Alison Elliott

Alison Elliott

Alison Elliott Quick Links

Pictures Film RSS

The Miracle Worker (2000) Review


Weak
The Miracle Worker? The real miracle worker is the guy who cast Pepsi pitch-child Hallie Kate Eisenberg as Helen Keller, forcing the diminuative star to stumble about with a vacant look in her eyes, smashing plates and grunting obscenely.

Believe it or not, Disney's watery version of the classic play and true story is not as bad as you'd think. While Eisenberg grates, at least she doesn't get to speak. Alison Elliott, so memorable in films like The Wings of the Dove, plays the titular worker of miracles Annie Sullivan as angry and almost mean, but in the end she is called upon to carry the picture, and she mostly does. David Strathairn's turn as Captain Keller (also angry and mean) is forgettable, but it's the small performance by Lucas Black (All the Pretty Horses) as Helen's brother that is actually the best part of the movie.

Continue reading: The Miracle Worker (2000) Review

The Eternal (1998) Review


Terrible
Not exactly regarded as a pinnacle of the horror genre, The Eternal is notable for one reason only: That Christopher Walken is in it, as a blind man wearing octagonal-rimmed glasses. The movie's relatively engaging until Walken comes and goes at around the 30-minute mark: Alison Elliott is a freaky alcoholic who keeps passing out and wants to know why. Too bad the answer has something to do with mummies, druids, and an old family house that largely causes its occupants to appear in slow motion. Zzzzzz.

Oh: But watch for Jared Harris's Walken impersonation at the 42 minute mark.

Continue reading: The Eternal (1998) Review

Birth Review


Terrible
Jonathan Glazer's stylish debut Sexy Beast stood out for the uncharacteristically explosive and vicious performance the director coaxed out of stately Ben Kingsley. Evidence of any such energy all but escapes Birth, Glazer's anticipated follow-up to his kinetic gangster picture. A plodding and pretentious thriller, this beyond-the-grave affair ends up being too art-house for the mainstream crowd and too mainstream for the art-house crowd. Loosely translated, that means it doesn't work for anyone.

Birth hangs its hat on a delicate premise that demands kid gloves if it seriously hopes to sustain the already shaky credibility. An elegant transition of life forces starts the film. Physician Sean dies while jogging. Simultaneously, a baby is born. Fast forward 10 years, where a cave-eyed child coincidentally named Sean (Cameron Bright) claims to Upper West Side basket case Anna (Nicole Kidman) that he is her reincarnated ex-husband. Anna's humorless fiancée (Danny Huston) scoffs at the idea. Her mother (a neglected Lauren Bacall) displays indifference. ("I never liked Sean, anyway," she articulates.) But Anna's not so quick to write the boy off.

Continue reading: Birth Review

The Underneath Review


Good
The Underneath opens with a surreally bizarre, green-tinted shot of Michael (Peter Gallagher), driving along the Austin, Texas backroads in an armored car. The coloration and the look of dread on his face are enough to make you sick to your stomach. These are also the perfect introduction to a film noir where you just know nothing is going to turn out right.

Michael is an ex-compulsive gambler, returned to his Austin hometown ostensibly to turn his life around and get a real job, but in reality having some less savory motives. His ex-wife, Rachel (Alison Elliott), is in town and attached to a local, small-time hood. When Michael tries to patch things up with Rachel, a plot suddenly (and quite inexplicably) develops between the three to rob the armored car that Michael drives. The plan is hatched, and the fun begins.

Continue reading: The Underneath Review

Birth Review


OK

"Birth" opens with a scene of surprising emotional magnitude that is driven entirely by its score. Instantly and viscerally evocative, the elaborate orchestration -- which plays over a long tracking shot following an anonymous jogger through Central Park during a beautifully moody snowfall -- is a curious, captivating combination of flute, triangle, French horn and (quite startlingly) tympani that has an uplift and an ominousness at the same time.

This gripping music, by the brilliant Alexandre Desplat ("Girl With a Pearl Earring"), does all the work in this scene until the man -- seemingly young and healthy from behind, which is all we see of him -- pauses suddenly, then collapses under a bridge.

The next scene takes place 10 years later. The jogger's widow, Anna (played by a serious, sophisticated, melancholy, unabashedly pushing-40 yet intriguingly elfin Nicole Kidman) is about to get married again, to Joseph (subtle, pensive Danny Huston), a man who is really more a hopelessly devoted dear friend than he is a lover. Soon after their engagement party, a somber 10-year-old boy (Cameron Bright) sneaks into their grand Park Avenue apartment and refuses to leave. "You're my wife," he tells Kidman. "It's me -- Sean."

Continue reading: Birth Review

Alison Elliott

Alison Elliott Quick Links

Pictures Film RSS
Advertisement

Suggested

Eric Clapton: Live At The Royal Albert Hall - Trailer

Eric Clapton: Live At The Royal Albert Hall - Trailer

The full recording of 'Eric Clapton: Live At The Royal Albert Hall', is set to reach cinemas very soon

Ricki and the Flash - Movie Review

Ricki and the Flash - Movie Review

Meryl Streep is having so much fun playing an ageing rocker that the audience only barely registers that this film isn't nearly as deep as it's...

Creamfields Festival 2015 Live Review

Creamfields Festival 2015 Live Review

Creamfields was back again, with a plethora of headline disc jockeys, showcasing Creamfields as the powerhouse of UK-electronic festivals.

Advertisement
Donald Trump Can't Wait To Run Against Kanye In 2020

Donald Trump Can't Wait To Run Against Kanye In 2020

The 2016 Republican candidate is already thinking ahead

Keith Richards Hoping To Start On A New Rolling Stones Album

Keith Richards Hoping To Start On A New Rolling Stones Album "Next Year"

Richards is eager to begin work on follow-up to 2005's 'A Bigger Bang', but doesn't reckon that will happen until April 2016 at the earliest.

Cate Blanchett Cast As Lucille Ball In New Biopic

Cate Blanchett Cast As Lucille Ball In New Biopic

The two-time Oscar winner has been cast as '50s TV sweetheart Lucille Ball, according to new reports.

Advertisement