Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Case about movies on VOD and in theatres to watch this weekend including “Misbehaviour” starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Kiera Knightley, Ethan Hawke as the legendary inventor in “Tesla” and the activist doc “We Are Many.”
Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla (Ethan Hawke) was a man with an eye to the future. He’s best known for best known for his innovations in the transmission and application of electric power but his restless mind was always engaged, burning hot with new ideas.
If we are to believe “Tesla,” a fanciful postmodern biopic starring Ethan Hawke, now on VOD, he had the ability to project himself into the future, predicting what was to come, including x-rays and even the Tears for Fears hit “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.”
A knowing mix of fact and fiction, “Tesla” is narrated by Anne Morgan (Eve Hewson), daughter of financier and banker J.P. Morgan, who says after one flight of fancy, while scrolling through her MacBook Pro, “This is pretty surely not how it happened.” It’s a self-aware story, filled with authenticity but also anachronisms to paint a portrait of a man out of time.
Detailing the period in Tesla’s life from his early work with Thomas Edison (Kyle MacLachlan) at the Edison Machine Works on New York’s Lower East Side through to his encounters with the leading lights of the era, J.P. Morgan (Donnie Keshawarz), renowned French actress Sarah Bernhardt (Rebecca Dayan) and entrepreneur George Westinghouse (Jim Gaffigan). It’s a heady time that sees Tesla dream big and fail bigger, ultimately reduced to begging Morgan for money before dying penniless and alone at the age of 86 in Room 3327 of the Hotel New Yorker.
“Tesla” is not a tale for history buffs. Edison is seen with an iPhone and a gaggle of heiresses listen to electro-pop but these anachronisms aren’t for effect, like spotting the wristwatch on Matthew Broderick’s arm in the 1800s set “Glory” or the iPod Touch in “The Hurt Locker,” three years before the mobile devices were in stores, they’re meant to add to the poetry of the telling, as metaphors for the forward-thinking inventor. “Maybe the world is a dream,” says Anne Morgan, “that Tesla dreamed first.”
Tesla, the man, aimed high, hoping his inventions would set people free to enjoy pursuits of the mind. “That motor will do the work of the world,” he says in the film. “It will set men free.” Similarly, the movie aims high, and while it takes chances—see the above mentioned “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” scene—it is as idiosyncratic as the man it portrays.
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases, “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” the family dramedy “Paper Year” and the doc noir “The Cleaners.”
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 return of marauding dinos in “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” the family dramedy “Paper Year” and the doc noir “The Cleaners.”
“Paper Year” is a coming-of-age story about two people who should have already come-of-age.
Out-of-work actor Dan Delaney (Avan Jogia) and aspiring writer Franny Winters (Eve Hewson) are impulsive twenty-somethings who married quickly, without any kind of life plan. Unemployed and carefree for much of their first year of wedded bliss, the dynamic of their relationship changes when he comes home one day with an announcement. “I forgot to tell you,” he says, “but I got a job. A real adult person, adult job” looking after the mansion and dogs of a b-movie star. As he stays home looking after the dogs, she takes a job as a junior writer on the game show “Goosed.” “We’re going to be rich,” he says. “Can I get a Nintendo?” Her career is on an upward swing while he stays in lounging by the pool, watching porn and playing videogames. Will they make it to their first anniversary as their careers go in two different directions? “What do you mean work?” he says. “It’s just you writing for your dumb job.”
“Paper Year” is a low-key examination of relationships, brought to life by strong performances by Hewson who, if she continues doing work this strong will soon lose the label of “Bono’s daughter, and Delaney. The pair has an easy way about them as they navigate the landmines of an unplanned life. Writer-director Rebecca Addelman provides realistic dialogue and relatively low-stakes situations that allow her actors to shine. Harassment at work, respect at home and straying feelings are all delicately addressed. It’s never terribly dramatic but neither is it stagey. Addelman and company are more interested in keeping it natural, allowing the characters drive the situations, not the other way round.