Sunday, 8 December 2013

Crisp Criticism - "The Spectacular Now", "How I Live Now", "Delivery Man", "The Great Beauty", "The Broken Circle Breakdown"

Julien Faddoul

The Spectacular Now **

When a high-school clown gets dumped he begins a relationship with a more innocent girl.
Sincere, humble and truncated film on a familiar theme; lovingly assembled and superbly acted from all concerned. Dispiritedly, the last act is stunted.

d – James Ponsoldt
w – Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber   (Based on the Novel by Tim Tharp)
ph – Jess Hall
pd – Linda Sena
m – Rob Simonsen
ed – Darrin Navarro
cos – Peggy Stamper

p – Michelle Krumm, Andrew Lauren, Shawn Levy, Tom McNulty

Cast: Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Brie Larson, Dayo Okeniyi, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kyle Chandler, Andre Royo, Bob Odenkirk, Kaitlyn Dever

How I Live Now

An American girl, sent to England to stay with relatives, finds love while fighting for her survival as war envelops the world around her.
Plodding, indifferent adaptation a semi-loved novel. Entering data is less dull.

d – Kevin Macdonald
w – Jeremy Brock, Tony Grisoni, Penelope Skinner   (Based on the Novel by Meg Rosoff)
ph – Franz Lustig
pd – Jacqueline Abrahams
m – Jon Hopkins
ed – Jinx Godfrey
cos – Jane Petrie

p – John Battsek, Alasdair Flind, Andrew Ruhemann, Charles Steel

Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Tom Holland, George MacKay, Harley Bird, Danny McEvoy, Anna Chancellor

Delivery Man

A man who has fathered 533 children through anonymous donations to a fertility clinic is being sued by his children to reveal his identity.
A film that is rotten to the core, with not a single successful joke and a star who seems to have lost complete interest.

wd – Ken Scott   (Based on the Screenplay by Ken Scott, Martin Petit)
ph – Eric Alan Edward
pd – Ida Random
m – Jon Brion
ed – Priscilla Nedd-Frinedly
cos – Melissa Toth

p – Andre Rouleau

Cast: Vince Vaughn, Chris Pratt, Cobie Smulders, Andrzej Blumenfeld, Simon Delaney

The Great Beauty **

After his 65th birthday, a former author, now celebrity journalist, reflects on his life in Italy.
Obvious allusions to Fellini aside, this is a difficult film to define. Told in episodes, it shows a materialistic Rome with nostalgic regret. Suffice it to say that it warms, it scars, it mesmerizes and it fumbles.

d – Paolo Sorrentino
w – Paolo Sorrentino, Umberto Contarello
ph – Luca Bigazzi
pd – Stefania Cella
m – Lele Marchitelli
ed – Cristiano Travaglioli
cos – Daniela Ciancio

p – Francesca Cima, Nicola Giuilano

Cast: Toni Servillo, Carlo Verdone, Sabrina Ferilli, Carlo Buccirosso, Iaia Forte, Pamela Villoresi, Galatea Ranzi, Franco Graziosi, Giorgio Pasotti, Massimo Popolizio

The Broken Circle Breakdown **

A Belgian couple, who share a love of bluegrass music, experience turmoil when their daughter becomes gravely ill.
Predictable and corny, but pulled-off with finesse. What stops it from greatness is its own desire to be both conventional and bold.

d – Felix Van Groeningen
w – Carl Joos, Felix Van Groeningen   (Based on the Play by Johan Heldenbergh Mieke Dobbels)
ph – Kurt Rigolle
pd – Nico Leunen
m – Ruben Impens
ed – Bjorn Eriksson
cos – Ann Lauwerys

p – Dirk Impens

Cast: Johan Heldenbergh, Veerle Baetens, Nell Cattrysse, Geert Van Rampelberg, Nils De Caster, Robbie Cleiren, Bert Huysentruyt, Jan Bijvoet

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