Friday, January 31, 2014

Labor Day

My ViewLabor Day (2013)  PG-13  Adele (Kate Winslet) is a depressed single mom who lives with her 13 year-old son (Gattlin Griffith) in an isolated home. While shopping, they encounter Frank (Josh Brolin), a hurt fugitive running from the law. He forces them to take him to their home and hide him over the Labor Day weekend.  Kate Winslet is the reason to see this film as she gives another one of her multilayered performances that makes you sit up and take notice.  I liked Josh Brolin as the fugitive who insists that he is innocent, but Winslet, with her performance of the broken down Adele, is what makes this movie work.  Jason Reitman, who directed one of my favorite films of the last ten years, Up In The Air (2009), does a masterful job of making this film feel incredibly intimate. The film goes from being a suspense film to one that is really a romantic love story in the end.  I would have given a higher rating to this film if it had ended earlier as there is an epilogue that brings the film down a bit.  My Rating:  Bargain Matinee  Labor Day Website

IndiefestAt Middleton (2013) R  George (Andy Garcia) is a stodgy heart surgeon  who takes his son to his alma mater, Middleton, for a tour of the campus. Edith (Vera Farmiga) is a free spirit of a mom who takes her daughter to Middleton for the same tour. While their teenagers are taking the tour, the two very different adults spend the day together – a day that they will never forget.  This is a very uneven romantic film which has a number of good scenes but, in the end, is brought down by its attempt to add drama to the mix.  I really enjoyed the chemistry between Farmiga and Garcia, as the unlikely couple is intrigued enough with each other to spend the day together.  Farmiga is very funny, especially when we are getting to know her in early scenes.  She has this high energy that works very well with the very stodgy Garcia.  There is a scene in the middle of the film where the two stumble on an acting class that just brings down the tone. The scene becomes a very heavy drama piece, and it appears put there just to prove the main characters' acting abilities.  I did like Taissa Farmiga, who plays Edith’s headstrong and very determined daughter.  This is one of those films you just wish was a little bit more lighthearted.  My Review : Full Price  At Middleton Info

IndiefestThe Past  (2013) PG-13  Ahmad (Ali Mosaffa) has been separated from his wife (Berenice Bejo) for four years after he moved back to Iran. He comes back to Paris to sign the divorce papers and find out if he still has feelings for her.  This is a brilliant film about a family dealing with their past and the life changing choices that they have made.  Berenice Bejo is the centerpiece of this film, and she  takes a role that could have been shrill and hated, and makes it one where we sympathize with her character.  It’s a complex film that has many twists and turns.  Some of the mysteries of the family's past are solved, but even those are not resolved cleanly or clearly.  This film is interesting filled with complex characters you may not like but will want to spend time with.  My Rating:  Full Price  The Past Website

Forgotten FilmParis, Texas  (1984) R  This film, directed by Wim Wenders and written by Sam Shepherd, is a film about loss.  We first meet Travis (Harry Dean Stanton) as he wanders out of the desert after being mysteriously gone for four years.  After collapsing at a gas station, Travis’s brother, Walt (Dean Stockwell), comes to pick him up.  Walt and his wife have been taking care of Travis’s son, Hunter (Hunter Carson), after Travis’s wife dropped him off with them several years ago.  The film explores the need for family and for redemption, when Travis tries to reconnect with his son.  It’s a film that is beautifully shot, and Harry Dean Anderson gives the performance of his life. The film becomes a road picture when Travis decides to take Hunter back to his mom.  It’s a wonderfully sad movie that perfectly captures a man trying to do the right thing to make up for the sins of his past. My Rating:  Full Price  Paris, Texas Info

In Case You Missed It (A Film Just Released on DVD/Blu-ray)Blue Jasmine (2013) PG-13  I was one of the few critics around the country who did not like this film.  Blancett will win this year’s Oscar for Best Actress, but I did not like the fact that there was no character growth throughout the film.  My Rating:  Cable  Blue Jasmine Website

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Lone Star (2013):  Food Stylist

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near YouWalk of Shame (2014)  R  Elizabeth Banks plays a reporter who has an interview for her dream job.  The only problem, she is stranded in downtown L.A. with no phone, money or I.D...all because her one-night stand left her.  I love Elizabeth Banks and really hope this film makes her a headliner instead of the supporting player she is now.  Walk of Shame Info
Until Next Time!

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