With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic story of a rather odd 9-year-old boy and the adults caught in a twisted vortex around him. Emotive acting helps make the characters come to life, and the story's secrets keep the audience hooked as what's actually happening becomes horrifyingly clear.
Louis Drax (Alden Longworth) has had several close encounters with death in his first nine years. Is he immortal? Or just accident prone? His mother Natalie (Sarah Gadon) protects him fiercely, while his father Peter (Aaron Paul) clearly adores him. So what happened on his birthday, when Peter went missing and Louis ended up in a coma after falling from a cliff? While treating him, Dr Pascal (Jamie Dornan) becomes entangled in the drama of their life. He meets Louis' sardonic therapist (Oliver Platt) and Peter's manic mother (Barbara Hershey), and he also gets perhaps a bit too close to Natalie than he should.
Director Alexandre Aja and writer Max Mingella have a lot of fun stirring in references to Hitchcock films, including the San Francisco setting, switching identities, vertiginous heights and a dangerous blonde. They add so many mysteries and red herrings into the plot that the audience is kept happily off-balance for most of the film, waiting for the other shoes to drop. This means that everything feels somewhat overcooked, complete with fantasies, dreams and even some magic. But this gives the cast a lot to play with. Dornan is his usual charming, seductive self, haplessly wooing Natalie even though he already has a hot wife (McGregor). But then Gadon oozes vulnerable lustiness in her role, so he doesn't have much of a chance. And despite the obvious set-up, Paul creates a surprisingly complex character out of Peter, while Hershey has fun chomping on the scenery.
Continue reading: The 9th Life Of Louis Drax Review
Louis Drax is a young boy who lives with his mother and father, the family are close but each year Louis seemingly has a bad accident. His parents put this down to their son's clumsy ways but they're fully aware that something deeper might be at play.
It's Louis ninth birthday and he and his parents plan to go into the woods for a picnic to celebrate. As the trio begin to have a nice time, tragedy strikes and Louis is found at the bottom of a cliff.
In a deep coma, the young boy is transferred to a special coma unit where his vitals are monitored by acclaimed neurologist Dr. Allan Pascal. Louis had been technically dead for two hours before being rescued and the fact that he's reciprocating to any form of treatment is a miracle in itself.
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Renai and Josh Lambert think that their life is back to normal after a horrific paranormal ordeal involving their son Dalton whose gift of astral projection landed him in a coma and possessed by several malevolent forces. However, Josh is now tormented by his own demon after it succeeded in claiming his body when he ventured into 'The Further' to save his child. His wife and child are unaware of his condition at first, but it soon becomes clear that they have to rope in new ghost-busting help to save their family who are far from out of danger yet. They're no strangers to inanimate objects moving of their own accord and ghostly figures wandering around their house, but what they're facing now could be much more sinister than they ever imagined.
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Watching the 1989 movie today, it's not just an unabashed chick flick, it's also revealed as a plain-old Bad Movie. For starters, it's not really about anything, instead preferring to work (or not) as a collection of loose scenes that illustrate the ups and downs of two friends (Midler and Barbara Hershey) from their pre-teens to the grave. Things happen, but not much. The film's only real plot point comes in the last act (spoilers ahead if you care), when Hershey's character croaks on us, sticking Midler with her daughter.
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Based on Tom Wolfe's novel (though heavily inspired by the truth), The Right Stuff follows the formative years of the space race, from 1947 to 1963, when it was us vs. the Russians. The film begins as we first punch through Mach 1 in experimental aircraft and ends with seventh and final Mercury astronaut blasting off.
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But seriously, that's what you're going to be doing if you see The Portrait of a Lady -- Jane Campion's follow-up to The Piano, based on Henry James's "classic" novel that you've probably never read. Now, I'm wishing that I had, though, because Portrait is a fantastic movie to watch, exquisitely crafted and painstakingly detailed, gorgeously photographed and full of style -- but it is just plain impossible to follow.
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With a highly acclaimed cast that includes Anthony LaPaglia, Barbara Hershey, and Geoffrey Rush you would hope this idea would provide great material for such illustrious actors to sink their teeth into. Unfortunately, having been adapted for the screen from a play, by the playwright himself, much of the emotional impact is lost in overwhelmingly dramatic dialogue.
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Hoosiers stars Gene Hackman as Norman Dale, a former successful college coach with a checkered past, who takes a last chance job coaching small Hickory High in 1951. Despite being located in basketball-crazed Indiana, the Huskers only have six players and they're missing their star, Jimmy Chitwood, a troubled boy who doesn't say much. His soft shooting touch does all of the talking.
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Marital stress hangs like an albatross around the necks of all the primary characters in "Lantana," an viscous Australian ensemble piece that begins as an intricate, intimate web of rocky relationships and evolves into a tangled, disconcerting mystery.
Two floundering couples, connected through six-degrees-of-separation periphery, are at the center of the story. Anthony LaPaglia is Leon Zat, a police inspector who takes out his many frustrations on suspects and in bed with Jane (Rachael Blake), an almost-divorcee from the salsa dance class his wife drags him to every week. His marriage to brittle Sonja (Kerry Armstrong) has grown tepid and uncommunicative -- a fact that she regularly bemoans to her shrink, Valerie Sommers (Barbara Hershey).
Valerie is a woman who has had a hard time maintaining her professional detachment since her young daughter was murdered two years before. Her marriage to John (Geoffrey Rush), a prickly law school dean, has grown so numb since the loss of their child that they speak to each other -- even about sex -- like uneasy co-workers. And the fact that John deals with his sorrow in quietly tearful visits to the murder site while Valerie has chosen to grieve publicly, publishing a book about the killing, hasn't helped heal their rift.
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