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.”
In 1956 when Ruth Bader Ginsburg entered Harvard Law School she was one of just nine women in her class. A new film, “On the Basis of Sex” starring Felicity Jones as the second female justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, details her formative years from law school through to her ground breaking cases in the area of women’s rights.
We first see Ginsburg in a bright blue overcoat, sensible pumps and stockings with a perfectly straight line up the calf walking to class on her first day. She stands out in the mostly button down male pupils walking in Harvard’s hallowed halls. In class the keen student is met with stares of disbelief and asked to consider what it means to be a “Harvard man.” Worse, her dean, Erwin Griswold (Sam Waterston), bluntly asks, “Why are you occupying a place at Harvard that could have gone to a man?”
Cut to 1959. Her tax lawyer husband Marty (Armie Hammer) and daughter Jane (Cailee Spaeny) are living in New York. Despite graduating top of her class Ginsburg can’t find a job in the biggest city in the world’s most litigious country simply because she is a woman. “We’re a tight knit firm,” one prospective employer tells her. “Almost like family. The wives would get jealous.”
Shut out of practicing law she accepts a position as a professor at Columbia Law School. The story jumps ahead a decade to 1970. Her class in women’s rights is ninety percent female but attitudes haven’t changed much since she graduated. “Some colleagues say I should be teaching the rights of gnomes and fairies,” she says.
The brilliant law professor feels stymied because while she is teaching the next group of lawyers to change the world she would rather be changing it herself.
When her husband presents her with the case of Charles Moritz (Christian Mulkey), a man denied a caregiver tax deduction because of his gender, she sees a way to make change. She leaps at the chance to take on a sex discrimination case that could have far reaching implications not only for Moritz but for women as well.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg is an exceptional person. So exceptional in fact that her life has been documented several times on film, including the recent documentary “RBG.” That movie presents her as a multifaceted person. An opera loving law prodigy with a wicked sense of humour and a sense of justice that has influenced every aspect of her life. Gloria Steinem calls her “the closest thing to a superhero I know.”
“On the Basis of Sex,” written by Ginsburg’s late husband’s nephew, Daniel Stiepleman, takes this pioneering woman’s spirit and shapes it around a formulaic narrative. It’s efficient, playing like a greatest hits collection of the heads she butted and the doors she kicked in. Gone is the quirky, layered personality displayed in “RBG,” replaced with Jones’s earnest portrayal. If, as Steinem says, she is a superhero, “RBG” portrays her as Wonder Woman. In “On the Basis of Sex” she’s more like Elektra, still remarkable but not quite as interesting.
“On the Basis of Sex” is a feel good history lesson, a movie that provides a look at Ginsburg’s determination, intelligence and humanity but one that goes too heavy on the hagiography.
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 Ryan Gosling’s as astronaut Neil Armstrong in “First Man,” the star studded “Bad Times at the El Royale” and a nasty take on “Home Alone” called “Knuckleball.”
Richard joins CP24 anchor Jamie Gutfreund to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including Ryan Gosling’s take on Neil Armstrong in “First Man,” the star studded “Bad Times at the El Royale” and a nasty take on “Home Alone” called “Knuckleball.”
Richard has a look at Ryan Gosling’s as Neil Armstrong in “First Man,” the star studded “Bad Times at the El Royale” and a nasty take on “Home Alone” called “Knuckleball” with CFRA Morning Rush host Bill Carroll.
Six years ago writer/director Drew Goddard deconstructed the slasher movie genre with the whimsical and exhilarating “Cabin in the Woods.” A mash-up of horror and humour, of post-modern self-awareness and gruesome gags, it simultaneously adopted and challenged the conventions of the slasher genre. He returns to the big screen—his day job is writing, producing and directing TV shows like “Daredevil” and “The Good Place”—with “Bad Times at the El Royale,” an inversion of a 1990s broken timeline crime drama.
The El Royale is the kind of seedy hotel that dotted the highways and byways of 1960s America. Split down the middle by the California/Nevada border, it’s a perfect slice of mid-century kitsch, like the same guy who decked out Elvis’s rec room designed it. When we first lay eyes on it a shady character (Nick Offerman) with a bulging suitcase and a gun wrenches up the floorboards and hides a case of money before replacing the carpet and the furniture. It’s an act that establishes the El Royale as a home-away-from-home for transients and ne’er-do-wells and sets up much of the action to come.
As for the action to come, you’ll have to go see the film to find out what happens. I will tell you that the film takes place ten years after the suitcase was hidden in the hotel and begins with a disparate group of folks checking in well after the El Royale’s heyday. There’s slick talking vacuum cleaner salesman Laramie Seymour Sullivan (Jon Hamm), Reno-bound singer Darlene Sweet (Cynthia Erivo), Father Daniel Flynn (Jeff Bridges), a priest with tired eyes and hippie chick Emily Summerspring (Dakota Johnson). All three pay front desk manager Miles (Lewis Pullman) the $8 deposit and take to their rooms.
Secrets are revealed about the guests and the hotel as an aura of menace clouds the sunny California/Nevada border. “We’re in a bit of a pickle,” says Father Flynn in what may be the understatement of the year.
Goddard takes his time setting up the narrative drive of “Bad Times at the El Royale.” He bobs and weaves, playing with time, slowly revealing the intricacies of the story. For the patient—it runs two hours and 21 minutes—it’s a heck of a ride but may prove too opaque for casual viewers. Large conspiracies are hinted at, secrets are kept and no one is really who they seem to be. For those willing to submit to the grimly funny and admittedly indulgent proceedings, it’s a Tarantino-esque web of intrigue and unexpected violence that plays both as a crime drama and a metaphor for the decay of 1960s idealism.
“Bad Times at the El Royale” is a good movie filled with bad people. It asks you to care about people who do terrible things and by the end, thanks to inventive storytelling and good performances—Erivo is s standout—you just might.
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk about Ryan Gosling’s giant leap as Neil Armstrong in “First Man,” the star studded “Bad Times at the El Royale” and a nasty take on “Home Alone” called “Knuckleball.”