This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written, directed and acted that it's impossible not to be pulled into its powerfully wrenching drama. Writer-director Kenneth Lonergan (see also 2011's sleeper masterpiece Margaret) creates characters so vivid that they get deep under the skin, and he allows his actors to so fully inhabit them that they become unforgettable.
This is the story of Lee (Casey Affleck), a janitor who is hiding in Boston from his past. When his brother Joe (Kyle Chandler) has a heart attack, he returns to his hometown Manchester to take care of Joe's 16-year-old son Patrick (Lucas Hedges), who isn't remotely happy about this set-up. But Joe's estranged wife Elisa (Gretchen Mol) has vanished, and Lee's ex-wife Randi (Michelle Williams) has started a new life. So while Patrick struggles to maintain his independence, Lee tries to build some sort of relationship with him. But both are still reeling with pain over things that happened to them over the years.
Yes, the central theme here is grief, and Lonergan piles mountains of it onto these characters. As details about their back-stories are revealed, the intensity of the emotions becomes nearly unbearable, and yet neither Lonergan nor the actors ever give into sentimentality or trite sermons. This is achingly realistic, an exploration of how people survive even the worst things life can throw at them. And Affleck delivers his best performance yet in the role, a devastatingly transparent turn that holds the audience in rapt attention. Newcomer Hedges matches him beat for beat as a deeply likeable teen whose prickly reactions make him even more sympathetic. And both Williams and Mol add some blistering electricity as women struggling to reinvent themselves. In just a few scenes, Williams very nearly steals the film.
Continue reading: Manchester By The Sea Review
Lee Chandler lives a life of self-imposed exile but that's not how he's always been. For many years prior, he lived in the small town of Manchester-By-The-Sea where the rest of his family and his fiancé all live. It's a picturesque fishing town and the pace of life is slower than any city could offer and the Chandler's all live good lives. Now, Lee lives in Boston and works as a janitor and his strict day to day routine has been brought about to limit the amount of people he see and has to deal with.
When Lee's brother, Joe, dies Lee is made the guardian of Patrick, Joe's teenage son. The news comes as a surprise to both men. Patrick is dealing with the loss of his family and now is forced to live with his uncle who's distanced himself from the family years prior.
Patrick doesn't understand his uncle's reluctance to relocate and move back to the small neighbourhood he used to call home. As hard choices are made and old acquaintances become part of the present day picture, Lee must not only do what is best for himself but also consider his nephew and the wishes of his brother.
Continue: Manchester By The Sea Trailer
As in his gorgeous film Far From Heaven and TV series Mildred Pierce, filmmaker Todd Haynes tells a simple story with visual impact and thematic resonance. All three of these projects centre on characters who feel like outsiders in their societies, offering staggeringly complex roles for Julianne Moore, Kate Winslet and now Cate Blanchett. This one is also based on a Patricia Highsmith novel (published originally as The Price of Salt), so it has an added layer of underlying intensity.
The story is set in the run-up to Christmas 1952, as New York department store clerk Therese (Rooney Mara) becomes intrigued by Carol (Blanchett), a glamorous customer who seems unusually attentive. Therese finds a reason to contact her, and the two become friends despite the difference in age and class. Meanwhile, Carol is trying to extricate herself from her marriage to Harge (Kyle Chandler), who is still feeling wounded by Carol's relationship with another woman (Sarah Paulson) and threatens to use her friendship with Therese to deny custody of their young daughter. And Therese also has a nice-guy suitor in Richard (Jake Lacy), who is becoming increasingly suspicious. With all of this pressure on them, Carol and Therese make an impulsive decision to take a road trip together.
The events unfold with delicate precision, as Phyllis Nagy's script smartly allows these woman to circle around each other trying to work out how they feel. There's a gun-in-the-suitcase element that adds a bit of spark, but the real story here plays out between the lines in exquisite performances from Blanchett and Mara, who convey most of their feelings through offhanded glances and subtle gestures. This adds beautifully to the depiction of the period's repressive attitudes without ever being obvious about it, and it also reveals the deep emotions that come with feeling like you don't fit in with what society expects of you.
Continue reading: Carol Review
Therese Belivet is just starting out in life, bored by her simple job in a department store and even more so by her relationship with Richard. She dreams of bigger things; a career as a set designer and experiencing true love. Love has never found its way into Therese's life, that is until she meets a privileged and sophisticated older woman named Carol with whom she immediately bonds. While Carol's life is the opposite of Therese's in that she enjoys luxury on an everyday basis, she is equally dismayed by her love life; trapped in a marriage with a man she does not love, so that she may continue seeing her young daughter. As her relationship with Therese deepens, their attraction for each other becomes clear to everyone else, as well as Carol's intriguing friendship with close companion Abby, and she faces losing everything in her quest to discover herself once and for all.
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It's 1952 and 20-something Therese Belivet is struggling to contend with her humdrum life working in a New York department store, repulsed by her relationship with a man named Richard and dreaming of a career in set design. Soon she meets a customer named Carol; an older, refined and supremely elegant woman who she immediately forms a connection with. Carol herself is in a marriage that brings her no joy and is hoping desperately for a divorce, but this only seems to threaten her relationship with her daughter, whom she cannot afford to lose. Meanwhile, Therese is struggling to control her feelings for Carol; torn between admiration, deep sexual attraction and jealousy over Carol's history with her best friend Abby. It's a difficult time for both parties as they attempt to find order in their feelings in a decade not altogether supportive of their closeness.
Continue: Carol - Clips
Kyle Chandler - Shots of a host of stars as they took to the red carpet for the Premiere of the new Netflix original series 'Bloodline' The premiere was held at the SVA Theatre in New York City, New York, United States - Tuesday 3rd March 2015
At age 71, Martin Scorsese proves with this riotous romp that he's one of the most energetic, audacious filmmakers working in America at the moment. And with his long-time 74-year-old editor Thelma Schoonmaker, he has created one of the most entertaining cautionary tales in recent memory. Not only does it highlight an unruly period in banking history, but it has a lot to say about where we are now.
This is the true story of Jordan Belfort (DiCaprio), who was 21 when he got his first job on Wall Street in the rough-and-tumble 1980s. Thanks to his illicit deals, he was a multi-millionaire within five years, tutored by a jaded veteran (McConaughey) and assisted by an enthusiastic novice (Hill). Along the way, he also swaps for a much more glamorous wife (Robbie), whose British aunt (Lumley) becomes part of his scam to stash his cash with a shady Swiss banker (Dujardin). But with an FBI agent (Chandler) on his trail, Jordan suspects that the high life can't go on forever.
At just under three hours long, the film sometimes feels like it is wallowing in the excessive sex and drugs along with these Wall Street criminals. But there's a jagged undercurrent to everything: all of this hedonism may look like fun, but someone is paying the price. The film is an often thrilling series of set-pieces that roll out in waves of comedy, tragedy and farce as these people play on the edge of an abyss. And it's great to see scenes play out in real time, with deep conversations, riotous comedy riffs and characters who are full of conflicting layers.
Continue reading: The Wolf Of Wall Street Review
It's a wild ride of drinking, drugs, debauchery and deception when the ambitious Jordan Belfort decides that he wants to be one of the rich kids. Starting out his stockbroker business in a small office with a handful of employees, his aims are simple; target only the richest people in the country. It isn't long before Belfort and his team find themselves with more money than they know what to do with and begin to live their lives manically high off the success. However, Belfort hasn't exactly been making what you'd call an honest living and pretty soon the secrets of his fraudulent profits and money laundering draws attention from the authorities. And not only that, his disregard for others' sufferings means he's got a lot more to lose than his beloved business.
'The Wolf of Wall Street' is a gritty white-collar crime drama based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, a former stockbroker who served 22 months in prison for his fraudulent activity in 1998 and subsequently wrote two memoirs entitled 'The Wolf of Wall Street' and 'Catching the Wolf of Wall Street'. The new movie has been directed by the Oscar winning Martin Scorsese ('Shutter Island', 'Goodfellas', 'The Departed') and written by multi-Primetime Emmy winning writer Terence Winter ('The Sopranos', 'Boardwalk Empire', 'Brooklyn Rules').
Jordan Belfort started out his stockbroker business in a tiny office with a small group of people and had the intention of targeting only the richest people in America as their clientele. With such a small percentage of individuals lined up as hopeful patrons, their dreams of immense fortune and a life of luxury seemed embarrassingly unlikely. However, pretty soon the company starts to ooze more money than they can handle and it's parties, alcohol and women all round. Unfortunately, it soon becomes clear to everyone that what Belfort was doing to earn his fortune is not entirely legal and he risks his freedom and his wealthy lifestyle when the FBI get involved.
'The Wolf of Wall Street' is a white-collar crime drama based on the two memoirs by the real Belfort, who was jailed in 1998 for a string of fraudulent offences including money laundering. The autobiographies have since been translated into 18 different languages and now the Oscar winning Martin Scorsese ('Shutter Island', 'Goodfellas', 'The Departed') directs the screen adaptation which has been written by multi-Primetime Emmy winning writer Terence Winter ('The Sopranos', 'Boardwalk Empire', 'Brooklyn Rules'). The movie is set to be release on January 17th 2014.
Alice and Mark are a married couple who are desperately struggling to come to terms with the catastrophic death of their child. While their friends tiptoe around them trying to offer their own advice and support, the couple find themselves unable to support each other as Mark cannot bear to be around his wife anymore. Meanwhile, Alice ends up at the office of grief counsellor Dr. Goodman who believes that fate has led them together for a reason and convinces her to look at her own life differently. They both go through feelings of devastation, intense rage and ultimately soul-destroying heartbreak that threatens not only the future of their relationship, but also their own lives. Will this once idyllic couple successfully find each other again? And, with that, find the strength to overcome the biggest tragedy of their lives?
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Sutter Keely thinks he has the perfect life; he's a high-school student with a car, a job he loves, a gorgeous girlfriend and the ability to make friends wherever he goes. Rather than thinking about his future and what graduation will bring, he's perfectly contented to take each day as it comes. It only becomes a curse when his girlfriend dumps him, but things take a different turn in his life when he wakes up after a particularly alcohol-fuelled night only to find himself in someone else's yard with a concerned looking Aimee Finicky next to him. Aimee's the good girl, who's never had a boyfriend and puts her focus on her future. Sutter finds himself falling in love and coming round to the idea of a quiet life, but thinking about the future has made him wonder if he should factor in Aimee's at all.
Continue: The Spectacular Now Trailer
Chandler and Kyle Chandler - Kathryn Chandler and Kyle Chandler Los Angeles, California - 2011 HBO's Post Award Reception Following the 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Award held at The Plaza at the Pacific Design Center Sunday 18th September 2011
This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...
Lee Chandler lives a life of self-imposed exile but that's not how he's always been....
As in his gorgeous film Far From Heaven and TV series Mildred Pierce, filmmaker Todd...
It's 1952 and 20-something Therese Belivet is struggling to contend with her humdrum life working...
At age 71, Martin Scorsese proves with this riotous romp that he's one of the...
It's a wild ride of drinking, drugs, debauchery and deception when the ambitious Jordan Belfort...
Jordan Belfort started out his stockbroker business in a tiny office with a small group...