Baby Driver: Although it contains more music than most tuneful of movies “Baby Driver,” the new film from director Edgar Wright, isn’t a musical in the “West Side Story,” “Sound of Music” sense. Wallpapered with 35 rock ‘n roll songs on the soundtrack it’s a hard driving heist flick that can best be called an action musical.
The Big Sick: Even when “The Big Sick” is making jokes about terrorism and the “X-Files” it is all heart, a crowd-pleaser that still feels personal and intimate.
Call Me By Your Name: This is a movie of small details that speak to larger truths. Director Luca Guadagnino keeps the story simple relying on the minutiae to add depth and beauty to the story. The idyllic countryside, the quaint town, the music of the Psychedelic Furs and the languid pace of a long Italian summer combine to create the sensual backdrop against which the romance between the two blossoms. Guadagnino’s camera captures it all, avoiding the pitfalls of melodrama to present a story that is pure emotion. It feels real and raw, haunted by the ghosts of loves gone by.
Darkest Hour: This is a historical drama with all the trappings of “Masterpiece Theatre.” You can expect photography, costumes and period details are sumptuous. What you may not expect is the light-hearted tone of much of the goings on. While this isn’t “Carry On Churchill,” it has a lighter touch that might be expected. Gary Oldman, not an actor known for his comedic flourishes, embraces the sly humour. When Churchill becomes Prime Minister his wife, Clementine (Kristin Scott Thomas) makes an impassioned speech about the importance of the work he is about to take on. He raises a glass and, cutting through the emotion of the moment, says, “Here’s to not buggering it up!” It shows a side of Churchill not often revealed in wartime biopics.
The Disaster Artist: The key to pulling off “The Disaster Artist” is not recreating “The Room” beat for beat, although they do that, it’s actually about treating Wiseau as a person and not an object of fun. He’s an outrageous character and Franco commits to it 100%. From the marble-mouthed speech pattern that’s part Valley Girl and part Beaker from The Muppets to the wild clothes and stringy hair, he’s equal parts creepy and lovable but underneath his bravado are real human frailties. Depending on your point of view he’s either delusional or aspirational but in Franco’s hands he’s never also never less than memorable. It’s a broad, strange performance but it may also be one of the actor’s best.
Dunkirk: This is an intense movie but it is not an overly emotional one. The cumulative effect of the vivid images and sounds will stir the soul but despite great performances the movie doesn’t necessarily make you feel for one character or another. Instead its strength is in how it displays the overwhelming sense of scope of the Dunkirk mission. With 400,000 men on the ground with more in the air and at sea, the sheer scope of the operation overpowers individuality, turning the focus on the collective. Director Christopher Nolan’s sweeping camera takes it all in, epic and intimate moments alike.
The Florida Project: This is, hands down, one of the best films of the year. Low-budget and naturalistic, it packs more punch than any superhero. Director Sean Baker defies expectations. He’s made a film about kids for adults that finds joy in rocky places. What could have been a bleak experience or an earnest message movie is brought to vivid life by characters that feel real. It’s a story about poverty that neither celebrates or condemns its characters. Mooney’s exploits are entertaining and yet an air of jeopardy hangs heavy over every minute of the movie. Baker knows that Halley and Moonie’s well being hangs by a thread but he also understands they exist in the real world and never allows their story to fall into cliché.
Get Out: This is the weirdest and most original mainstream psychodrama to come along since “The Babadook.” The basic premise harkens back to the Sidney Poitier’s classic “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.” In that film parents, played by Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, have their attitudes challenged when their daughter introduces them to her African American fiancé. The uncomfortable situation of meeting in-laws for the first time is universal. It’s the added layers of paranoia and skewered white liberalism that propels the main character’s (Daniel Kaluuya) situation into full-fledged horror. In this setting he is the other, the stranger and as his anxiety grows the social commentary regarding attitudes about race in America grows sharper and more focussed.
Lady Bird: Greta Gerwig’s skilful handling of the story of Lady Bird’s busy senior year works not just because it’s unvarnished and honest in its look at becoming an adult but also, in a large degree, to Saoirse Ronan’s performance. I have long called her ‘Lil Meryl. She’s an actor of unusual depth, a young person (born in 1994) with an old soul. Lady Bird is almost crushed by the weight of uncertainty that greets her with every turn—will her parents divorce, will there be money for school, will Kyle be the boy of her dreams, will she ever make enough cash to repay her parents for her upbringing?—but Ronan keeps her nimble, sidestepping teen ennui with a complicated mix of snappy one liners, hard earned wisdom and a well of emotion. It’s tremendous, Academy Award worthy work.
The Post: Steven Spielberg film is a fist-pump-in-the-air look at the integrity and importance of a free press. It’s a little heavy-handed but these are heavy-handed times. Director Spielberg and stars Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep are entertainers first and foremost, and they do entertain here, but they also shine a light on a historical era whose reverberations are being felt today stronger than ever.
The Shape of Water: A dreamy slice of pure cinema. Director Guillermo del Toro uses the stark Cold War as a canvas to draw warm and vivid portraits of his characters. It’s a beautiful creature feature ripe with romance, thrills and, above all, empathy for everyone. This is the kind of movie that reminds us of why we fell in love with movies in the first place.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri: The story of a mother’s unconventional war with the world is simple enough, it’s the complexity of the characters that elevates the it to the level of great art.
Wonder Woman: Equal parts Amazon sword and sandal epic, mad scientist flick, war movie and rom com, it’s a crowd pleaser that places the popular character front and centre. As played by Gal Gadot, Diana is charismatic and kick ass, a superhero who is both truly super and heroic. Like Superman she is firmly on the side of good, not a tortured soul à la Batman. Naïve to the ways of the world, she runs headfirst into trouble. Whether she’s throwing a German tank across a battlefield, defying gravity to leap to the top of a bell tower, tolerating Trevor’s occasional mansplaining or deflecting bullets with her indestructible Bracelets of Submission, she proves in scene after scene to be both a formidable warrior and a genuine, profoundly empathic character.
A weekly feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at ”Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” the no-bull kid’s tale “Ferdinand” and the coming-of-age romance “Call Me By Your Name.”
Based on André Aciman’s novel of the same name “Call Me By Your Name” is a delicate romance that explores the nature of consensual, unconditional love.
The story begins at the 17th century Northern Italian villa of archaeology professor Samuel Perlman (Michael Stuhlbarg). It’s 1983 and each year he invites a graduate student to spend the summer cataloguing his discoveries. This year it’s Oliver (Armie Hammer), a 24-year-old American as confident as he is good looking. “What do you do around here?” he asks Elio (Timothée Chalamet), Perlman’s “Heart of Darkness”-reading, classical pianist 17-year-old son. “Wait for the summer to end,” comes the answer.
This summer is different, however. While dating a pretty local girl Marzia (Esther Garrel), Elio experiences a sexual awakening as he develops feelings for the older Oliver. The two begin a relationship, at first playfully antagonistic, later deeply and unabashedly romantic. Ripe with the bloom of first love Elio is devastated when Oliver returns to the United States, left an emotional wreck. Enter Professor Perlman with an empathetic speech that brings with it comfort but no easy answers.
“Call Me By Your Name” is a movie of small details that speak to larger truths. Director Luca Guadagnino keeps the story simple relying on the minutiae to add depth and beauty to the story. The idyllic countryside, the quaint town, the music of the Psychedelic Furs and the languid pace of a long Italian summer combine to create the sensual backdrop against which the romance between the two blossoms. Guadagnino’s camera captures it all, avoiding the pitfalls of melodrama to present a story that is pure emotion. It feels real and raw, haunted by the ghosts of loves gone by.
Chalamet, who impressed in “Lady Bird” earlier this year, nails the balance between joy and lovelorn, delivering a performance that bridges the gap between hormonal teenager and emotionally charged adult. The film’s final shot, a sustained close-up on Elio’s face in the grips of the realization that he may never see Oliver again, is a window into the soul of heartbreak.
Hammer, whose towering frame and handsome face suggest a typical leading man, delivers a career best performance. Toggling between brash and beatific, he brings sensitivity to the role and isn’t simply set dressing or an object of obsession.
With Chalamet and Hammer in the leads the movie is an extended two-hander but near the end Stuhlbarg delivers an “if there is a flame, don’t snuff it out” speech that is worth the price of admission.
“Call Me By Your Name” is a lot of things. It’s part travelogue—you’ll want to jump on a plane for Italy right away—part coming of age story, part romance, but, best of all, it is respectful. It is respectful of Elio’s experience and the residual feelings left behind.
Any year that gives us the day-to-day quest for beauty of “Paterson,” the wild eroticism of “The Handmaiden” and everything in between can’t be all bad. Sure, there were some stinkers and celebrity mortality galore, but when I think back on 2016 I’ll remember Lee and Randi unexpectedly meeting on the street, Ryan and Emma’s Mulholland Drive extravaganza, Lord Voldemort getting down to disco era Rolling Stones and the undeniable belief that every page is a possibility.
A Bigger Splash: In 1969 the Alain Delon potboiler “La Piscine” (“The Swimming Pool”) had a look at beautiful people and sexual jealousy set against the backdrop of the Côte d’Azur. Forty-five years later director Luca Guadagnino makes the story his own, transplanting the characters to a remote island halfway between Sicily and Tunisia, replacing jealousy with desire and setting the whole thing to the slinky beat of The Rolling Stones’ “Emotional Rescue.” “A Bigger Splash” keeps the swimming pool but reinvents the rest of the story.
Rock star Marianne Lane (Tilda Swinton) and her boyfriend Paul (Matthias Schoenaerts) are living a quiet life on the coast of Italy. Very quiet. She is recuperating from surgery and can’t speak. Their tranquil time, however, is shattered by the arrival of Harry (Ralph Fiennes), Lane’s former record producer and lover, and his Lolita-esque daughter Penelope (Dakota Johnson). He’s an impulsive first-one-in-the-pool, free spirit who invites strangers over to hang out (“You’re not speaking sweetheart so I had to make other plans!” he says.), she’s a flirty presence who says things like, “My trouble is, I fall in love with every pretty thing.” A day or so into the visit the sunny Mediterranean days take a dark turn as their shared history brings up some ghosts from the past.
“A Bigger Splash” is worth the price of admission just to see Ralph Fiennes, Lord Voldemort himself, strutting his stuff to disco era Rolling Stones. He unleashes some of the goofiest dance moves since Elaine Benes in what must be his loosest performance ever.
Come for the dancing, stay for the bawdy and boisterous atmosphere. The idyllic, sun dappled backdrop plays at odds with the noirish story as Guadagnino brushes his canvas with sexual tension, slowly adding layers to the story as he builds up to a startling climax. It’s a romp, with worldly people, loads of nudity, drugs and drinking, until it isn’t and the time comes to pay the price of living a wild life without regrets. As the characters manipulate one another Guadagnino manipulates the audience with flamboyant filmmaking, unexpected jump cuts and zooms, which demand your attention.
“A Bigger Splash” could have swum in the shallow end of the pool, but subtly and interestingly goes off the deep end.
Deadpool: Don’t expect the usual kid-friendly superhero fare from “Deadpool.” He’s part of the Marvel family, a distant cousin to Iron Man, The Hulk and Captain America, but he’s a superantihero, a weaponized bad attitude come-to-life with a chip on his shoulder and a raunchy quip on his lips.
“Deadpool” is unlike any other origin story. It’s a snarky, violent, fourth-wall-breaking collision between “Van Wilder” and Marvel Comics. The opening credits–which scream the movie stars God’s Perfect Idiot, A Hot Girl, A British Villain, A CGI Character and features a Gratuitous Cameo–set the tone. This isn’t your grandfather’s superhero movie. With one bloody shot across the bow “Deadpool” makes the other Marvel movies look a little less Marvel-ous. No joke is too crass. No lines are left uncrossed. Where the last couple of Marvel superhero films have felt like odes to market research, “Deadpool” feels like an antidote to the repetition of recent superhero offerings. Politically incorrect and rowdy, it’s a down-and-dirty movie that has more in common with “The Toxic Avenger” than “Iron Man.”
This may be the role Reynolds has been waiting for. It mixes-and-matches his skill at dropping a one liner with his physical side and finally gives his bland leading man mien some edge. Self-effacing, he pokes fun at his other attempts at superhero notoriety. “Please don’t make this super suit green or animated,” says the former Green Lantern and suddenly we forgive his past transgressions.
“Deadpool” won’t be for everyone. It’s occasionally a little too rude and crude, bloody and bowed for it’s own good but at least it tries to do something a little different in the well-worn context of the superhero genre. It exists in a meta universe where Deadpool is aware he’s in a movie–“Whose BLEEP did I have to BLEEP to get my own movie?” he asks.–while another character suggests the name Deadpool “sounds like a franchise.” I hope so. Like them or not, superhero movies aren’t going anywhere soon but at least every now and again there may be a new “Deadpool” film to shake things up a bit.
Everybody Wants Some: Director Richard Linklater’s last film, the Oscar wining “Boyhood,” was a slice of life that showcased twelve years in the life of a growing boy. His new movie is also a slice of life but in a much-condensed form, spanning just three days in the life of a college baseball player.
Largely conflict free, this isn’t a story so much as it is a snapshot of a time and place. It’s a transport back to the time of waterbeds, “My Sharona,” fashionable mullets and trippy Carl Sagan cosmology. Linklater recreates the freewheeling feel of the era and the last blast of childhood before the responsibilities of adulthood. The temptation will be to label this a more innocent time, but that isn’t exactly accurate. These guys are just as interested in scoring with girls as they are soring runs on the field so innocent they are not. At most this is an affectionately nostalgic glimpse back into our recent past.
“Everybody Wants Some!!” is a charming reminiscence. Linklater gets the details right—including a crude warning against the pleasures of waterbed sex—but more importantly populates the film with characters that feel like real people and not stereotypes conjured up by a 1980s way-back machine. It’s troubling that the female characters are given little to do—perhaps Linklater’s next could be from the point of view of the woman’s experience—but the men are entertaining and compelling sorts whose conversations are occasionally inane, occasionally philosophical, just like real life.
The Handmaiden: Set in 1930s Korea, “The Handmaiden” is an epic story of madness, con games, double crosses, double-double crosses, kinky sex, desire and more. Director Chan-wook Park adapts Welsh writer Sarah Waters’ novel “Fingersmith,” wringing every ounce of lascivious pleasure from its sprawling story of sex and intrigue.
Chan-wook Park’s films have never shied away from lurid, sensational imagery, and “The Handmaiden” is no different. Unapologetically erotic and convoluted, the film revels in its ridiculousness, luxuriating in every plot twist and turn. Told from multiple points of view with an ever-changing character dynamic, it demands your attention.
What begins as a con game ends as a (SPOILER ALERT) a triumph of undervalued women who use the manipulation of the men in their lives as a weapon. It’s a complicated revenge story, ripe with detail and secrets. As vaguely trashy art house cinema goes, however, it doesn’t get much more enjoyably escapist than “The Handmaiden.”
Hell or High Water: The real stars of the new neo-western “Hell or High Water” aren’t the top line cast, Chris Pine, Ben Foster and Jeff Bridges. All are terrific, but the main attractions are the Fast Cash and Debt Relief signs that dot the West Texas landscape. They’re the reason we’re here and the engine that propels this story of outlaws, buddies and banks.
Echoes of the Coen brothers ricochet throughout “Hell or High Water.” Aside from Coen regular Bridges, the movie exists in an amoral universe populated by down-on-their-heels types, done in either by poor life decisions, circumstance, age or temperament. English director David Mackenzie places these characters amid sun bleached landscapes and the hardened faces of citizens asserting their Second Amendment rights. It feels like the Coen Brothers but only because Joel and Ethan has visited this nihilistic comedy territory several times before. Mackenzie hasn’t simply made “No Country For Old Men Lite,” he’s combined interesting characters with a languid pace that apes the speed of life in West Texas to create a potent portrait of a time and place.
Set against the backdrop of West Texas’s perpetual economic downturn and those ever-present Fast cash signs, it’s a story not just about the four men but the circumstance that pitted them against one another.
“Hell or High Water” is two buddy movies in one. As one of the brothers Foster is reliable in his familiar man-on-the-edge role, but it is Pine who impresses. He underplays Toby, never doing more than he has to and avoiding the theatrics of his “Star Trek” films. It’s a career best performance that shows there is more to him than larger-than-life franchise work.
As the heavy-breathing lion in winter Bridges brings both gravitas and a light touch. His skill as a Ranger is evident but so is his offbeat sensibility. “Now that looks like a man who could foreclose on a house,” he says when meeting a recently robbed bank manager. It’s a throwaway line but Bridges brings it to life in a way that made me wonder if there is a more comfortable presence on screen than Bridges? He is matched in ease and charm by Birmingham who is a perfect foil for Bridges.
With its unhurried, deliberate pace Nick Cave’s suitably moody score and Mackenzie’s eye for detail “Hell or High Water” is more than a stop-gap between Coen Brothers neo westerns, it’s one of the most richly satisfying movies of the year so far.
La La Land: “La La Land” reinvents the traditional big screen musical by playing it straight. The original songs and new story feel like something Gene Kelly would approve of but not quite recognize as the form he helped perfect in Hollywood’s Golden Age.
The real and the unreal collide in a film that values naturalism in an unnatural genre. Mia and Sebastian burst into song, dance on city streets but do so in the most unaffected of ways. It looks and feels like an old-school musical—the camera dances around the actors and it’s always magic hour—but Stone and Gosling are very contemporary in their approach to the material. Woven into the romantic, joyful script are real comments on the setting—“That’s LA, they worship everything,” says Sebastian, “but value nothing.”—a sense of the pleasure and pain that accompany passion, whether its for a person or a career and melancholy when things don’t quite work out. It’s a movie that dances to it’s own beat. By times bright and garish or atmospheric and moody, it’s never less than entertaining.
Gosling is a charming leading man and equal match for Stone whose remarkable face and expressive performance give the movie much of its heart. Director Damien Chazelle is clearly smitten with his leading lady, allowing his camera to caress her face in long, uninterrupted close-ups.
From a trickily edited opening song-and-dance number in a traffic jam to a spectacular dance among the stars to heartfelt human feelings, “La La Land” doesn’t just breathe new life into an old genre it performs CPR on it, bringing its beating heart back to vibrant life.
Loving: Imagine falling in love with someone, getting married and having a baby or two. For many people that is the dream but for interracial couple Richard and Mildred Loving it was a nightmare of racism and injustice.
“Loving” is an important slice of American history told in a quiet, heartfelt way. Director Jeff Nicholls doesn’t clog up the story with dialogue. Instead he follows the first rule of filmmaking, show me, don’t tell me. For instance, when Mildred and Richard leave Virginia for the less-than-bucolic DC, the looks on the actor’s faces tell the tale, no words required. He allows the performances to underscore the potency of the story. Watch the way Mildred and Richard respond to one another physically after the arrests. Their tentative public displays of affection shows the fear that comes along with being told your relationship is illegal and wrong. It’s subtle, beautiful acting.
“Loving” is a understated movie. Some have suggested it may have benefitted from a bit more anger, but that, for me, would feel like a betrayal to the characters who fight the good fight with dignity and love.
The movie is simultaneously a powerful look at a different time and, when it asks, “What is the danger to the state of Virginia from interracial marriage?” a timely and universal reminder that Loving v. Virginia was just one of many steps humanity has to take before everyone is afforded fundamental rights.
Manchester by the Sea: “Manchester by the Sea” is one of the year’s best films. If you want to know why, read on. If not, go buy a ticket now. You won’t be disappointed.
“Manchester by the Sea” is many things. As a finely acted look at grief and the aftermath of heartbreak, it has few peers among this year’s crop of films. But it’s also very a funny odd couple/buddy flick that isn’t afraid to flip flop between drama and comedy. This is writer/director Kenneth Lonergan’s tempest in a teapot, a smallish film that roils with big emotional moments.
Casey Affleck is the core of the film. He’s in virtually every frame and while understated he bristles with feeling. It is a tremendous performance that never fails into morbidity as he skilfully keeps he character alive, both physically and metaphysically. Every day is a struggle for Lee and he deals with his trauma the only way he knows how, with blistering honesty and by drinking and fighting to feel something. There is emotional truth in every mumbled line and come Oscar season expect to hear a lot about this performance.
Affleck shares several scenes with Michelle Williams, but one in particular stands out. For most of the film we only see her in flashbacks, when she was married to Lee. Cut to present day and a chance encounter on the street. In a master class of acting the two rehash and come to grips with the trauma that tore them apart. It heartbreak laid bare and it is a stunning scene.
I fear I’ve made “Manchester by the Sea” by the sea sound like an exercise in Sturm und Drang but it’s not. It deals with very real, very difficult human situations but does so with honesty and a great deal of unexpected humour and wisdom.
Moonlight: “Moonlight” is a film about a young man trying to find a place for himself in the world. “At some point you got to decide who you going to be,” says an early mentor. “Can’t let anybody make that decision for you.” Director Barry Jenkins splits the story into thirds, each examining a different time in the life of Chiron, a young, gay African-American man, as he comes to grips with who he is.
“Moonlight” is a movie that beats with a very human heart while subverting expectations with almost every scene. Jenkins has placed obstacles in the way of the story telling—multiple actors playing the same characters, and a lead who is succinct almost to the point of being mute—but overcomes those hurdles with a combination of social conscience, fine acting and interesting characters who constantly defy pigeonholing.
Mahershala Ali, an actor best known as Remy Danton on “House of Cards,” is a standout as a drug dealer who allows the personal cost of his business to weigh on him. He’s a tough guy with a heart and his performance in Part I sets a high bar which is met by Harris and all three of the young men who play Chiron.
Each deliver performances characterized by deep inner work that reveals the truth behind the façade Chiron uses as a front. There’s a remarkable consistency in the trio of performances, so by the end of the film, when Chiron is asked, “Who is you man?” his answer, “I’m me. I don’t try to be nothing else,” rings true and real.
Paterson: The Jim Jarmusch movie is a week in the life of Paterson, the man and the place.
Adam Driver is Paterson, a poetry writing New Jersey bus driver from Paterson, New Jersey. He lives with Laura (Golshifteh Farahani), a dreamer who wants to open a cupcake shop and make them rich or, maybe, become a country singer and their dog Marvin.
“Paterson” is a wonderfully leisurely movie. It’s not in a hurry to get where it is going, instead luxuriating in the mundane aspects of Paterson’s life punctuated by on-screen depictions of his poetry. What could have been insufferable turns into a beautifully rendered portrait of people who find beauty and art in every day life.
There are small conflicts sprinkled throughout, a bus breaks down and lovers quarrel, but “Paterson” isn’t about that. It’s about gentle, loving performances from Driver and Farahani and the beauty of overheard conversations and the day today of regular life.
Santa isn’t the only one who makes lists in December.
Every year around this time I put together my annual best and worst movies lists. This year I’m changing it up. 2016 was a corker of a year in and out of movie theatres. It felt like 365 days of bad road so I’m going to concentrate on uplift; the very best of a bad year.
1. A Bigger Splash: This look at beautiful people, jealousy and desire is worth the price of admission to see Ralph Fiennes, Lord Voldemort himself, strut his stuff to disco era Rolling Stones. He unleashes some of the goofiest dance moves since Elaine Benes in what must be his loosest performance ever.
2. Deadpool: As played by Ryan Reynolds Deadpool is part of the Marvel family, a distant cousin to Iron Man and Captain America, but he’s a refreshing super-antihero, a weaponized bad attitude come-to-life with a chip on his shoulder and a raunchy quip on his lips.
3. Everybody Wants Some: Director Richard Linklater’s film Boyhood was a slice-of-life that showcased twelve years in the upbringing of a growing boy. His latest movie is also a slice-of-life but in a much-condensed form, spanning just three funny and affectionately nostalgic days in the life of a 1970s college baseball player.
4. The Handmaiden: This is an epic story of madness, con games, double crosses, double-double crosses, kinky sex, desire and more. Director Chan-wook Park wrings every ounce of lascivious pleasure from the film’s sprawling story of sex and intrigue.
5. Hell or High Water: Echoes of the Coen brothers ricochet throughout Hell or High Water but with its deliberate pace, Nick Cave’s moody score and Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine and Ben Foster as the leads, it’s more than a stop-gap between Coen Brothers neo westerns, it’s one of the most richly satisfying movies of the year.
6. La La Land: From a trickily edited opening song-and-dance number to a spectacular ballet among the stars to heartfelt human feelings, this Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling musical doesn’t just breathe new life into an old genre it performs CPR on it, bringing its beating heart back to vibrant life.
7. Loving: Loving is simultaneously a powerful look at a racist time and, when it asks, “What is the danger to the state of Virginia from interracial marriage?” a timely and universal reminder that Loving v. Virginia was just one of many steps humanity has to take before everyone is afforded fundamental rights.
8. Manchester by the Sea: Manchester by the Sea is a finely acted look at grief and the aftermath of heartbreak but it’s also very a funny odd couple/buddy flick that isn’t afraid to flip flop between drama and comedy.
9. Moonlight: Moonlight is a compelling film about a young man finding a place in the world. Director Barry Jenkins splits the story into thirds, each examining a different time in the life of Chiron, a young, gay African-American man, as he comes to grips with who he is
10. Paterson: Paterson luxuriates in the mundane aspects of a poetry writing bus driver’s life, and is punctuated by on-screen depictions of his poetry. What could have been insufferable turns into a beautifully rendered portrait of people who find beauty and art in everyday life.
Welcome to the House of Crouse. Many different accents this week talking about many different things. British director Ben Wheatley discusses sneaking sneaking weird into the mainstream in High-Rise. Olympia, Washington based writer Jim Lynch talks about his love of the sea and his book Before the Wind and then Italian director Luca Guadagnino talks about Ralph Fiennes’s “psychoanalytical” dancing in A Bigger Splash. It’s a worldly episode of House of Crouse!