This dark, introspective drama hinges on one of Robin Williams' final film performances before his death in 2014. And it's one of his most unusual roles too, a sensitive depiction of a man grappling with a long-repressed truth about himself. Most importantly, the film is never sentimental, and it continually refuses to take a political or moral approach to a potentially touchy topic, exploring the issue of sexuality with unusual honesty.
Williams plays Nolan, who at 60 has no reason to feel unhappy. He has a great job and a loving wife, Joy (Kathy Baker). But a change in the health of his father (Gary Gardner) makes him feel the need to address a very deep desire that he has been hiding all his life, even though he can't even admit to himself that he's gay. One evening, he takes a drive to the spot in town where the young male escorts hang out, and in a moment of panic he picks up Leo (Roberto Aguire). Nothing physical happens between them, but they become friends. And just opening himself to the possibility awakens feelings Nolan has been burying since childhood. Nolan's best pal Winston (Bob Oedenkirk) knows something is up but doesn't need to ask. And as Nolan struggles with what to do next, he has a nasty altercation with Leo's cruel pimp (Giles Matthey).
Although this plot point feels just a bit overwrought, it's thankfully not the focus of the story. Instead, it escalates the urgency Nolan feels about dredging up these long-suppressed feelings and admitting the truth to himself and others. Best of all is the way writer Douglas Soesbe and director Dito Montiel quietly explore the textures of Nolan's long relationship with Joy in scenes that are beautifully underplayed by both Williams and Baker. These are people struggling to say out loud the things they have always known but considered taboo. And now they are realising that perhaps doing what was considered to be the right thing all their lives only delayed the inevitable.
Continue reading: Boulevard Review
Edward Scissorhands is no ordinary boy, as his name may tell. Created by a genius inventor who passed away before his subject was completed, he seems doomed to a life of solitude in a dilapidated castle. That is until the local Avon lady named Peg Boggs calls round and willingly takes the poor boy under her wing. Integrating him into civilised society isn't easy, however. While many neighbours are deeply accepting and impressed by his ability to cut hair and trim hedges, others see him as a danger with his bladed fingers that could easily cause some damage. Peg's daughter Kim is a little uneasy, despite how immediately taken Edward is of her, and her friends recognise this weakness and aim to exploit it to their advantage. Predictably, Edward's mistakes get him into a lot of trouble and he soon finds that the novelty of his presence is wearing thin.
Continue: Edward Scissorhands - Clips
Like Benjamin Button, this drama plays around with the human lifespan, is slickly produced and feels far too serious for its own good. There's a sweeping romanticism to the premise, but it's ultimately so sentimental that it becomes rather corny. Fans of Nicholas Sparks-style movies will adore every golden-hued moment and yearning glance. More cynical viewers will enjoy the premise and performances, but will find the tidal wave of plot twists too yucky to bear.
In present-day San Francisco, Adaline (Blake Lively) is preparing to change identities as she does every decade or so. She's been 29 since a fateful accident in 1933 stopped her ageing process, due to a convergence of random factors at the time of a car crash, and she doesn't want to arouse suspicion. The only person who knows her secret is her daughter Flemming (Ellen Burstyn), who after all this time now introduces herself as Adaline's grandmother. Then the dashing Ellis (Michiel Huisman) tenaciously starts pursuing Adaline, and Flemming encourages her to stop running. So she decides to let herself live for a change, travelling with Ellis for a weekend to meet his parents (Harrison Ford and Kathy Baker). But fate has a few more surprises in store.
The story is told by an omniscient narrator (Hugh Ross) and camerawork that often stares down from a godlike point of view, as if Adaline has no say in her own story. And without a sense of humour or irony, it's tricky for a film audience to root for her. The story is engaging, and it's enjoyable to watch the events unfold, but the moment the plot loudly clanks into gear the film becomes difficult to like. Revelations and coincidences pile on top of each other in the story's final act, making everything both achingly emotional and suspiciously convenient.
Continue reading: The Age Of Adaline Review
In 1908, a young girl was born. She was not extraordinary, and lived a simple existence. Then one day, everything changed forever. In 1935, Adaline Bowman (Blake Lively) was caught up in a horrifying car crash, yet she emerged unharmed. It would be years before she knew that anything was wrong with her, however. Over the course of nearly eight decades, she does not appear to age a day, leading to her becoming detached and solitary existence. Every so often, she begins a relationship with someone, and after going to meet the parents of her boyfriend, Ellis Jones (Michiel Huisman), she discovers that his father (Harrison Ford) and she were in a relationship many years before, leading to a new set of problems facing her otherwise extraordinary life.
Continue: Age Of Adaline - International Trailer
'Noah' star Emma Watson, 'Taken' actress Maggie Grace and Katie Holmes from 'Dawson's Creek' were spotted supporting new drama 'Boulevard' as they arrived alongside the cast and crew at the Tribeca Film Festival premiere in New York.
P.L. Travers was an Australian author who, in the early sixties, went into negotiations with Walt Disney over the rights of her novels surrounding the character Mary Poppins. It was eventually released on the big screen and won five Oscars, though its production was not without its conflicts. Travers' initial aversion to Hollywood didn't help matters, and she was unnerved by the idea that Disney might turn her beloved character into a prancing, dancing, twinkling fairy godmother. However, when Disney began to understand that Mary Poppins' place in the story was less about the children and more about their father - and, in effect, her own father on whom she based him on - the pair began to bond better and Travers was finally willing to unleash her story onto the world.
'Saving Mr. Banks' is the story of how 'Mary Poppins' was put to film in 1964 by Walt Disney, thirty years after P.L. Travers began writing about her. It is about the conflicts between Travers and Disney and Travers own struggles with her personal life when we discover just how true to life the story really was. It has been directed by John Lee Hancock ('Snow White and the Huntsman', 'A Perfect World', 'The Blind Side') and written by Kelly Marcel ('Terra Nova') and Sue Smith ('My Brother Jack', 'Peaches') and it is set to hit UK cinemas on January 17th 2014.
But the worthy story is packed with scenes that are suspenseful and inspiring.
Sam Childers (Butler) is at the end of his rope: just out of prison, still caught up in a wasted criminal life with pal Donnie (Shannon), and neglecting his wife Lynn (Monaghan) and their daughter Paige (Campos, then Carroll). Then at rock-bottom, Lynn's faith gets through to him, and he changes his life.
Continue reading: Machine Gun Preacher Review
Sam Childers is a drug dealing biker whose main method of getting what he wants is violence. His life mirrors that of a 'Hells Angels' member and he admits that he isn't proud of his actions, even breaking down in front of his Christian wife, Lynn. In response to his cries for help, Lynn takes Sam to church, where he suddenly feels uplifted again. His preacher tells him about families in Sudan that need urgent care and Sam volunteers to travel there.
Continue: Machine Gun Preacher Trailer
In the middle of a suburbs stylized to the nines, the Boggs have made a modest, any-day home for them and their two children. Peg Boggs (Dianne Weist) makes her living as an Avon lady, going door-to-door with second rate beauty products, trying to make the outside meet the (supposed) inside. She is the gentlest woman in her neighborhood by a long shot. So, when she stumbles upon poor Edward Scissorhands (Johnny Depp), a Frankenstein-like creature who has scissors instead of fingers, she feels the motherly instinct to take care of the assembled fellow.
Continue reading: Edward Scissorhands Review
Remember that string of "...from hell" psycho flicks in the early 1990s? There was "The Hand That Rocks The Cradle" (nanny from hell) and "Single White Female" (roommate from hell). Well, here's one that was missed at the time: legal guardians from hell.
"The Glass House" is a failed spine-tingler about a teenage girl (Leelee Sobieski) whose parents die in a car crash leaving her and her little brother a $4 million trust -- money their surrogate parents are just itching to get their hands on.
Following the funeral, Ruby and Rhett Baker (Sobieski and Trevor Morgan, "Jurassic Park III") move in with Terry and Erin Glass (Stellan Skarsgard and Diane Lane), seemingly wealthy old friends of their parents who live in a expensive, ultra-modern, ultra-stylish, windows-and-concrete house in the Malibu hills.
Continue reading: The Glass House Review
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.
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