Starring and written by Kelly O’Sullivan, an unexpected friendship is at the heart of director Alex Thompson’s latest comedy / drama Saint Frances.
Also starring Ramona Edith Williams, Charin Alvarez and Lily Mojekwu, the friendship in question is between a deadbeat nanny and the six-year old she’s responsible for looking after…
Right away I like the realness we get as soon as the trailer starts. I’m excited for what looks to be a beautiful friendship. It’ll be interesting to see how I feel about both Saint Frances and the different but also supposedly ‘saintly’ Saint Maud (2020).
William Drain, Laura T. Fisher, Mary Beth Fisher, Francis Guinan, Lily Mojekwu and Bradley Grant Smith also star.
Based on true stories, Lost Girls stars Amy Ryan as Mari Gilbert. Gilberts’s daughter Shannan disappears, and police inaction drives her to investigate into the gated Long Island community where Shannan was last seen. Her search soon brings attention to an even more grim reality…
Directed by Liz Garbus; additional key cast includes Gabriel Byrne, Dean Winters, Thomasin McKenzie Lola Kirke…
It seems quite clear that Dean Winters’s character isn’t all he ought to be. I’m in for the mystery, plus the great performances by all, especially Ryan and Byrne.
Kevin Corrigan, Miriam Shor, Oona Laurence, Reed Birney, Austyn Johnson, Rosal Colon, Molly Brown, Haskiri Velazquez, Jimi Stanton and Harvey B. Jackson also star.
The Lighthouse, a fantasy / drama / horror about two lighthouse keepers struggling to maintain their sanity while living on a remote, mysterious New England island is a movie that noticeably builds and builds; especially where the tensions between its two characters is concerned. It also becomes more and more intriguing, fantastical and has a permeating sense of dread as it plays, resulting in an ending that makes sense but also left me with some questions.
I definitely can’t deny overall that writer / director Robert Eggers’s 1890s set film is a good one. I enjoyed the cinematography, some of the dialogue and definitely the great performances by Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe. In terms of how I feel about Eggers’s movie in its entirety, for reasons that include the film’s genre (fantasy especially) and the general loudness based on the sounds and noises the two men had to endure; plus the inclusion of much of the less than sanitary / unsavoury aspects of being a lighthouse keeper in the 1800’s, I can’t say that I loved The Lighthouse.
Should you find yourself quite curious, give it a chance because it’s unlike most. It also has that stage play quality, likely due to the dialogue style and single setting. Who knows, you may just find yourself far more enthused by the whole experience overall than I was.
I know for sure that during the movie and when it was over, I desperately wanted to believe that the job and experience of being a lighthouse keeper these days is quite different; at the very least, far more sanitary.
Reese Witherspoon, Kerry Washington and Joshua Jackson are the stars of Little Fires Everywhere, a new drama / mini-series based on Celeste Ng’s best selling novel of the same name.
Set in Shaker Heights, Ohio in the 1990s, and also starring Rosemarie DeWitt, Jordan Elsas, Jaime Ray Newman and Jade Pettyjohn, this is the story of two families brought together by their children…
There are quite a few things I like about this already. Firstly, not just Witherspoon but Witherspoon playing someone who doesn’t seem to be nice. I also like the pairing of Washington and Witherspoon together; the kind of pairing that has me looking forward to the 2020 The Hollywood Reporter Actress Roundtables on YouTube. I love those!
Then there’s, Jackson; something about the sound of his voice and general cadence is very much like music to my ears.
InBlack and Blue, the latest action / drama starring Naomie Harris, Harris plays a rookie police officer whose body camera captures a corrupt cop shooting a drug dealer. What I hoped would have followed is a truly engrossing, gritty and desperate race against time to get the footage in the right hands.
The race and subsequent pursuit does happen. It’s just that the end result isn’t as gripping as I’d hoped. The acting isn’t bad, but the story and execution certainly could have been stronger. Especially since soon after the film started and throughout, it felt as though something important was missing, and nothing refreshingly clever and / or new happened.
I really wanted Black and Blue to join Training Day (2001) on my list of favourite cop movies. However, even though both films share commonalities in theme / story, the gap between the two movies is simply too large – because Training Day is far more engrossing, cleverly written and well executed. Plus, Ethan Hawke’s character didn’t make any decisions that had me mad. Whereas Harris’s character did some thing’s that could hardly be excused by her rookie status. Or maybe I’ve simply watched too many cop movies.
I did actually like aspects of the way Black ad Blue handled Harris’s character’s ‘identity crisis,’ which really says more about her acting than anything else. Also, there were moments within Black and Blue that had me thinking, ‘Yes! This is when things really get good‘. But the movie never went to the point of having a scene that I could choose as my favourite moment.
Watch it if you’re super curious. Otherwise, maybe just rewatch Training Day.
Starring Kelvin Harrison Jr., Sterling K. Brown, Taylor Russell, Alexa Demie and Lucas Hedges, Waves is a coming of age, raw, emotional and sometimes funny drama / romance centred around the teenage children of a couple in modern day America.
I liked the way Waves opened; the colours, camera angles and music, all of which worked to remind us of the seemingly carefree youthful abandon of late adolescence. As hectic, bright and beautiful as those moments were, it’s not too long before you realise that everything isn’t quite right. Tensions become apparent and it’s clear something is going to change – and not in a good way.
Tyler (Harrison Jr.) is a promising and troubled high school athlete unable to truly open up to his parents, so he suffers behind closed doors. His younger sister Emily (Taylor Russell) who seems to fade into the background much of the time certainly doesn’t have the focus of her parents – especially her father; at least not the the way her brother does. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s Tyler’s troubles that end up tragically and irrevocably altering the lives of more than just his immediate family.
Considering the themes of familial tragedy and some very modern / American issues, it’s unsurprising that I shed a few tears as Waves played. Particularly because of the very real and raw way writer / director Trey Edward Shults’s film captures the emotional turmoil suffered by its characters. Some of it so heartbreaking that I have to liken certain moments to having to watch an inevitable car crash while being completely unable to help.
Waves is the kind of movie you watch for the film making artistry, great acting and the ways it beautifully and realistically captures some of the most delightful and heartbreaking events in the lives of teenagers and parents in modern America. You will laugh and smile, be very concerned but also often moved by the generosity of spirit displayed before you.
‘Long’ is another word to describe this movie. It’s not quite the bladder busting 3.5 hour length of The Irishman (2019). However, by the half way point in Shults’s well-captured and highly affecting movie, you’ll think ‘Yeah, I think it’s wrapping up now.’ Except it doesn’t wrap up because that’s when act two – or more fittingly, ‘the second wave’ begins. And sit back you must, because you’re going to need what it has to tell you, especially after the tragedy of ‘the first wave’.