The Company You Keep (2012)

The Company You Keep
Director: Robert Redford
Writer: Lem Dobbs
Based on: Neil Gordon’s novel
Cast: Robert Redford, Shia LaBeouf, Julie Christie, Susan Sarandon, Nick Nolte, Chris Cooper, Terrence Howard, Stanley Tucci, Richard Jenkins, Anna Kendrick, Brendan Gleeson, Brit Marling, Sam Elliott

Plot:
30 years ago, The Weather Underground robbed a bank and shot a guard. Nobody was arrested. Now the FBI managed to arrest Sharon Solarz (Susan Sarandon). Her arrest has journalist Ben Shepard (Shia LaBeouf) digging into the story. He talks to lawyer Jim Grant (Robert Redford) who turns out to have been one of the Weathermen, Nick Sloan. Grant/Sloan goes on the run, but there seems to be more to the story than that.

The Weather Underground are certainly a topic that deserves discussion and cinematic treatment. Unfortunately this movie skirts the interesting bits and ends up being boring, unrealistic and self-congratulatory.

company_you_keep

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Red Riding Hood (2011)

Red Riding Hood is the newest movie by Catherine Hardwicke, starring Amanda Seyfried, Shiloh Fernandez, Max Irons, Virginia Madsen, Lukas Haas, Billy Burke, Julie Christie and Gary Oldman.

Plot:
As long as they can remember, the inhabitants of Daggerhorn have been living with a werewolf at their doorstep. A situation that imposes some restrictions on them but that they have learned to deal with. Valerie (Amanda Seyfried) lives a rather normal life in Daggerhorn. She’s in love with Peter (Shiloh Fernandez), though her family, especially her mother (Virginia Madsen), wants her to marry the rich Henry (Max Irons). So Valerie and Peter decide to run away. But before they’re able to go through with their plan, Valerie’s sister is killed by the werewolf, Father Solomon (Gary Oldman), a werewolf-hunting priest, shows up and things change quickly.

Red Riding Hood delivers mostly what it promises: uber-camp. The only problem is that its three leads in the love triangle (Seyfried, Fernandez, Irons) actually take this film seriously. I mean, not even the set designer did – but these three do and it is a little weird. But then Gary Oldman makes up for it all.

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New York, I Love You (2009)

New York, I Love You is a collection of short films, bundled together because they are all set in New York. The segments were directed by Fatih Akin, Yvan Attal, Allen Hughes, Shunji Iwai, Wen Jiang, Shekhar Kapur, Joshua Marston, Mira Nair, Natalie Portman and Brett Ratner, the transitions between the segments by Randall Balsmeyer. And in the various segments there were Justin Bartha, Rachel Bilson, Orlando Bloom, James Caan, Hayden Christensen, Julie Christie, Bradley Cooper, Shia LaBeouf, Andy Garcia, Ethan Hawke, John Hurt, Cloris Leachman, Blake Lively, Drea de Matteo, Natalie Portman, Maggie Q, Christina Ricci, Eli Wallach, Robin Wright and Anton Yelchin.
I’ll spare you and me the writers, but they are interesting, too. [Also, do not ask how long this paragraph has taken me to write and link. It is better not known for it shows my obsessive-compulsive qualities.]

Plot:
A young woman (Emilie Ohana) drives around New York with her video camera, capturing various stories and moments around her.

The single segments deserve their own reviews (mostly) [which I’ll do after the jump] but overall, I have to admit that I was mostly bored during this movie. The stories weren’t connected enough – I expected a more unifying theme – nor were they representative of New York (unless New York barely has any black, hispanic or Asian people and no none-cis gendered, none-hetero persons either). I think most of the segments would have worked beautifully as short films, but bundling them together to one feature film didn’t work out.

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pure beauty

Yesterday, I went to see Away From Her.  I think I did my crying for Febuary, now.

It was very beautiful, very touching, very calm and very well done. The casting was perfect. Julie Christie was amazing (and I hope that once in my life I look as beautiful as she does now), as well as Gordon Pinsent who left me wanting him as my grandfather, he’s so cute (some people may analyse now how never knowing my own grandfathers influenced me…). And of course, Olympia Dukakis.
I’m pretty sure that it’s a romanticised view of Alzheimer’s disease but I don’t think that it was meant to be an accurate description of it, which is fine. Sometimes escapism is a wonderful thing and if I really wanted to see Alzheimer’s in all its ugliness I could go to the next hospital or other institutions. (Which I never do because I’m scared shitless that I could get it and I’m really, really grateful for every movie which doesn’t make it seem so bad. Very sad, yes, but not so bad.)

My congratulations to Sarah Polley, I think she did a wonderful job.

Btw, Auden’s Letters from Iceland quoted throughout the movie sound like a beautiful read, this goes on my wishlist.