Michael Cuesta

Michael Cuesta

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Kill The Messenger Trailer


Kill the Messenger follows the real life story of Journalist Gary Webb (Jeremy Renner), as he stumbles upon the story of a lifetime. When Webb hears that the US government was aware of the exportation of drugs to America, he begins following up the story. This, in turn, leads him to uncover a conspiracy where the CIA imported vast amounts of cocaine to sell in the US in order to raise money for the Nicaraguan Contras rebel army. Webb is then faced with the option to leave the story alone, or continue his investigation and put his career, family and own life at risk. 

Continue: Kill The Messenger Trailer

Lesli Linka Glatter and Michael Cuesta - 65th Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards (DAG) Los Angeles California United States Saturday 2nd February 2013

Lesli Linka Glatter and Michael Cuesta
Lesli Linka Glatter and Michael Cuesta
Lesli Linka Glatter and Michael Cuesta

The Lie Trailer


Lonnie's life is boring. His marriage to free spirit Clover has suddenly become dull and isn't half as exciting as it was in the early days of their relationship. Their lives revolve around their gorgeous baby daughter, Xana, who Lonnie loves to pieces.

Continue: The Lie Trailer

Michael Cuesta - Friday 24th April 2009 at Tribeca Film Festival New York City, USA

Michael Cuesta

Twelve And Holding Review


Excellent
Being a kid is awkward and awful, but not in the stick-your-penis-in-a-pie way and certainly not the Peter Pan way. Situations that you can't even fathom happen ad nauseum from ages 11 to 19 on account of wild hormones. After that, the consensus would be to consult some sort of psychiatrist. Hollywood has somehow turned all these stories and occurrences into redemptive stories where every transgression is purely sexual and where things aren't fully blamed on anyone. Even if someone is blamed, the blame is nonchalant and patched up with a simple hug.Michael Cuesta announced himself in 2001 with the vicious and viciously underrated drama L.I.E., which offered a mind-blowing performance from Brian Cox as an aged pedophile and a young, strikingly good Paul Dano as the young poet who befriends him. If the film had any real flaw, it was that it was too stiff; things seemed to structured for a story that was so amorphous and daring.Cuesta now returns packing fire and ravaging humor with Twelve and Holding, an unyieldingly dark look at adolescence and neglect. It starts easy: four kids, all at age 12, sit and watch fireworks at a neighborhood block party. There's Rudy and Jacob (both played by amazing newcomer Conor Donovan), twin brothers to a pair of steady-as-she-goes parents. Their only physical distinguishing trait is a large, purple birthmark on Jacob's face. Then there's Leonard (Jesse Camacho), the terribly overweight offspring of two fat-and-loving-it parents (mom: Marcia Debonis, dad: Tom McGowan). Lastly, there's sweet Malee (Zoe Weizenbaum), who tries to make the most of a psychiatrist mother (Annabella Sciorra) and a no-show dad.Their lives get tossed when Rudy is accidentally burned alive during a prank. Suddenly, Leonard wants to lose weight, Malee gets the hots for one of her mom's patients (stunning Jeremy Renner) and Jacob begins to take out his rage over his brother's death by visiting the kid who's responsible in a juvenile detention center. None of their parents are interested or really take notice of this behavior. Leonard's mother (Debonis works miracles with a tough role) is downright opposed to her son's new found love for health; he refuses to eat any of her fried chicken and opts for apples and salad instead. Malee begins a friendship with the patient and begins to obsess about him and his favorite song, Blue Öyster Cult's "Burning for You," which is used in a terrific scene not unlike the way "Hey You" was used in last year's The Squid and the Whale. Jacob begins to befriend the prankster, but things take a major dark turn for all three.Twelve and Holding encapsulates everything one could hope for from a sophomore effort. Cuesta's style has become more defined and, with ample help from cinematographer Romeo Tirone, his imagery has become even more stirring and efficient. His work with actors has become a thing of beauty: all the child actors are fantastic and the supporting cast gives a resonant tone to the children's world. Cuesta, working from a remarkable script from first-timer Anthony Cipriano, makes sure to define the parents but makes them the ghostly apparitions that the kids see them as. When Leonard finally takes action with his mother, the way he deals with her is still in the way of forced neglect. Squirming in their seats and foreheads cringed, parents might find themselves rushing home from Cuesta's tarnished scrapbook of forgotten embarrassment to spend time with their tykes.

L.I.E. Review


Weak
Best remembered for his understated performance as Dr. Hannibal Lecter in Michael Mann's forensics thriller Manhunter, Scottish character actor Brian Cox brings something special to every movie he works on. Usually playing a bit role in some studio schlock (he dies halfway through The Long Kiss Goodnight), he's only occasionally given something meaty and substantial to do. If you want to see some brilliant acting, check out his work as a dogged police inspector opposite Frances McDormand in Ken Loach's Hidden Agenda.

Cox plays the role of Big John Harrigan in the disturbing new indie flick L.I.E., which Lot 47 picked up at Sundance when other distributors were scared to budge. Big John feels the love that dares not speak its name, but he expresses it through seeking out adolescents and bringing them back to his pad. What bothered some audience members was the presentation of Big John in an oddly empathetic light. He's an even-tempered, funny, robust old man who actually listens to the kids' problems (as opposed to their parents and friends, both caught up in the high-wire act of their own confused lives.) He'll have sex-for-pay with them only after an elaborate courtship, charming them with temptations from the grown-up world.

Continue reading: L.I.E. Review

Michael Cuesta

Michael Cuesta Quick Links

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Michael Cuesta Movies

Kill The Messenger Trailer

Kill The Messenger Trailer

Kill the Messenger follows the real life story of Journalist Gary Webb (Jeremy Renner), as...

The Lie Trailer

The Lie Trailer

Lonnie's life is boring. His marriage to free spirit Clover has suddenly become dull and...

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L.I.E. Movie Review

L.I.E. Movie Review

Best remembered for his understated performance as Dr. Hannibal Lecter in Michael Mann's forensics thriller...

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