Some info on the movie: “Downton Abbey’s” Tuppence Middleton is a woman troubled by a childhood incident. As a little girl on a fishing trip with her parents, she witnessed the kidnapping of a one-eyed boy. Years later, after the death of her mother she returns home to sell the family’s run-down motel, the Rainbow Inn. Sifting through some old photos she comes across some old photos that dredge up memories of the terrible event.
Instead of packing up and leaving town she opens an investigation. “I’m someone who saw it,” she says. “Saw them take him. I was seven. I was there when it happened and I have proof.” When she uncovers the story of some local performers, the Magnificent Moulins, and their missing and presumed dead son she wonders if he could be the one-eyed boy. Her sister Laure (Mindhunter’s Hannah Gross) doesn’t believe her story—Abby is a pathological liar—but local historian and podcaster Walter (David Cronenberg) does. “Do you know what happens when a body hits the bottom of the gorge?” he asks. “Think swallowing a live grenade.” That would explain why no body was ever found, but it opens the door to a conspiracy that leaves Abby questioning her sanity. “There’s a lot of history round these parts,” Walter says, ominously.
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A weekly feature from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest and most interesting movies! This week Richard looks at “Emma,” “Seberg,” and “Disappearance at Clifton Hill.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including “Emma,” a period piece with a modern sensibility, “Seberg,” a by-the-book retelling of the defining time of movie actress Jean Seberg’s career, the memory mysteries of “Disappearance at Clifton Hill” and the “Big Lebowski” spin-off “The Jesus Rolls.”
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk about the weekend’s biggest releases including the upper crust shenanigans of “Emma,” the real life drama of “Seberg,” the “Big Lebowski” spin-off “The Jesus Rolls” and the thriller “Disappearance at Clifton Hill.”
Richard joins “Ottawa Now” host Kristy Cameron to discuss ‘Hunters’, an Amazon original series, that stars Al Pacino as a Holocaust survivor who rallies a group of young people to hunt and kill Nazis. Today, the show is facing heavy criticism from the Auschwitz Birkenau Museum over a flashback scene that shows a fictional game of ‘human chess’ at the concentration camp.
Iowa-born actress Jean Seberg was an as an icon of French New Wave cinema who made 34 movies in Europe and Hollywood. Her signature pixie haircut was a sensation, inspiring a generation to cut their hair and Madonna to copy the look for her “Papa Don’t Preach” video. Seberg was a favorite of Jean-Luc Godard and Francois Truffaut who wrote, “When Jean Seberg is on the screen, which is all the time, you can’t look at anything else.” She was also one of the best-known targets of the FBI COINTELPRO project, an illegal surveillance operation aimed at disrupting American political organizations. A new film starring Kristen Stewart as the star details the how the FBI ruined her reputation.
As Australian director Benedict Andrews begins the story Seberg is already a famous. She makes headlines when she publicly supports the Black Panther Party and privately carries on an affair with Black Power leader, Hakim Jamal (Anthony Mackie). Her interest in political causes—and financial support of civil rights organizations—also attracts the attention of the FBI who place her under surveillance. The big brass are determined to undermine her career but when Agent Jack Solomon (Jack O’Connell) sees the toll the operation is taking on Seberg’s mental health and her marriage to French novelist Romain Gary, he tries to intervene.
“Seberg” is a by-the-book retelling of the defining time of Seberg’s career but it never allows us to get to know her. Half the film is eaten up by the procedural aspects of the FBI’s campaign, spending too much time with side characters like Vince Vaughn’s villainous agent and O’Connell’s goody-two-shoes agent. The heart and soul of the story should be Seberg. The thing that should drive the story is how she was pushed to paranoia by the surveillance, not the surveillance itself.
Stewart does what she can with the clichéd dialogue but the inertness of the storytelling doesn’t allow her to portray Seberg’s innate renegade charisma.
“Seberg” is well appointed—the costumes and sets evocatively conjure up the late 1960s setting—but never creates a convincing character.
“The Jesus Rolls,” John Turturro’s revisiting of his classic “Big Lebowski” bowling alley character Jesus Quintana, is a story of bad decisions made and acted on but one can’t help but wonder is the worst decision was to resurrect Quintana in the first place.
The ride begins with Quintana leaving Sing Sing prison where he served time for what he calls a misunderstanding about indecent exposure in a public bathroom. Hooking up with his best friend Petey (Bobby Cannavale), he struts and swaggers his way back into trouble starting with the theft of a vintage muscle car. When Petey is shot by the auto’s owner, a hairdresser played by Jon Hamm, they hit the road, putting some space between them and the law. Quintana already has two strikes, another arrest and he’s going to jail and never coming out. Along for the ride is Marie (Audrey Tautou), a shampooist and the hairdresser’s former girlfriend. Their adventures, both criminal and erotic, begin with a visit to Quintana’s prostitute mother (Sonia Braga). “She’s better than no mother at all,” he says.
“The Jesus Rolls” is not a “Big Lebowski” sequel. The Coen Brothers gave the OK to bring Jesus back to cinematic life but Turturro opted to base his story on the freewheeling 1974 French farce “Les Valseuses” (“Going Places”).
Sequel or not, tribute flick or not, “The Jesus Rolls” is a gutter ball. As a character Jesus is best seen in small does. He’s a standout in “The Big Lebowski” because he’s an oddball in a film that celebrates oddballs. His two scenes are memorable, blessed with quotable dialogue and quirky tics—he licks the bowling balls before launching them at the pins—but a little of him goes a long way. He’s like garlic. One or two cloves adds flavor; the whole head is overkill.
“The Jesus Rolls” may share a character with “The Big Lebowski” but it has none of its charm. Despite a poignant performance by Susan Sarandon as a woman fresh out of prison and a well-chosen soundtrack, Turturro’s film proves that in the case of Quintana, sometimes less is more.
It’ll take more than a few White Russians to wash “The Jesus Rolls” down.
Richard, social media star Stewart Reynolds, and parent blogger Samantha Kemp-Jackson get Behind the Headlines with host Beverly Thomson. Today they discuss the “Ring” video doorbell possibly being used by the City of Windsor, a punch – or two – to the back of the airline seat if you DARE recline and a Whitney Houston hologram tour. A creepy event coming to a city near you.