Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Crisp Criticism - "Crimson Peak", "Legend", "Queen of Earth"

Julien Faddoul

Crimson Peak *

After a family tragedy, an aspiring author is swept away to a handsome man’s castle, which is haunted by ghosts.
Meticulously designed paean to Gothic Romance and melodrama that never surpasses being simply an exercise in style. Del Toro’s affection for said style is evident, but his implementation lacks both coherence and, in regard to his cartoony CG ghosts, cinematic ambition.

d – Guillermo del Toro
w – Guillermo del Toro, Matthew Robbins
ph – Dan Laustsen
pd – Thomas E. Sanders
m – Fernando Velázquez
ed – Bernat Vilaplana
cos – Kate Hawley

p – Guillermo del Toro, Callum Greene, Jon Jashni, Thomas Tull

Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam, Jim Beaver, Burn Gorman, Javier Botet

Legend *

A pair of twins have worked their way through the ranks to become powerful crime lords in London's underworld in the 1960s.
Unsatisfactory in its depiction of the 60’s criminal underground Britain, barely scratching the service and borrowing far too heavily on previous films. Both its main characters are uninteresting.

wd – Brian Helgeland   (Based on the Book by John Pearson)
ph – Dick Pope
pd – Tom Conroy
m – Carter Burwell
ed – Peter McNulty
cos – Caroline Harris

p – Tim Beaven, Eric Fellner, Chris Clark, Quentin Curtis, Brian Oliver

Cast: Tom Hardy, Emily Browning, Taron Egerton, David Thewlis, Colin Morgan, Christopher Eccleston, Paul Anderson, Chazz Palminteri, Aneurin Barnard, Millie Brady

Queen of Earth **

Two women who grew up together discover they have drifted apart when they retreat to a lake house together.
Shot in tight close-ups and long takes, this is the first of Perry's films that isn't a comedy. Here, emulating the psycho-dramatic works of Polanski and Bergman, he creates a palpable sense of unease, interested more in exhibiting what its two main characters are feeling, rather than doing. Ultimately, unlike his previous films, it remains merely ornate without being insightful.

wd – Alex Ross Perry
ph – Sean Price Williams   
pd – Anna Bak-Kvapil
m – Keegan DeWitt
ed – Robert Greene
cos – Amanda Ford

p – Elisabeth Moss, Alex Ross Perry, Adam Piotrowicz, Joe Swanberg

Cast: Elizabeth Moss, Katherine Waterston, Patrick Fugit, Kentucker Audley, Kate Lyn Sheil

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