes
Writer: Alejandro Landes, Alexis Dos Santos
Cast: Sofia Buenaventura, Julián Giraldo, Karen Quintero, Laura Castrillón, Deiby Rueda, Paul Cubides, Sneider Castro, Moises Arias, Julianne Nicholson
Seen on: 11.11.2019

Plot:
On top of a mountain, a group of teenagers train as soldiers, militia, visited only rarely by their commanding officer who leaves them with a cow and an abductee (Julianne Nicholson) to watch over. Their days are filled with training and exercise, their nights are more rambunctious. But it remains to be seen if their group can make it through all challenges.

Monos is visually stunning and interesting, but it didn’t develop quite the hypnotic quality for me that it aimed for and that would have been necessary for me to really get into it. Maybe it just caught me on the wrong day.

The film poster showing a great swirl of turquoise clouds, with a small horse and rider silhouetted against it.
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I, Tonya (2017)

I, Tonya
Director: Craig Gillespie
Writer: Steven Rogers
Cast: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney, Julianne Nicholson, Paul Walter Hauser, Bobby Cannavale, Bojana Novakovic, Caitlin Carver, Mckenna Grace
Seen on: 3.4.2018

Plot:
Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie) has trained all her life to become a figure skater, her mother Lavona (Allison Janney) always pushing her. But Tonya is seen as not refined enough by many people in the community. Nevertheless, Tonya manages to fight her way to some success. Her husband Jeff (Sebastian Stan) wants to see Tonya succeed at least as much as she does. When Tonya’s competitor Nancy Kerrigan (Catilin Carver) is attacked, suspicions fall on Tonya and Jeff.

I, Tonya is a strong film that tells a jawdropping story and showcases, once again, Robbie’s talent. It is a little uneven, but most of the time, it works extremely well.

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Black Mass (2015)

Black Mass
Director: Scott Cooper
Writer: Mark Mallouk, Jez Butterworth
Based on: Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill’s book Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob
Cast: Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dakota Johnson, Kevin Bacon, Peter Sarsgaard, Jesse Plemons, Rory Cochrane, David Harbour, Adam Scott, Corey Stoll, Julianne Nicholson, W. Earl Brown, Bill Camp, Juno Temple
Seen on: 11.11.2015

Plot:
Whitey Bulger (Johnny Depp) runs one of the more powerful crime syndicates in Boston. But he does have his rivals. That’s when ambitious FBI agent John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) approaches him. Connolly knows Bulger of old and he’s eager to make a name for himself, so he suggests that Bulger could become a FBI informant. That would give him more freedom in his affairs and it would help Connolly’s career by taking out plenty of bad guys – all of Bulger’s enemies.

Black Mass covers many years. Unfortunately it also feels like it lasts many, many years. It was such a boring film, I ultimately lost the battle against sleep and drifted of for a few minutes in-between.

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August: Osage County (2013)

August: Osage County
Director: John Wells
Writer: Tracy Letts
Based on: his play
Cast: Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Chris Cooper, Ewan McGregorMargo Martindale, Sam Shepard, Dermot Mulroney, Julianne Nicholson, Juliette Lewis, Abigail Breslin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Misty Upham

Plot:
When their father (Sam Shepard) dies, Barbara (Julia Roberts), Ivy (Julianne Nicholson) and Karen (Juliette Lewis) all gather home with their mother Violet (Meryl Streep). Everyone comes with their baggage: Barbara and her husband Bill (Ewan McGregor) are separated but haven’t told their family and their daughter Jean (Abigail Breslin) doesn’t deal very well. Ivy has a secret lover. Karen brings home her newest fiancé (Dermot Mulroney). And Violet, a mean-spirited pill-addict, likes to stir things up.

August: Osage County isn’t always easy to watch but it is always well-acted and engaging. Toward the end I thought that it got a little much but altogether it was a really good film.

augustosagecounty

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Brief Interviews with Hideous Men (2009)

Brief Interviews with Hideous Men
Director: John Krasinski
Writer: John Krasinski
Based on: David Foster Wallace’s short stories
Cast: Julianne Nicholson, John Krasinski, Timothy Hutton, Chris Messina, Max Minghella, Dominic Cooper, Will Arnett, Christopher Meloni, Denis O’Hare, Josh Charles, Bobby Cannavale, Rashida Jones

Plot:
Sara (Julianne Nicholson) recently broke up with her boyfriend Ryan (John Krasinski). To cope with the ensuing funk she starts an interview project she wants to use for her dissertation where she interviews various men or records conversations she overhears. The subjects of these interviews are varied but mostly they revolve around sex.

I thought that the film’s set-up was a little weird, focusing away from the interviewee’s and on to the interviewer as it does. That just didn’t work that well for me. But the cast was good and most of the respective interviews very nicely done.

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