Dany Wolf

Dany Wolf

Dany Wolf Quick Links

Film RSS

The Nanny Diaries Review


Good
Somewhere between Mary Poppins and Sex and the City lies The Nanny Diaries, an adaptation of Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus' sordid, cynical best seller that is able to coast on its working-grrl attitude and a couple of intelligent casting decisions.

It's nice to see Scarlett Johansson outside of Woody Allen's clutches. Here she showcases her rarely exercised knack for self-deprecating physical comedy as Annie Braddock, titular babysitter and recent college graduate who postpones her inevitable plunge into the rat race by accepting a nanny position at the posh Upper East Side residence of snippy Mrs. X (Laura Linney, fabulous in the role).

Continue reading: The Nanny Diaries Review

Gerry Review


Very Good
Gus Van Sant's Gerry is a minimalist buddy film about two guys getting lost in the desert. Matt Damon and Casey Affleck play the only characters, and the two wander aimlessly for days, obligingly dwarfed by the barren landscape.

This is a slow movie, and intentionally so. The entire film comprises less than 100 shots -- one of which is a sunrise in real time. The rest of it is nearly as prolonged; the young men walk in utter silence for about ten minutes, and we get a similarly extended view of Affleck lost in thought.

Continue reading: Gerry Review

Last Days (2005) Review


Extraordinary
Completing a stylistic and thematic trilogy begun with 2003's Gerry and Elephant (and inspired by the work of Hungarian auteur Bela Tarr), Last Days finds director Gus Van Sant once again engaging in breathtaking experimentation with sound, image, and content. Just as Elephant was modeled after, but not a faithful depiction of, the Columbine high school shootings, so Van Sant's latest - charting the final hours of a reclusive, iconic rock star in his remote country mansion - is simultaneously about and not about Kurt Cobain, a hypothetical rumination on the deceased musician that shares with his preceding films a hypnotic sense of time and space, as well as a fascination with the prosaic moments proceeding death. Having turned his back on the staid narrative conventions of formulaic Hollywood dramas (including his own Finding Forrester and Good Will Hunting), Van Sant now embraces an avant-garde aesthetic concerned with finding truth through non-linear storytelling and a focus on environmental tone and texture, both of which are employed as a means of placing viewers in a particular physical and emotional "space." And with Last Days, this unorthodox filmmaking achieves a state of sublime cinematic nirvana.

"Teenage angst has paid off well / Now I'm bored and old," sang Cobain on Nirvana's Serve the Servants, and one can feel that infectious malaise throughout Van Sant's portrait of Blake (Michael Pitt), a grungy icon living out what a friend (Kim Gordon) dubs "a rock and roll cliché." Donning Cobain accoutrements such as a hunter's cap and a green-and-red sweater and sporting shoulder-length blond hair, Blake spends the film sleepwalking around his backwoods home and property with a mixture of drug-addled bewilderment and spiritual melancholy, and Pitt embodies this wayward soul - whose rambling exploits involve wearing a black spaghetti-strap dress and toting a rifle - with a hunched, drooping-to-the-floor sagginess (as if under tremendous strain) that's at odds with the actor's slender physique. His constantly incomprehensible muttering, such as during an amusing, chance encounter with a telephone book salesman (where the only audible Blake line is telling: "Success is subjective"), echoes Cobain's frequently indecipherable lyrics while also conveying a torturous emotional detachment. Trapped in Van Sant's constrictive full frame (employed to heighten the oppressive claustrophobia gripping the character), Pitt's Blake is a zombie who, as revealed by the film's opening scene - finding him symbolically baptizing himself in a tree-shrouded lake, and later whispering and then roaring "Home on the Range" to the empty nighttime forest - desperately seeks communion with the world around him.

Continue reading: Last Days (2005) Review

Elephant Review


Very Good
Gus Van Sant has made an eclectic career out of portraying vastly different avenues that adolescents use to focus the anxieties they grapple with. From the strangely compelling My Own Private Idaho to the more mainstream Good Will Hunting, he remains consciously aware of the often erratic motives of youth while creating an effective story.

With Elephant, he takes a more documentarian approach, shooting seemingly handheld style right up in the faces of the teens he is following, or right above the back of their shoulders. He follows a wide range of clichéd characters, from jock to nerd to slacker, up until the moment two of them go haywire on their fellow schoolmates with weapons purchased off of the Internet. And, yes, it is fairly obvious who the troublemakers will be as soon as they appear on camera.

Continue reading: Elephant Review

Dany Wolf

Dany Wolf Quick Links

Film RSS
Advertisement

Occupation

Filmmaker


Suggested

Lady Gaga Announces Her First Single In Two Years 'Perfect Illusion'

Lady Gaga Announces Her First Single In Two Years 'Perfect Illusion'

The popstar turned actress is back in the studio.

Advertisement
Former Nine Inch Nails Musician James Woolley Dies Aged 50

Former Nine Inch Nails Musician James Woolley Dies Aged 50

He is remembered by his ex-wife Kate Van Buren.

Adele Apologises To Fans After Illness Causes Her To Cancel Show

Adele Apologises To Fans After Illness Causes Her To Cancel Show

The ‘Hello’ singer had been due to play the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix on Wednesday night (August 17th).

Hiddleswift Reunite After Taylor Sends Private Jet To Bring Tom To Rhode Island

Hiddleswift Reunite After Taylor Sends Private Jet To Bring Tom To Rhode Island

Taylor Swift and boyfriend Tom Hiddleston reportedly spent the weekend together in Rhode Island after some time apart.

Advertisement

Dany Wolf Movies

The Nanny Diaries Movie Review

The Nanny Diaries Movie Review

Somewhere between Mary Poppins and Sex and the City lies The Nanny Diaries, an adaptation...

Advertisement
Last Days (2005) Movie Review

Last Days (2005) Movie Review

Completing a stylistic and thematic trilogy begun with 2003's Gerry and Elephant (and inspired by...

Elephant Movie Review

Elephant Movie Review

Gus Van Sant has made an eclectic career out of portraying vastly different avenues that...

Advertisement
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.