Gretchen Mol, Aleksa Palladino, Jack Huston, Michael Stuhlbarg, Peter Van Wagner, Shea Whigham, Vincent Piazza and Screen Actors Guild - (L-R)Kevin O'Rourke, Gretchen Mol, Peter Van Wagner, Jacqueline Pennewill, Michael Stuhlbarg, Heather Lind, Shea Whigham, Aleksa Palladino, Vincent Piazza, Jack Huston, Michael Kenneth Williams, Brady Noon, Connor Noon,Lucy Gallina and Josie Gallina, Sunday 29th January 2012 at the 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAG Awards) held at The Shrine Auditorium - Press Room.
The man in question is Andy (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a pudgy volcano of a corporate hustler with a trophy wife. Gina (Marisa Tomei) fits that role to a T as she spends Andy's money and enjoys mid-day quickies with Andy's brother Hank (Ethan Hawke). Hank's money goes towards his ex-wife (a great Amy Ryan) and daughter while Andy's cash, when not with Gina, is spent on heroin in the très chic twentieth-floor apartment of his dealer in Manhattan. The boys need dough and their bourgeois office jobs aren't keeping it coming in. That's when Andy gets the idea.
Continue reading: Before The Devil Knows You're Dead Review
Aside from Solondz's decidedly risky topics, his format in Storytelling takes chances. It presents two separate shorts, entitled "Fiction" and "Non-fiction," with no obvious connection between the two. The only true thread is that both comment on the telling of tales, the shifting of points of view, and the way most people in Solondz's suburban landscapes constantly paddle their painful lives upstream.
Continue reading: Storytelling Review
Well, me neither.
Continue reading: The Adventures of Sebastian Cole Review
Frankly, I saw this movie an hour ago and I've already forgotten the plot. Oh yeah, looking it up reveals that this was a movie about a runaway girl (Palladino), who in 1959 finds her life in tumult. Her roommate (Richardson) struggles with an unintended pregnancy. Landlady (Bloom, in a frightening return to the screen) is a faded and eccentric screen star. Audience struggles to maintain consciousness.
Continue reading: Wrestling with Alligators Review
Todd Solondz's "Storytelling" is designed to foster a sensation of absorbing discomfort, not unlike his earlier examinations of esoteric, emotionally disquieting Americana "Welcome to the Dollhouse" and "Happiness." But this film's two shrewd but pointless short stories are suppressed by the underlying feeling that the film got worked over something fierce in post-production, and that half its guts are lying on a cutting room floor somewhere.
The conspicuously abrupt first segment, entitled "Fiction," runs about 20 minutes and stars Selma Blair ("Legally Blonde") and Leo Fitzpatrick ("Bully") in painfully authentic performances as an emotionally insecure coed and her cerebral palsy-stricken dorm neighbor and lover. Unable to connect emotionally, they each vent their frustrations in pallid short stories about their thinly veiled real lives for a creative writing class. These yarns are not well received by their ruthlessly candid classmates, who pass judgment on Blair's and Fitzpatrick's meager authoring talents and, by extension, their messed-up lives.
Desperately seeking some kind of acceptance, the frail, troubled Blair surrenders herself sexually to her even more cruel professor (Robert Wisdom). Once at his apartment, he forces her to spout racial epithets (she's white, he's black and about three times her size) while having his way with her rather violently and so graphically that Solondz covered the scene with a superimposed red box to avoid an NC-17.
Continue reading: Storytelling Review
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