Friday, April 24, 2015

The Water Diviner

My ViewThe Water Diviner  (2015)  R   An Australian farmer, Conner (Russell Crowe) is sent by his wife to Turkey to find his dead sons’ bodies after WWI.  If you long for the epic, big screen films of the past, this is your movie. Sweeping across both the ranchland of Australia and the coast of Turkey, the film moves at a quick pace, especially during the action sequences. Crowe directed this film, and he does a fine job helming a very expansive movie.  I was entertained by Olga Kurylendko’s performance as the widow who owns the hotel where Conner stays. Kurylendko and Crowe work well on screen together, and she lights up their scenes. While not a great film, it’s a sound start for a first-time director.  My Rating:  Bargain Matinee    The Water Diviner Website  
My ViewThe Age of Adaline  (2015)  PG-13   A young woman (Blake Lively), born at the turn of the 20th century, is rendered ageless after an accident. She meets a man (Michiel Huisman) who is worth losing her immortality for. This is a charming romantic film that somehow makes an unbelievable storyline work. Lively is tremendous as the woman who never ages. Huisman has terrific chemistry with Lively, and he makes an interesting leading man. My big problem with this film is the amount of voice overs that are used to explain what’s going on.  It’s just not necessary and gets very annoying. The film is saved by the performance of Blake Lively, and she makes this film delightful to watch.  My Rating: Bargain Matinee    The Age of Adaline Website
IndiefestClouds of Sils Maria   (2014)  R   A veteran actress (Juliette Binoche) decides, at the urging of her assistant (Kristen Stewart), to take a role in a revival of a play that started her career twenty years earlier. This film is a master class on how to act in a film.  Binoche is her best in this film, and Kristen Stewart is extraordinary in her role. Stewart holds her own with Binoche on the screen, and their chemistry works to reveal their characters issues. My only problem with the film is that it drags a few  times when the two are running lines from the play. I know a lot of people aren’t fans of Kristen Stewart, but between this performance and her work in Still Alice, I have become a fan.  My Rating: Full Price   Clouds of Sils Maria Website   
IndiefestLambert and Stamp  (2014)  R   Documentary about the partnership of filmmakers Chris Stamp and Kit Lambert, who produced one of the greatest rock bands in history, The Who.  Lambert and Stamp is an excellent film with tons of behind-the-scenes footage. It’s fascinating how little I knew about the early days of the band.  The fact that they survived as long as they did is a miracle. There are some tremendous interviews and, of course, the music is outstanding.  The film is full of interesting facts about the band, and it never slows down.  Any fan of The Who or rock and roll history will love this film.  My Rating:  Full Price   Lambert and Stamp Website
Indiefest5 to 7    (2014)  R   An aspiring novelist, Brian (Anton Yelchin), has an affair with the beautiful wife (Berenice Mariohe) of a French diplomat. The couple can only meet between the hours of 5 and 7 each evening.  I absolutely adore this funny, romantic film. It’s not going to be for everyone since the film deals with cheating on a partner, but it surprised me how well it worked. Yelchin makes an appealing everyman, and Mariohe just dazzles on the screen. I also enjoyed the performances of Glenn Close and Frank Langella, who play Brian’s very opinionated parents. This is one of my favorite romantic films of the year.    My Rating:  Full Price   5 to 7 Website

Forgotten Film: Yanks  (1979) R   During WWII, Americans were stationed in army bases in Great Britain. Not every Brit is happy with the Yanks, as American men are hitting on lonely British women, some who have boyfriends away fighting in the war.  This is one of Richard Gere’s early films, and his charisma just pours out on the screen. Lisa Eichhorn is terrific as Gere’s love interest. I also enjoy William Devane, as an Army captain who falls in love with a married woman (Vanessa Redgrave). Yanks is an enjoyable film about an important time in the world’s history.   My Rating:  Bargain Matinee   Yanks Info

Weird Credits: From the credits of The Water Diviner:  Webbing Master

Coming Soon to a Theatre NearFar from the Madding Crowd  (2015)  PG-13    Based on the Thomas Hardy novel set in Victorian England, a young woman (Carey Mulligan) has to choose between three very different suitors. I love Carey Mulligan, who never gives a lackluster performance.     Far from the Madding Crowd Info
Until Next Time!

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