Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Crisp Criticism - "Room", "Joy", "The Good Dinosaur", "Suffragette"

Julien Faddoul

Room ***

Held captive for years in an enclosed space, a woman and her 5-year-old son, whom she had with her kidnapper, attempt to gain their freedom.
Uncomfortable, incredibly moving and sensitive depiction of parents and children and the universe of love and animosity they create with one another. It dips here and there, but it conveys a potent subtlety on such trauma and the performances are uniformly exceptional.

d – Lenny Abrahamson
w – Emma Donoghue   (Based on the Novel by Emma Donoghue)
ph – Danny Cohen
pd – Ethan Tobman
m – Stephen Rennicks
ed – Nathan Nugent
cos – Lea Carlson

p – David Gross, Ed Guiney

Cast: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen, Sean Bridgers, William H. Macy, Tom McCamus

Joy *

The life of a struggling Long Island single mom who became one of the country's most successful entrepreneurs.
A typical film by its director in that the result is a high-wire act. It could either be a delicious mix of eccentric characters and unbridled emotion or a mess of lightweight sermons and scenarios with no discernible cinematic decisions. This one more often falls toward the latter.

d – David O. Russell
w – David O. Russell, Annie Mumolo
ph – Linus Sandgren
pd – Judy Becker
m – David Campbell, West Dylan Thordson
ed – Alan Baumgarten, Jay Cassidy, Tom Cross, Christopher Tellefsen   
cos – Michael Wilkinson

p – Megan Ellison, David O. Russell, John Davis, Jonathan Gordon, Ken Mok

Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Dascha Polanco, Edgar Ramírez, Elisabeth Röhm, Virginia Madsen, Isabella Rossellini, Diane Ladd, Jimmy Jean-Louis, Drena De Niro, Madison Wolfe

The Good Dinosaur **

After a family tragedy, an Apatosaurus and a human boy have to find their way back home against unforgiving terrain.
Calm, gentle, rather gloomy Pixar parable with gorgeous, almost photorealistic imagery. But its plot is both wispy and malnourished and can’t quite express the hypnotic affinity that was clearly intended.

d – Peter Sohn
w – Peter Sohn, Erik Benson, Meg LeFauve, Kelsey Mann, Bob Peterson
ph – Sharon Calahan, Mahyar Abousaeedi
pd – Harley Jessup
m – Mychael Danna, Jeff Danna
ed – Stephen Schaffer

p – Denise Ream

Cast: Raymond Ochoa, Jack Bright, Sam Elliott, Anna Paquin, AJ Buckley, Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand, Steve Zahn


Based on true events about the foot soldiers of the early feminist movement who were forced underground to evade the State.
An incredibly stupid movie that takes a provocative story and wastes it on bourgeois cinematic manipulation.

d – Sarah Gavron
w – Abi Morgan
ph – Eduard Grau
pd – Alice Normington
m – Alexandre Desplat
ed – Barney Pilling
cos – Jane Petrie

p – Alison Owen, Faye Ward

Cast: Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Meryl Streep, Ben Whishaw, Brendan Gleeson, Romola Garai, Anne-Marie Duff, Samuel West, Geoff Bell, Natalie Press