Ben Marshall (Grint) has been born into a house of piety. His father (Nicholas Farrell) is an English vicar and his mother (Laura Linney, of all people) preaches and speaks The Word with more holier-than-thou sentiment than her husband ever even considered. Ben's father is aloof to the fact that his wife is also being "visited" by a younger priest that works at his church. These things could be the explanation behind Ben's peculiar behavior with girls and other schoolmates, but his mother insists it's that he isn't doing enough in the community. To rectify this, Ben is somewhat forced into weed-pulling servitude to Evie Walton (Julie Walters), a washed-up theater actress who speaks with brash wit and blunt obviousness. As expected, what first starts out as awkward employer/employee relations turns into warm friendship and blossoms when Ben accompanies her to a small reading in Edinburgh, where Ben drops his V-card and, in theory, learns what life is really about.
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The oddly titled film, adapted from Jennifer Egan's book, tells of Phoebe (Brewster), a mid-70s San Francisco teenager who is compelled to trace the European travel path of her sister Faith (Diaz), whose trip six years earlier apparently ended in her suicide.
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As portrayed in Quills, based on the Obie Award-winning play by Doug Wright, the Marquis is an earthy, dirty, jolly old soul with the unquenchable desire to write his perverse dreams on paper. He's the unflinching id in the face of mediocrity and tolerance, the middle finger held like a candle to the powerful hypocrites, and the loud fart in the house of God, an affront to restrictive dogma.
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Neither tearjerker nor suspenseful crime drama, 25th Hour is extraordinary in that it avoids all the clichés that such a premise so often invites. It is instead a carefully focused character study about a charismatic but condemned man who must come to grips with his sentence before morning. Edward Norton plays Montgomery Brogan, the felon in question. He spends his last free hours visiting his father (Brian Cox) and attending a going away party in his honor at a New York nightclub. In tow are his girlfriend (Rosario Dawson) and his two childhood pals, Frank (Barry Pepper) and Jakob (Philip Seymour Hoffman) -- the latter of which is so perfectly cast that you can't help but chuckle the first time you see Hoffman give his usual dyspeptic sneer, signaling that he is disgusted not only with his high school English students but essentially the entire outcome of his life.
Continue reading: 25th Hour Review
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