Gil Netter

Gil Netter

Gil Netter Quick Links

News Film RSS

The Glass Castle Review

Very Good

There are quite a few terrific moments in this true story, based on the memoir by journalist Jeannette Walls. It's an account of a seriously mind-boggling childhood that sees years of mayhem through a remarkably clear perspective, only occasionally dipping into sentimentality. But the actors are terrific, bringing an earthy realism to their roles, including a stand-out turn from Woody Harrelson.

It opens in 1989 New York, as Jeannette (Brie Larson) lies to her prospective in-laws about her parents, with her nice-guy fiance (Max Greenfield) helping her create a story that obscures the truth: Rex and Rose Mary Walls (Harrelson and Naomi Watts) are essentially homeless, living a life deliberately off the grid in defiance of meddling governments and too-powerful businesses. Indeed, Jeannette was raised in a free-form way, and her siblings (Sarah Snook, Josh Caras and Brigette Lundy-Paine) understand why she tries to hide them from her high-flying Manhattan life. But they are determined to be involved with her, and after another of Rex's impulsively violent outbursts, Jeannette thinks it might be time to get away from them for good.

This story is interspersed with extensive flashbacks of Jeannette's childhood (in which she's played by Chandler Head and the excellent Ella Anderson), exploring Rex's lifelong desire to build his dream "glass castle" for the family to live in. But this strikingly intelligent man is undone by his hot temper and antagonistic approach to society, creating problems with his wife and children. Harrelson and Watts are terrific in their colourful roles as these brightly artistic people trying to make sure their kids are smart and free. By comparison, Larson can't help but seem a bit bland, especially in her puffy 80s suits and hairdos. So some of her emotional reactions to the people around her feel strangely abrupt.

Continue reading: The Glass Castle Review

Life Of Pi Review


Essential

Working with perceptive writer David Magee (Finding Neverand), Ang Lee creates one of the most thoughtful, artistic blockbusters ever made by a Hollywood studio. Although Yann Martel's award-winning novel was considered unfilmable, Magee and Lee have managed to maintain the delicate balance of an awesome adventure story with provocative themes that echo long after the story reaches its tricky, mind-expanding conclusion.

Imaginative teen Pi Patel (Sharma) grew up in a zoo owned by his parents (Hussain and Tabu) in formerly French India. And when hard times come, they decide to pack up and move with the animals to Canada. But the ship they are travelling on runs into a fierce storm in the Pacific, sinking suddenly and leaving Pi as the lone survivor on a lifeboat with a wounded zebra, a frantic hyena, a seasick orang-utan and a hungry Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. Over the coming months, Pi and Richard Parker survive due to the challenges of coexisting in such a confined space. And with his Buddhist, Christian and Islamic beliefs, Pi now believes the experience also helps explain the existence of God.

The film adds a framing device as a writer (Spall) interviews the older Pi (Khan), essentially putting both us and Martel into the story. This helps open the themes up in intensely personal ways, while grounding the extravagantly visual ordeal at sea with a quietly involving house-bound conversation. And far from removing suspense, knowing that Pi survives brings out the layers of meaning in ways that are suspenseful and challenging. Everything about the story is infused with the idea of faith in God, with intriguing parallels in the relationships between humans, animals and nature. But none of this is overstated: it's subtle and questioning rather than preachy. And much more effective as a result.

Continue reading: Life Of Pi Review

Gil Netter

Gil Netter Quick Links

News Film RSS

Occupation

Filmmaker


Suggested

Pretty Fierce talk to us about collaborating with Doja Cat, emetophobia, arena tours and staying

Pretty Fierce talk to us about collaborating with Doja Cat, emetophobia, arena tours and staying "true to yourself" [EXCLUSIVE]

Sheffield's very own all girl group Pretty Fierce are still on a high after the recent release of their debut single - 'Ready For Me'.

Will Varley & Jack Valero - The Astor Theatre Deal Live Review

Will Varley & Jack Valero - The Astor Theatre Deal Live Review

Three nights before the end of his current tour Will Varley returned to his home town of Deal to delight a sold out crowd in The Astor Theatre.

Keelan X talks to us about staying true to

Keelan X talks to us about staying true to "your creative vision", collaborating with Giorgio Moroder and being "a yoga nut" [EXCLUSIVE]

Former Marigolds band member Keelan Cunningham has rediscovered his love of music with his new solo project Keelan X.

Advertisement
Luke De-Sciscio talks to us about having the courage to be yourself, forgiving that which is outside of one's control and following whims [EXCLUSIVE]

Luke De-Sciscio talks to us about having the courage to be yourself, forgiving that which is outside of one's control and following whims [EXCLUSIVE]

Wiltshire singer-songwriter Luke De Sciscio, formally known as Folk Boy, is set to release is latest album - 'The Banquet' via AntiFragile Music on...

Annie Elise talks to us about the challenges a female producer has to face and

Annie Elise talks to us about the challenges a female producer has to face and "going through a year of grief and sickness" [EXCLUSIVE]

Electronic music pioneer and producer Annie Elise says that the release of her first EP - 'Breathe In, Breathe Out' feels "both vulnerable and...

Dekker talks to us about writing with Jose Gonzales, making headway in the U.S and the difficulties associated with wearing a hat! [EXCLUSIVE]

Dekker talks to us about writing with Jose Gonzales, making headway in the U.S and the difficulties associated with wearing a hat! [EXCLUSIVE]

Ahead of the imminent release of his second solo album - Dekker, aka Brookln Dekker, took time out to let us know about the musical project he...

Advertisement

Gil Netter Movies

The Glass Castle Movie Review

The Glass Castle Movie Review

There are quite a few terrific moments in this true story, based on the memoir...

Life of Pi Movie Review

Life of Pi Movie Review

Working with perceptive writer David Magee (Finding Neverand), Ang Lee creates one of the most...

Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews