You Can Count on Me (2000)

You Can Count on Me
Director: Kenneth Lonergan
Writer: Kenneth Lonergan
Cast: Laura Linney, Mark Ruffalo, Matthew Broderick, Rory Culkin, Jon Tenney, J. Smith-Cameron, Gaby Hoffmann, Amy Ryan, Kenneth Lonnergan
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 21.10.2016

Plot:
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.

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Electrick Children (2012)

Electrick Children
Director: Rebecca Thomas
Writer: Rebecca Thomas
Cast: Julia Garner, Rory Culkin, Liam Aiken, Bill Sage, Cynthia Watros, Billy Zane
Part of: Viennale

Plot:
Rachel (Julia Garner) lives with her family in a religious, technology-abstaining community, headed by her father Paul (Billy Zane). One day, a tape recorder is introduced into their world and Rachel is fascinated by that technology. She sneaks out to listen to a music tape at night and is enraptured by that song. A short while later, Rachel appears to be pregnant. She believes that the voice of the tape recorder is the father and wants to find him, while her parents suspect her brother, Mr Will (Liam Aiken) instead. But Rachel decides that she has to find the guy the voice – and her child – belongs to and heads out into the real world.

Electrick Children was a really sweet film with an excellent cast and a nice soundtrack. The topic could have been easily turned into a very heavy thing, but instead Thomas keeps it light without shrinking from the hard questions.

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Twelve (2010)

Twelve is Joel Schumacher‘s adaptation of Nick McDonell‘s novel [my review here], starring Chace Crawford, Rory Culkin, Emma Roberts, Emily Meade, Philip Ettinger, Curtis Jackson (aka 50 Cent), Ellen Barkin and Kiefer Sutherland.

Plot:
Ever since his mother’s death, White Mike (Chace Crawford) and his father have had troubles. Now Mike is getting by by selling drugs, though he does stay away from the novelty drug Twelve. He rather leaves that to Lionel (Curtis Jackson) who got Mike’s Cousin Charlie (Jeremy Allen White) hooked on it.
At the same time, popular girl Sara (Esti Ginzburg) plans a birthday party at Chris’ (Rory Culkin) place, even though his slightly psycho brother Claude (Billy Magnussen) is home for an impromptu visit.

Twelve is the rare breed of film where Joel Schumacher is not the worst thing about it. In fact, the script [by Jordan Melamed] is worse than his direction – and that is a feat he deserves at least some recognition for. But not by having to watch the movie.

[SPOILERS for book and film]

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