Monday, September 8, 2014!
It was another late night…and another early morning…but the first film I saw after waiting in line for Wednesday’s public tickets was the new comedy from Noah Baumbach – WHILE WE’RE YOUNG. I loved it! Unfortunately, most of the films I saw today do not have trailers yet, so still photos will have to do.
Full of keen observations on generational differences between 40-somethings and 20-somethings, WHILE WE’RE YOUNG is one of the funniest, most charming comedies I have seen in years! In its third act, the film goes into some deeper territory, but it was all material that I found directly relatable…and I loved it. The film stars Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Adam Driver, Amanda Seyfried, and Charles Grodin. It hasn’t been picked up yet American distribution, but I’m certain it will!
OCTOBER GALE is a new thriller starring one of my favorite actresses – Patricia Clarkson (directed by Ruba Nadda, who directed Clarkson in CAIRO TIME). It’s the story of a woman, while still getting over the death of her husband, visits her Autumn, remote island cottage. While there, a mysterious man with a gunshot wound washes onto her shore, and it’s quickly made clear that someone will soon arrive to finish the job. I liked the tone and pacing of this film quite a bit…until a single moment when I thought the script took a ridiculous turn. Clarkson saves this film to some degree…but saving it completely would have required a rewrite.
I have bad news for the folks who are terribly anxious for THE LAST FIVE YEARS. This is a film version of the off-Broadway musical by Jason Robert Brown. Though the adaptation is quite faithful, it’s also quite uncinematic. The lead performances by Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan are beautifully sung and full of charisma, but the film failed to get off the ground for me until there was a fun, playful song about working summer stock in Ohio (it was the first time that the camera work came alive and played with location, etc.). All this said, the people who are terribly anxious about it will love it regardless – as the director barely played with any of the material (it’s as straight-forward as possible – aka hardly exciting on screen at all).
PASOLINI is a film about the famous director’s last days starring Willem Dafoe, directed by Abel Ferrara. Dafoe is incredible in this film, and the material with Pasolini commenting on his feelings about humanity and our drive for materialism were quite compelling (so much so that I want a copy of the screenplay). That said, I found the film to be a little jumbled (and even slightly confusing sometimes…as Ferrara made a decision not to give us subtitles during some rather difficult moments). We get to look at the film Pasolini wanted to make next and hear about the novel he never published – all before his murder by a hustler. It’s a tough film, but I think people who give it a chance may be inspired to learn more about this iconic filmmaker.
Thanks for checking in. I’m looking forward to the new Dardenne Brothers film tomorrow – TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT.