Richard joins CP24 anchor Cristina Tenaglia to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including Christian Bale as former vice president Dick Cheney in “Vice,” the James Baldwin adaptation “If Beale Street Could Talk” and Felicity Jones as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Ruth Bader Ginsburg in “On the Basis of Sex.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Angie Seth to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including Christian Bale as Dick Cheney in “Vice,” the James Baldwin adaptation “If Beale Street Could Talk” and Felicity Jones as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Ruth Bader Ginsburg in “On the Basis of Sex.”
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 the Dick Cheney biopic “Vice,” the James Baldwin adaptation “If Beale Street Could Talk,” and Felicity Jones as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Ruth Bader Ginsburg in “On the Basis of Sex.”
Based on a well-loved James Baldwin novel, “If Beale Street Could Talk” is a story of love in the face of injustice. Director Barry Jenkins, in his follow-up to the Oscar winning “Moonlight,” has crafted a stately film that takes us inside the relationship at the heart of the story and the heartlessness that threatens to rip it apart.
Childhood friends “Tish” Rivers (Kiki Layne) and Alonzo “Fonny” Hunt (Stephan James) kept their relationship platonic until it blossomed into love when she was 19 and he was 22. With a lifetime of familiarity behind them, their relationship progresses quickly. They move into together and wait for the birth of their first child when tragedy strikes. Framed for sexual assault by racist cop Officer Bell (Ed Skrein) Fonny is thrown in jail. “I hope nobody ever has to look at somebody they love through class,” Tish says. The families rally to raise money for his defence but circumstance conspires to keep him incarcerated.
“If Beale Street Could Talk” is a love story framed against a backdrop of disenfranchisement and turmoil. It is about a woman’s love for her fiancé, a mother and father‘s for their daughter, the power of love to be the fuel of survival. As the faces of this love Jenkins displays an impeccable eye for casting. Through their body language and easy chemistry Layne and James hand in performances ripe with empathy, power and, here’s that word again, love.
There is a delicacy to the filmmaking. Jenkins takes his time, slowly building the story of heartbreak tinged with hope. It’s a period piece but placed alongside the spate of newspaper stories of young African-American men by police it feels as timely as today’s headlines.
It’s awards season, a heady time when the movie biz pats itself on the back for a job well done. Tuxedoes are rented, Botox injected by the gallon and hundreds of miles of red carpets unfurled as industry insiders honour the best of the best with statues and speeches.
But is it really a time for celebration? The movie biz had a record-breaking year, raking in north of $11.4 billion on the backs of, as one industry insider said, “a forgetful fish, infighting superheroes and some intergalactic rebels.”
But for every Finding Dory, Captain America or Rogue One, which all earned good reviews and audience support, there were dozens of others that acted as public repellent, driving viewers away in droves. Those unsuccessful movies are dark clouds hanging heavy over the Hollywood landscape. Metro has some thoughts on how to clear the skies and ensure smooth sailing until Hollywood runs out of awards to hand out.
Let’s spend more time watching imaginative new worlds and ideas brought to life on the screen. Give me more movies from Guillermo Del Toro, Edgar Wright and Andrea Arnold, filmmakers who constantly reinvent our relationship with story and cinema.
Although I’m looking forward to John Wick 2 and Skull Island, let’s cut back on the reboots, reimaginings, remakes and films with numbers in their titles.
Let Kristen Stewart do anything she wants. Her death-defying leap from a Young Adult idol to indie star has been inspiring to watch. She digs deeper and deeper with every role, distancing herself from the teeny-bopper image that defined the early part of her career. Her choices are wild and woolly and you don’t know what to expect next from her. More please.
No more ‘interesting’ movies from Will Smith. His overthinking has done more collateral damage to his once towering career than his last film, Collateral Beauty.
More convulsive belly laughs triggered by thoughtful, interesting jokes please. That means fewer films that mistake politically incorrect “did he really just say that?” jokes for actual humour.
Can we have more reliance on the human touch on screen; directors like Jim Jarmusch, Mira Nair and Barry Jenkins who use instinct and experience to create their art.
Let’s have less studio reliance on branding, formula and script algorithms like ScriptBook, ScripThreads and Slated. Successful movie ideas don’t come from marketing departments or mathematical analysis, they come from the hearts and minds of interesting storytellers.
We need more films that pass both the Bechdel Test (does the movie feature a scene where two women discuss something other than a man?) as well as the DuVernay Test (do the African American and other minority characters have fully realized lives or are they just scenery in white stories?) If the answer is yes to either of these questions, you’ll have more films that better reflect the world we live in.
Finally, it’s time for Hollywood to be truly egalitarian. We need to see an end to white actors cast in non-white roles. It’s not knee-jerk political correctness — it’s justice for years of whitewashing in Hollywood. Recently in Doctor Strange, Gods of Egypt, Aloha and many others caucasian actors were cast in roles written or conceived for people of colour. Let’s stop that in 2017.
Richard and CP24 anchor Jamie Gutfreund have a look at the weekend’s new movies, Tom Hanks as symbologist Robert Langdon in “Inferno,” two of the best movies of the years, “Moonlight” and “The Handmaiden” and Ewan McGregor’s directorial debut, “American Pastoral.”
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel morning show to have a look at the weekend’s new movies, Tom Hanks as symbologist Robert Langdon in “Inferno,” two of the best movies of the years, “Moonlight” and “The Handmaiden” and Ewan McGregor’s directorial debut, “American Pastoral.”
“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.
At the beginning of Part I Chiron (Alex Hibbert) is ten-years-old and on the run from schoolyard bullies. His small size and meek manner have made him a target. He finds refuge in an abandoned drug den where Juan (Mahershala Ali), an anything-but-stereotypical drug dealer with a heart of gold, discovers the boy cowering in a corner. The older man becomes a mentor and surrogate father, even as he sells crack to Chiron’s mother, nurse Paula (Naomie Harris).
Part II sees Chiron’s (now plyed by Ashton Sanders) high school years marred by homophobic slurs and the bullying that comes along with the name-calling. His mother has fallen deep into addiction but Juan’s girlfriend, Teresa (Janelle Monáe), picks up the slack, offering a kind face, a warm meal and a clean place to sleep. The introverted teen’s first sexual experience, with his childhood friend Kevin (Jharrel Jerome), does little to take the edge off the loneliness he feels even when he is with other people.
Part III focuses on Chiron (now played by Trevante Rhodes) as a gold-grill wearing drug dealing twenty-something, pumped up but still alone. A random phone call from Kevin (Andre Holland) gives the estranged friends a chance to catch up and confront the past.
“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.