Gloria Reuben - A variety of celebrities turned out in numbers for the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival as they attended the Premiere of 'Anesthesia' at BMCC in New York City, United States - Wednesday 22nd April 2015
Mitch Brockton is a District Attorney with high ambitions, but he has to put his future to the back of his head when he accidently knocks a person down on the road during a snowy winter night. Perhaps cowardly, he wraps them up in a blanket before driving away from the scene, and finds himself troubled by it when the police start to investigate the accident which subsequently turned into a murder. They arrest a man named Clinton Davis who was found to have blood spattered evidence in the back of his van, but he is let off when the jury rule reasonable doubt for the crime. Mitch realises that he has become an inadvertent witness to Davis' gruesome torture-murder spree but in order to prove it and bring justice to the families of his victims and stop him from killing again, he has to own up to his hit-and-run offence and risk losing his promising career.
Continue: Reasonable Doubt - Trailer & Clip
We generally expect more wacky humour from Fey and Rudd than this comedy, which is packed with perhaps too-smart dialog and a lot of warm sentiment. It's an odd mix, looking for jokes in gender roles and higher education, while also finding dramatic and romantic moments along the way. But in the end, the engaging actors make it worth a look.
Fey plays Portia, an admissions officer at the prestigious Princeton University, who's in competition with her office rival (Reuben) for a big promotion as their boss (Shawn) gets ready to retire. Unhelpfully, Portia's long-term boyfriend (Sheen) chooses this moment to leave her. Diving into her job, she visits a progressive high school where the director John (Rudd) is trying a bit too hard to get her to consider unconventionally gifted student Jeremiah (Wolff) for admission to Princeton. Then John tells Portia that he thinks Jeremiah is the son she gave up for adoption 18 years earlier. Meanwhile, Portia's aggressive feminist mother (the superb Tomlin) brings up even more past issues she's never quite dealt with.
The way the screenplay piles all of this on Portia at the same time is more than a little contrived, but Fey juggles it effortlessly, throwing hilariously intelligent one-liners around even in the more intensely serious scenes. Opposite her, Rudd is more understated than usual, and also creates a strongly defined character as a rootless wanderer who just wants to help make the world a better place, but needs to pay more attention to his adopted Ugandan son (Spears). Yes, screenwriter Kroner throws in every variety of parent-child issues too.
Continue reading: Admission Review
A historic epic from Steven Spielberg carries a lot of baggage, but he surprises us with a remarkably contained approach to an iconic figure. What's most unexpected is that this is a political drama, not a biopic. It's a long, talky movie about back-room deal-making on a very big issue: ending slavery in America. It also has one of the most intelligent, artful scripts of the past year, plus a remarkably wry central performance.
Daniel Day-Lewis constantly grounds Abraham Lincoln in his earthy humanity, good humour and tenacious desire to do the right thing, no matter what it takes. The film essentially covers just one month in which Lincoln works to outlaw slavery before ending four years of civil war. Secretary of State Seward (Strathairn) reluctantly supports this plan, enlisting three shady negotiators (Spader, Nelson and Hawkes) to convince wavering members of Congress to vote in favour of a constitutional amendment. Meanwhile at home, Lincoln is under pressure from his wife Mary (Field) to keep their oldest son Robert (Gordon-Levitt) off the battlefield.
All of this political wrangling makes the film feel like a 19th century version of The West Wing, and Kushner's script crackles with wit, nuance and passion, clearly echoing today's political debates about issues like gun control and human rights. We find ourselves wishing that our own politicians were this creative about getting the votes they need on important issues. This meaty approach gives the cast terrific dialog to bite into, although Spielberg never lets anyone run riot with scenery-chomping antics. The closest is probably Jones, as the fiery anti-slavery supporter Thaddeus Stevens. He's terrific in this role. And Field shines too in as the spiky Mary. Even if she's about a decade too old for the character, she brings intelligence and emotion to every scene.
Continue reading: Lincoln Review
Portia Nathan is a prim and proper admissions officer for the prestigious Princeton University and finds herself living a consistent, routine life with rules and specifications that she is uncomfortable to veer from. During a visit to recruit possible admissions to the college, she calls at a rather unconventional countryside high school headed by John Pressman, a classmate of hers that she met when she was in college. While he is determined to steer Portia towards some rather gifted students of his, he also wants to introduce her to a boy named Jeremiah who he believes is a prodigy and also the he was the child that she gave up for adoption after an unplanned pregnancy in college. John and Portia find themselves falling for each other and while John is happy to let things take their course, Portia is adverse to the idea of romance but she soon finds her life moving towards the kind of happiness she never knew she could have while at the same time doing everything in her power to get her biological son to college - even if that means breaking rules to do so.
'Admission' is a wonderfully heart-warming romantic comedy directed by comedy genius Paul Weitz ('About a Boy', 'American Pie', 'Little Fockers') and written by Karen Croner ('One True Thing', 'Cold Sassy Tree') and novelist Jean Hanff Korelitz in her screenwriting debut. It is set for release on March 8th 2013.
Continue: Admission Trailer
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