Robert Kessel

Robert Kessel

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Evening Review


OK
Evening enjoys prestigious name recognition. It is based on a novel by Susan Minot, and adapted by Michael Cunningham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Hours. The movie's cast is Dream Team caliber, from Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, and Vanessa Redgrave to Claire Danes and Toni Collette. And it marks Lajos Koltai's anticipated second film.

Who?

Continue reading: Evening Review

The Night Listener Review


Weak
I'm going to give Robin Williams the benefit of the doubt and assume that he is so detached and distant in The Night Listener because it's how his character goes through life, not because, if he's not wrestling wildlife in a tacky Winnebago, the actor has no clue what to do with his face.

I will also assume that the episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent I saw ages ago with this same story - only much juicier, with extortion and murder in that one - was inspired by the same source material, rather than the film being a watered-down version of a crime show franchise.

Continue reading: The Night Listener Review

Lift Review


Weak
This Sundance-played look at the life of a shoplifter is above par when it's focusing on Niecy's (Kerry Washington) life of crime, but her family drama (pregnant out of wedlock, abrasive mother, etc.) is run of the mill at best. Unfortunately, the engaging moments are far outweighed by urban cliches, though Washington is a charismatic lead.

P.S. Review


Good
Dylan Kidd's first film, Roger Dodger, conquered the rarified nation of two-character drama, anchored by Kidd's punchy dialogue and Campbell Scott's commanding lead performance. Kidd's follow-up, P.S., suggests he's not quite ready to expand. Not that this is a bad thing. Nor does Kidd actually repeat himself -- as there are a good deal more than two important characters in P.S., and that's the problem.

The two we care about are Louise (Laura Linney) and F. Scott (Topher Grace), an admissions officer at Columbia University and a prospective student, respectively. Their relationship hangs on a fascinatingly awkward hook: F. Scott is the spitting image of Louise's long-ago first love (now deceased): in body, mind, soul, and some other ways that are even harder to fake, like handwriting. Louise, a lonely divorcee, latches onto F. Scott's eerie familiarity. F. Scott, as a young man, latches onto Louise's cautious older-woman hotness.

Continue reading: P.S. Review

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Robert Kessel Movies

Evening Movie Review

Evening Movie Review

Evening enjoys prestigious name recognition. It is based on a novel by Susan Minot, and...

The Night Listener Movie Review

The Night Listener Movie Review

I'm going to give Robin Williams the benefit of the doubt and assume that he...

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P.S. Movie Review

P.S. Movie Review

Dylan Kidd's first film, Roger Dodger, conquered the rarified nation of two-character drama, anchored by...

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