Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to VOD and streaming services including the time loop romance of “Love Wedding Repeat” and the teen drama “School Life.”
Biopics are a movie staple. They give us insight to people we’ll never meet and bring history to life but there has never been a biography quite like the Matthew Rankin’s “The Twentieth Century,” coming to VOD this week. A heightened look at the life of Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, it’s part Dada, part Art Deco and utterly unique.
The bizarre biography sees a marvellously deadpan Daniel Beirne as the young Mackenzie King. As a child his mother (Louis Negin) prophesied his political destiny to become the tenth Prime Minister. King’s road to history significance is a rocky one, marked by romance trouble, chronic masturbation, over confidence, sexual fetishes and an ice maze.
You didn’t learn any of this in Mr. Parker’s history class.
Director Matthew Rankin uses a heightened version of his main character’s biographical details to craft a satire of Canadian identity and masculinity. Like a Heritage Minute on acid the film details King’s campaign. Instead of policy the film pits politicians against one another in “traditional” Canadian pastimes like baby seal clubbing and waiting your turn.
A farce coupled with deep commentary and a heightened yet minimalist style that recalls the films of Guy Maddin by way of German Expressionism, “The Twentieth Century” has timely messages about the dangers of empty political rhetoric and the processes by which we elect our leaders.
Rankin casts a wide net here, parodying everything from politics and diffident national outlook to British imperialism and even foot fetishes but does so in a wonderfully surreal way that is equal parts silly and sincere.
Richard sits in on the CFRA Montreal morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the ripped from the headlines drama, “Richard Jewell,” another trip into the videogame in “Jumanji: The Next Level” and the bonkers biopic “The Twentieth Century.”
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 “Richard Jewell,” Clint Eastwood’s 41st film as a director, the last video-game inspired adventure “Jumanji: The Next Level” and the bonkers biopic “The Twentieth Century.”
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 Disaster Artist,” the neo-noir “Sweet Virginia” and the buddy flick “Suck It Up.”
“Suck it Up” is a buddy flick where the main characters aren’t exactly buddies.
When we first meet Ronnie (Grace Glowicki) she’s a drunk rebounding from the death of her brother Garrett. Constantly on the tipple, she almost winds up in the hospital after a lawn mowing accident. Concerned and looking for help for her out of control daughter, mother Dina (Nancy Kerr) calls Faye (Erin Carter), Ronnie’s former best buttoned-down friend and Garrett’s ex-girlfriend. Faye responded differently to Garrett’s death. Although they broke up a year before his passing, she is troubled that she didn’t pick up a phone call from her ex just days before his death. Cue intimacy issues.
When an intervention of sorts fails Faye kidnaps Ronnie—ie: puts her passed out body in the front seat of Garrett’s Mustang convertible—and heads for Garrett’s family cottage in Invermere, British Columbia. What was planned as a time of introspection and sobriety becomes something else as the women’s differences take center stage. Each processes their grief in a different way as they try and find some common ground other than their relationships with Garrett. The longer they spend in the country the more insight into each other and into the nature of their time with Garrett, for better and for worse.
“Suck it Up” is anchored by two great performances from Glowicki and Carter. As Ronnie and Faye they are polar opposites bound by a single factor, Garrett. Thrown together, they are an odd couple, damaged and not so sure of their resilience. As surprising revelations about Garrett (who we never see) emerge the leads shift and change in believable ways. At the risk of making this bouncy little film seem heavier than it actually is, I’ll say that it understands and conveys how grief and perspective are two entirely different things and does so with heartfelt humour. It’s a not exactly a startlingly new observation, but it is earnest and well portrayed.
I could have done without the climatic and cathartic mud fight scene but the movie sparkles in enough ways to make up for one grubby misstep.