Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Crisp Criticism - "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)", "Unbroken", "Into the Woods"

Julien Faddoul

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) **

A fading actor, best known for his portrayal of a popular superhero, attempts to mount a comeback by appearing in a Broadway play.
A basically unconvincing story becomes piquant through its execution: Simulated to appear, for the most part, like one long shot with its excellent ensemble cast generating a world full of anxiety, bitchiness and indecency as they travel through the hallways of the St. James Theatre. It’s director’s attempt, however, to bang the drum loudly in search of emotional significance, is a bust.

d – Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
w – Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr, Armando Bo
ph – Emmanuel Lubezki
pd – Kevin Thompson
m – Antonio Sanchez
ed – Douglas Crise, Stephen Mirrione
cos – Albert Wolsky

p – Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, John Lesher, Arnon Milchan, James W. Skotchdopole

Cast: Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Zach Galifianakis, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Lindsay Duncan, Merritt Wever

Unbroken *

A chronicle of the life of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner who was taken prisoner by Japanese forces during World War II.
Extremely dull, handsomely shot “prestige picture” that exhibits a mostly listless view of cinematic technique. One gets the feeling that its director focused on the wrong portions of this story.

d – Angelina Jolie
w – Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, Richard LaGravenese, William Nicholson   (Based on the Book by Laura Hillenbrand)
ph – Roger Deakins
pd – Jon Hutman
m – Alexandre Desplat
ed – William Goldenberg, Tim Squyres
cos – Louise Frogley

p – Matthew Baer, Angelina Jolie, Erwin Stoff, Clayton Townsend, Thomas Tull 

Cast: Jack O'Connell, Domhnall Gleeson, Miyavi, Garrett Hedlund, Finn Wittrock, Jai Courtney, Luke Treadaway, Travis Jeffery, Jordan Patrick Smith

Into the Woods *

A witch conspires to teach important lessons to various characters of popular children's stories including Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel.
Uninspired adaptation of a great musical that was, on the stage, a lamenting meditation on the dissatisfactions of adulthood. The film is more like the average Disney live-action picture, despite its fairly game cast.

d – Rob Marshall
w – James Lapine   (Based on the Musical by James Lapine, Stephen Sondheim)
ph – Dion Beebe
pd – Dennis Gassner
m/ly – Stephen Sondheim
ed – Wyatt Smith
cos – Colleen Atwood

p – Rob Marshall, John DeLuca, Callum McDougall, Marc Platt

Cast: Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Tracey Ullman, Christine Baranski, Johnny Depp, Lilla Crawford, Daniel Huttlestone, MacKenzie Mauzy, Billy Magnussen, Tammy Blanchard, Lucy Punch, Annette Crosbie, Joanna Riding, Frances de la Tour, Richard Glover, Simon Russell Beale

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