What They Had stars Hilary Swank, Michael Shannon, Bythe Danner and Josh Lucas in a story about a woman who returns home and must confront her past after her Alzheimer’s-stricken mother wanders into a blizzard.
What They Had is written / directed by Elizabeth Chomko…
Considering the great cast, I’m quite sure this will be a good movie. The question for me is how badly I’ll want to see it bearing in mind the dark subject matter – and having already seen Still Alice (2014), a really good movie about dementia.
I probably will end up watching this as long as the mood strikes just right. It helps that Blythe Danner is a key character. I’ve always liked her ever since Meet The Parents (2000).
Taissa Farmiga, Aimee Garcia, Robert Forster, Jay Montepare and Anna Kabis also star.
Set in Cold War era America, circa 1963, director Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape Of Water is an other-worldly fairy tale and fantasy / romance about a lonely mute called Elisa. Played beautifully by Sally Hawkins, Elisa falls in love with ‘amphibian man’, a sea creature captured for a secret classified experiment due to take place at Elisa’s work building where she cleans.
Featuring good performances by all, including Octavia Spencer, Richard Jenkins and Michael Shannon, I found Hawkinsto be particularly captivating as Elisa. Her great performance along with the beautiful visuals, filming style – the way the camera barely stood still combined with the editing and pacing managed to keep me engaged.
The Shape Of Water is generally a well executed movie. Nevertheless, I’m not as enthused post viewing as I thought I might be. I understand the film’s message about love and how there are near to zero limitations in terms of where one can find it. Still, perhaps it’s just the kind of film, though good, it doesn’t inspire a certain level of excitement within me. It could have something to do with not really seeing myself ever falling in love with ‘amphibian man’. It could also be that the ‘love can be found anywhere’ message is one I’d already fully digested. Lastly, maybe I loved the first half more than I did the second half, where things got really serious. Yes, that may be it. I think I had more fun when Elisa was happy and tap-dancing in her corridor!
Richard Strickland’s (Shannon) voice and suit before the true nature of his character is revealed, the capabilities of ‘amphibian man’ and Hawkins’ performance are my favourite things about The Shape Of Water.
Watch it if you’re curious. Maybe you’ll be more wowed and enthused than I. It is the Best Picture Academy Award winner after all.
Starring Michael B. Jordan, Michael Shannon and Sofia Boutella, Fahrenheit 451 is set in a future where all books must be destroyed. Jordan plays Guy Montag, a fireman whose job it is to eradicate all books.
Unbeknownst to his superiors, Montag begins to question his actions after meeting a little girl…
A world where books are no longer a thing? How can one not be intrigued? It seems near enough ridiculous that such a predicament should truly come to pass. I say I have no issues with such a reality as long as it remains purely fiction, of course.
Directed by Ramin Bahrani; Keir Dullea, Martin Donovan, Lilly Singh, Grace Lynn Kung and Sean Jones also star.
Michael Shannon, Ron Perlman, Thomas lennon and Christina Hendricks are the stars of Pottersville, a Seth Henrikson directed comedy about a beloved local businessman who gets mistaken for the legendary Bigfoot. An international Bigfoot media spectacle soon follows along with a windfall of tourism dollars for his simple American town hit by hard times…
I’m not sure what to make of this one. Seems silly but I’m hoping in a good way because I’m looking forward to some amusement and the generally christmassy vibe this trailer seems to promise. Also I can’t help but think that this can’t be that bad since Michael Shannon’s in it, right?
Ian McShane, Judy Greer, Michael Torpey and Blake Perlman also star.
Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, The Current War is the story of the cutthroat race between electricity titans Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse to determine whose electrical system would power the modern world. Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Shannon, Nicholas Hoult and Tom Holland star…
I find this trailer somewhat over stylised. Nevertheless, there’s just too much impressive talent involved. And I definitely don’t just mean the actors. I can’t wait to see how people battled for market share back then compared to the tech giants of today.
I wonder if The Current War will come close to replacing The imitation Game (2014)as my favourite Benedict Cumberbatch movie. I think not but I’m open to pleasant surprises.
Ekow Quartey, Tuppence Middleton and Matthew Macfadyen make up additional supporting cast.
Lonely Elisa (Sally Hawkins) works in a hidden high-security government laboratory and is trapped in a life of silence and isolation. Her life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment. Also starring Michael Shannon, Michael Stuhlbarg and Doug Jones, The Shape Of Water is an other-worldly fairy tale set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1963…
Director Guillermo del Toro is all the reason I need to watch this one, but I’ll add the cast and the intriguing ‘secret experiment’ to the list. For some reason, when I read the words ‘high-security government laboratory’ and ‘secret classified experiment,’ Captain America – The First Avenger (2011) came to mind.
Nocturnal Animals which stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Amy Adams, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Michael Shannon and Isla Fisher is the second movie from fashion designer / movie director, Tom Ford. As an appreciator of Ford’s clearly wide-ranging creative abilities and a fan of the film’s highly talented cast, I was excited even before seeing the teaser trailer.
Without any doubt, Nocturnal Animals is a film well done, especially in terms of the actors and all that they were able to convey ever so convincingly. The story is engaging and it certainly left me incredibly grateful for my circumstances and experiences to date. However, even though the synopsis for Nocturnal Animals explains that ‘a wealthy gallery owner is haunted by her ex-husband’s novel, a violent thriller she interprets as a symbolic revenge tale’, I still didn’t expect the nature of the very dark turn everything took quite early on in this movie.
Approximately fifteen minutes into Nocturnal Animals, I started to wonder if I was going to be able to continue watching further. Reason being, what was happening on screen was so intense, uncomfortable and scary, for anyone, butespecially from the point of view of a young female.
I enjoyed the cinematography and all the performances. I even found myself feeling particularly happy for Gyllenhaal because he got to play a character more vulnerable than any he’d ever played before. And since I’d become so used to seeing his characters mostly in control in his movies, seeing him with very little control made me want to stop watching and switch over to a movie where the people he played had more power. I.e. Nightcrawler (2014). I think this means 1) that I don’t enjoying watching suffering and 2) I may be too attached to my favourite actors and I mostly prefer to see them in roles where they get to win.
As a fan of his great work in Nowhere Boy (2009)especially, I’d also become comfortable with liking the characters played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Thanks to the Nocturnal Animals trailer, I knew that liking Taylor-Johnson’s character in Ford’s movie wasn’t going to happen, but my oh my did he play his role well.
In terms of the things I liked less about this movie, a part of me found the music and what looked like stills of the clouds / landscape a tad annoying. Also, some of the editing towards the end had me wishing that the story was told in a more traditional style, if only so I could follow things better. But my reaction to these seemingly little annoyances is nothing compared to how I felt immediately after the ending. ‘No! Mr Ford, No!’ I screamed as I slapped the wall to my right with frustration. ‘Are you really ending it there? I’m so mad at you for ending it there! Aaaaaaarrrrggg!!!’ Damn it, Tom! Nooooooooooooooo…! I continued for a good four minutes.
Maybe you won’t have reactions as strong as mine from beginning to end. But the best reasons for watching Nocturnal Animals include the brilliant performances and another presentation of Tom Ford’s enviable and inspiring creative gifts.