Plot: John (Viggo Mortensen) is bringing his father Willis (Lance Henriksen) to his home, where his husband Eric (Terry Chen) and their daughter (Gabby Velis) are waiting for them. Willis has trouble remembering things, adding another thing that complicates the father-son relationship. Having Willis over certainly makes John reflect on what it was like growing up with the younger Willis (Sverrir Gudnason) and his mother Gwen (Hannah Gross). And the question remains: can the two find a way to bridge the chasm between them.
Falling is Mortensen’s directorical debut – and it certainly doesn’t feel like a debut, it is so self-assured. But I have a hard time getting excited about what feels like the billionth film about a man working out his daddy issues.
Plot: Molly (Elle Fanning) has a big day planned with her father Leo (Javier Bardem). They have two doctor’s appointments, which is quite a challenge for and with Leo as he has early onset dementia. Molly does her best, but not everything works well – neither with Leo nor with her job that she is neglecting for her father. Meanwhile Leo is living alternative lives that make him re-examine the biggest life choices he made.
The Roads Not Taken is a beautifully acted, interesting film that focused too much on Leo for me – and not enough on Molly.
Paul (Steve Coogan), a history teacher, and his wife Claire (Laura Linney) are meeting Paul’s brother Stan (Richard Gere), a successful politician, and his second wife Katelyn (Rebecca Hall) for dinner. Paul obviously doesn’t want to go, he doesn’t actually like Stan a lot and he’s struggling with his mental health. But something happened that involves Paul and Claire’s son, as well as Stan’s kids from his first marriage. And the four present parents need to decide what to do about what happened.
The Dinner managed to completely dismantle white, rich privilege without ever leaving the privileged perspective. Nothing in this film is okay, but it is worth looking at the issues exactly because of that.
Art gallery owner Susan Morrow (Amy Adams) receives a package in the mail. It contains the draft of her ex-husband Edward Sheffield’s (Jake Gyllenhaal) new novel and the information that he is in town and would like to meet her. Susan hasn’t spoken to him in almost 20 years and she is surprised by the novel and the meeting, but she starts to read the novel that was apparently inspired by her. It tells the story of Tony Hastings (Jake Gyllenhaal) who goes on a roadtrip with his wife Laura (Isla Fisher) and daughter India (Ellie Bamber) – a roadtrip that turns violent when they get into trouble with another car and its passengers.
Nocturnal Animals is a highly polished film that tells a story that goes under the skin. It’s definitely not a film that lets go of you easily, even if not everything about it works without a hitch.
Sammy (Laura Linney) and Terry (Mark Ruffalo) have always been close as siblings, but ever since Terry left their small hometown, they only rarely see each other. Now Terry is back and Sammy is overjoyed, as is her son Rudy (Rory Culkin). But the reason Terry is back is quite prosaic – he needs money and would prefer to get it an leave pretty immediately. But as he connects with Rudy and re-connects with Sammy, he ends up staying longer than intended.
Watching You Can Count on Me so shortly after Manchester by the Sea was an intersting experience, as it both reveals how much time Lonnergan has spent circling around pretty similar themes and how much he has grown as a filmmaker. You Can Count on Me is by no means a bad movie, but compared to Manchester, it’s nowhere near as polished.
Truman (Jim Carrey) is living an absolutely ordinary life as an insurance salesman in a small town. His wife Meryl (Laura Linney) is a nurse and they are reasonably happy together and may have children soon. So far, so good. What Truman doesn’t know is that Meryl’s name is actually Hannah Gill. She’s an actress and he is the star of a reality TV show that has been chronicling his life since birth. Everything around him is TV – everything but Truman. Bit by bit, though, things are falling apart and Truman is starting to doubt.
It’s been years, probably a decade, that I saw The Truman Show and while the technology has changed a lot in that time, the film is still remarkably current. Plus, it is simply a good film.
Sherlock Holmes (Ian McKellen) is getting old. His mind starts failing him, but he knows that he still has one last open case that he wants to finish. So from his quite farmhouse, where he lives with the housekeeper Ms Munro (Laura Linney) and her son Roger (Milo Parker), he tries to comb his memory for the clues he missed back then. Curious Roger meanwhile manages to become a kind of confidant for Sherlock as they tend to the bees together and Sherlock tells him everything he remembers about the case.
Mr Holmes wasn’t bad, exactly, but it was pretty boring and rather sexist, so the good parts of the film didn’t really work out for me either.
Dean (Christopher Thornton) used to be a successful DJ until an accident puts him in a wheelchair permanently. Now Dean is homeless, mostly depressed and it is made impossible for him to work. But then two things happen that change Dean’s life from one day to the next: One, Ariel (Juliette Lewis) asks Dean to work with her band, led by eccentric The Stain (Orlando Bloom), And two, after being introduced to the world of faith healing by Father Joe (Mark Ruffalo), Dean discover that he actually has the power to heal people – everyone but himself.
Sympathy for Delicious consists of many good parts, but it lacks a bit of adhesive between those parts. Nevertheless it is a very nice watch.
When Daniel (Daniel Brühl) meets Julian (Benedict Cumberbatch) he is more than excited: Daniel has been keeping track of Julian’s hacking work and the WikiLeaks site he instated: a perfectly anonymous option for whistleblowers. Daniel wants to work with Julian and Julian lets him in, reluctantly at first. But soon their project gets bigger than they ever expected.
The Fifth Estate was an entertaining movie with a few lenghts and a disturbing subtitle-phobia. The cast was absolutely awesome, though.
Daisy (Laura Linney) lives a quiet life, taking care of her mother. But all that changes when she gets an invitation to visit her cousin, Franklin D. Roosevelt (Bill Murray), President of the United States of America. They hit it off and quickly become friends, and more. But while FDR is hosting the King (Samuel West) and Queen (Olivia Colman) of England, Daisy has to realize that she is not the only woman in FDR’s life.
This film could have been very great, if the writer and/or the director had been a woman. Or at least able to take a female perspective. Unfortunately, the film completely fails in that regard, which destroyed it in its entirety.