Ann Ruark

Ann Ruark

Ann Ruark Quick Links

Film RSS

The Motel Life Review


Very Good

There's a lovely simplicity to this quietly unnerving story about two brothers who have never had a break in life. And while it is relentlessly grim, it's also elegantly well-made, held together by another revelatory performance from Emile Hirsch as a talented guy whose path has been dictated to him by forces outside his control.

The title refers to the way two brothers have lived since their mother died: in a sleazy motel just off the strip in Reno. Frank (Hirsch) has had to be the responsible one, moving from job to job to support his chaotic, disabled older brother Jerry Lee (Stephen Dorff). And now that Jerry Lee has been involved in a fatal hit-and-run accident, Frank is trying to find a way to get out of town. He turns to his old car-dealer mentor (Kris Kristofferson) for advice and considers getting in touch with his ex Annie (Dakota Fanning), even though their relationship ended very badly. But first he hits the casinos to raise some cash with his pals (Joshua Leonard and Noah Harpster).

Sibling filmmakers Alan and Gabe Polsky give the movie a darkly introspective tone, taking us into Frank's thoughts through evocative flashbacks to the brothers' struggles as teens (played by Andrew Lee and Garrett Backstrom). And as Frank tells Jerry Lee stories to help him cope with life, these tales fill the screen in gorgeous sketch-style animation that matches Jerry Lee's artistic skills. All of this gives the film a quietly moving tone that finds spiky humour and emotional resonance when we least expect it.

Continue reading: The Motel Life Review

The Beaver Review


Very Good
While there are too many carefully constructed moments in this film, it's a remarkably effective mixture of dark drama and absurd comedy. This is surprising because the premise is more than a little ridiculous.

After a nervous breakdown, Walter (Gibson) is struggling to get back into his role as CEO of a toy company, husband to Meredith (Foster) and father to two boys, smart 17-year-old Porter (Yelchin) and curious young Henry (Stewart).

When Walter finds a beaver puppet, he has an epiphany, letting the beaver say what he's afraid to say. While this helps reinvigorate his business and adds a lively twist to his family life, it's not exactly a permanent solution.

Continue reading: The Beaver Review

Claire Dolan Review


OK
A clinically austere art house film, Claire Dolan is Lodge Kerrigan's follow-up to the rigorous Clean, Shaven. He opens with cool, carefully composed images of impassive skyscrapers, a hollow wind whistling through, before moving to the reticent, emotionally disconnected title character.

Claire Dolan (Katrin Cartlidge, Naked) is a high priced prostitute, so down on her luck she phones her johns from a pay phone. "I miss you. I want to see you. I really want you inside me. I can be there in ten minutes." All her human interaction is reduced to a minimalist bargaining of her goods for exchange.

Continue reading: Claire Dolan Review

Ann Ruark

Ann Ruark Quick Links

Film RSS
Advertisement

Occupation

Filmmaker


Suggested

7 Stars That Swapped A Football Career For Music

7 Stars That Swapped A Football Career For Music

From Robbie Williams to Olly Murs, these musicians are still football mad.

How To Get Tickets For Slaves' Big Fall 2018 Tour

How To Get Tickets For Slaves' Big Fall 2018 Tour

They'll hit the UK and Ireland this November.

7 Foreign Horror Movie Remakes We'd Love To See

7 Foreign Horror Movie Remakes We'd Love To See

There are some films in this world that deserve another go.

Slaves - Chokehold Video

Slaves - Chokehold Video

Slaves hold open auditions for a new drummer in the star-studded and ultimately heart-warming video for their new single 'Chokehold'.

Advertisement
Are AC/DC Recording A New Album?

Are AC/DC Recording A New Album?

Lead singer Brian Johnson and ex-drummer Phil Rudd were both spotted in Vancouver outside AC/DC/'s Warehouse Studios this week.

Mid-Week Playlist: 15 Happy Tunes To Get You Through Work

Mid-Week Playlist: 15 Happy Tunes To Get You Through Work

From 'Happy' to 'Banana Pancakes', these are soaked in positivity.

5 Hit TV Shows Returning In 2019; From 'Game Of Thrones' To 'Peaky Blinders'

5 Hit TV Shows Returning In 2019; From 'Game Of Thrones' To 'Peaky Blinders'

Sometimes it takes more than 12 months to put together a fantastic season of one of the world's leading TV shows.

Orbital - Dreamland, Margate, Kent 28.07.2018 Live Review

Orbital - Dreamland, Margate, Kent 28.07.2018 Live Review

Orbital brought their spectacular show to the East Kent coast at the weekend to the delight of a variety of ravers.

Advertisement

Ann Ruark Movies

The Motel Life Movie Review

The Motel Life Movie Review

There's a lovely simplicity to this quietly unnerving story about two brothers who have never...

The Beaver Movie Review

The Beaver Movie Review

While there are too many carefully constructed moments in this film, it's a remarkably effective...

Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.