Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Zuraidah Alman about movies in theatres and on VOD to watch this weekend including the Gillian Jacobs college comedy “I Used to Go Here,” the Mick Jagger thriller “The Burnt Orange Heresy” and the biodoc “Howard: The Howard Ashman Story.”
Richard and CP24 anchor Leena Latafat have a look at the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the college comedy “I Used to Go Here” starring Gillian Jacobs, the satire “An American Pickle” and the crime drama “The Burnt Orange Heresy.”
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with host Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the college comedy “I Used to Go Here” starring Gillian Jacobs, the satire “An American Pickle” and the crime drama “The Burnt Orange Heresy.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with guest host Matt Harris to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the college comedy “I Used to Go Here” starring Gillian Jacobs, the psychological thriller “She Dies Tomorrow,” the crime drama “The Burnt Orange Heresy,” the kid’s fantasy “The Secret Garden” and the biodoc “Howard: The Howard Ashman Story.”
Ambition and art mix and match in “The Burnt Orange Heresy.” A coolly elegant crime thriller, based on Charles Willeford’s 1971 novel of the same name, the film peels back the art world’s veneer to reveal a dark underbelly.
“The Square’s” Claes Bang is James Figueras, a once internationally famous art critic now reduced to lecturing American tourists in Milan. After one of his talks he meets Berenice Hollis (Elizabeth Debicki), a willowy art aficionado from Duluth, Minnesota. They hit it off, and have what she assumes is a one-night stand until he invites her to spend the weekend at the Lake Como estate of enigmatic art collector Joseph Cassidy (Mick Jagger).
James’s expectations of being offered the job of cataloguing Cassidy’s massive private collection are flipped when the collector asks him to do a task that could bring the disgraced critic back to prominence. Cassidy, sensing that James will do anything to get back in the public eye, asks him to steal a painting from hermetic artist Jerome Debney (Donald Sutherland). Debney is a legend and his work so rare, that just one painting could gather world attention. Question is, how far will James go to finish the job?
Like the painting that gives the movie its name, nothing in “The Burnt Orange Heresy” is not quite as it seems. Using noir tropes—the anti-hero, the femme fatale, a villain protagonist, a double cross— director Giuseppe Capotondi keeps things interesting after an unhurried start. What begins as a sun dappled caper takes a very dark turn as the director completes his portrait of ambition and desperation in the film’s final third.
As Figueras, Bang oozes a sketchy appeal. He’s desperate and dangerous, but his worst qualities are hidden behind a suave exterior. He’s the central character but is overshadowed by the chemistry that sparks every time Debicki and Sutherland share the screen. She is charismatic in an underwritten role, but it is her scenes with the eccentric and kindly Debney that shine. That there are questions as to everyone’s motives—except for the Machiavellian Cassidy, wonderfully played by Jagger—adds intrigue to the tale.
“The Burnt Orange Heresy” isn’t a typical crime drama. The story is fuelled by arrogance, deceit and lies as much as plot, the crime is almost incidental to the interest created by the characters.
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 “Downtown Abbey,” the punk rock genre film “Riot Girls,” Brad Pitt’s trip into outer reaches of space and his own psyche in “Ad Astra.”
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with news anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including the big screen adaptation of “Downtown Abbey,” Brad Pitt’s trip into outer reaches of space and his own psyche in “Ad Astra” and the music doc “Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band.”
Richard has a look at the new movies coming to theatres, including the big screen adaptation of “Downtown Abbey,” the punk rock genre film “Riot Girls,” Brad Pitt’s trip into outer reaches of space and his own psyche in “Ad Astra” and the music doc “Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band.”
“Ad Astra,” a new space opera starring Brad Pitt, is not simply a journey into the universe but a trek into the star’s ability to keep the story earthbound while reaching for the stars.
Set in the very near future, “a time of hope and conflict,” “Ad Astra” stars Pitt as astronaut Maj. Roy McBride. His father, Clifford McBride (Tommy Lee Jones), went missing three decades before while travelling space, looking for alien life.
The younger McBride’s latest mission is his most important ever, both personally and professionally. Something or someone is sending deadly anti-matter surges toward the earth and NASA thinks they may be coming from McBride Sr’s lost spaceship. They send the stoic Roy, armed with a nuclear device, on a top-secret mission to Neptune to find out what’s going on.
As the stoic Roy hurtles through space his path his fraught with risk. But the most dangerous part of the trip isn’t battling moon bandits or intergalactic monkeys, it’s the journey into his own psyche.
A father and son twist on “Heart of Darkness,” “Ad Astra” is cerebral, humanist sci fi. It is more akin to films like “2001: A Space Odyssey” and Andrei Tarkovsky’s “Solaris” than the big budget space operas that tend to top the box office. It’s a solemn, meditative look at masculinity, isolation and emotional stoicism.
Pitt gives an understated but effective performance that relies on the subtlest of movements. McBride’s outward fortitude masks a tumultuous inner life, ripe with questions and muddled feelings. His training has taught him to stay even keeled—his pulse never raises above 80 even in the most stressful situations—but as he comes closer to Neptune and the possibility of being reunited with his father, cracks begin to appear in his carefully crafted facade. Pitt, in a largely non-verbal performance save for copious voiceover, shows his emotions through the cracks, allowing the character to reveal himself in the contemplative but compellingly unsettling way.
“Ad Astra”—which means “through hardships to the stars” in Latin—has all the hallmarks of a blockbuster, there’s a big star, beautifully shot action sequences by “Interstellar” cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema and the kind of end-of-the-world scenario the Avengers love, but it’s a heady one. It’s more concerned with what’s going on inside McBride’s head as what’s happening outside. Also, like so many blockbusters, it doesn’t know what to do with the female characters. Liv Tyler is glimpsed only through a screen and Ruth Negga, while always wonderful, is essentially an exposition machine. Still, the character study is spellbinding enough, thanks to Pitt’s performance, to maintain interest.