Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Crisp Criticism - "The Walk", "Macbeth", "Faults", "Learning to Drive", "Miss You Already"

Julien Faddoul

The Walk *

The story of French high-wire artist Philippe Petit's attempt to cross the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in 1974.
Cartoony, unnecessary fictional adaptation of the famous event (considering the 2008 documentary Man on Wire is an infinitely better film). Zemeckis stages the walk itself with the virtuoso cinematic anxiety that one would expect from him, but the script and performances are cringe-worthy.

d – Robert Zemeckis
w – Robert Zemeckis, Christopher Browne   (Based on the Book by Philippe Petit)
ph – Dariusz Wolski
pd – Naomi Shohan
m – Alan Silvestri
ed – Jeremiah O’Driscoll
cos – Suttirat Anne Larlarb

p – Jack Rapke, Tom Rothman, Steve Starkey, Robert Zemeckis

Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ben Kingsley, Charlotte Le Bon, Ben Schwartz, James Badge Dale, Steve Valentine, Mark Camacho, Sergio Di Zio, Clément Sibony, Kwasi Songui, Melantha Blackthorne, Benedict Samuel, Jason Blicker, Larry Day, Karl Graboshas

Macbeth *

The Scottish play.
Like many current Shakespeare adaptations, this is more action-oriented than it need be, so that anything esoteric can be washed away through the ceremoniousness of cinema. As a film, it’s lush and baroque without adding anything new that previous adaptations haven’t already accomplished.

d – Justin Kurzel    
w – Jacob Koskoff, Michael Lesslie, Todd Louiso   (Based on the Play by William Shakespeare)
ph – Adam Arkapaw   
pd – Fiona Crombie
m – Jed Kurzel   
ed – Chris Dickens
cos – Jacqueline Durran

p – Iain Canning, Laura Hastings-Smith, Emile Sherman

Cast: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, David Thewlis, Paddy Considine, Jack Reynor, Sean Harris, Elizabeth Debicki, David Hayman, Barrie Martin

Faults **

A man who debunks mind control techniques as a profession must help a couple whose daughter has recently joined a cult.
A deliberately peculiar film with interesting passages, though the ending will infuriate some. It owes most of its staying power to its two leads.

wd – Riley Stearns
ph – Michael Ragen
pd – James Connelly
m – Heather McIntosh
ed – Sarah Beth Shapiro
cos – Emily Batson

p – Keith Calder, Jessica Wu, Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Cast: Leland Orser, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Chris Ellis, Jon Gries, Lance Reddick, Beth Grant, Cruz Flores, AJ Bowen, Nicholas Tucci

Learning to Drive *

As her marriage dissolves, a Manhattan writer takes driving lessons from a Sikh instructor with marriage troubles of his own.
Light comedy/drama; its premise is certainly contrived, but the gentleness does come through.

d – Isabel Coixet
w – Sarah Kernochan
ph – Manel Ruiz
pd – Dania Saragovia
m – Dhani Harrison, Paul Hicks
ed – Keith Reamer, Thelma Schoonmaker

p – Dana Friedman, Daniel Hammond

Cast: Ben Kingsley, Patricia Clarkson, Grace Gummer, Sarita Choudhury, Jake Weber, John Hodgman, Samantha Bee, Matt Salinger, Michael Mantell, Jonathan C. Kaplan

Miss You Already

The friendship between two life-long girlfriends is put to the test when one starts a family and the other falls ill.
Saccharine, awkwardly shot cancer drama with nothing perceptive to say on the subject and two hammy lead performances.

d – Catherine Hardwicke
w – Morwenna Banks
ph – Elliot Davis
pd – Amanda McArthur
m – Harry Gregson-Williams
ed – Philip J. Bartell
cos – Claire Finlay

p – Christopher Simon

Cast: Drew Barrymore, Toni Collette, Dominic Cooper, Jacqueline Bisset, Paddy Considine, Noah Huntley

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