Richard joins CP24 anchor Nathan Downer to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including Melissa McCarthy’s literary drama “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” the “Hunt for Red October” copy cat “Hunter Killer,” the highfalutin hostage story “Bel Canto,” the comedic cautionary tale “Room for Rent,” the family drama “What They Had” and the operatic documentary “Maria by Callas.”
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 Melissa McCarthy’s literary drama “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” the family drama “What They Had” and the highfalutin hostage story “Bel Canto.”
“Bel Canto,” based on Ann Patchett’s best-selling novel about the “Lima Crisis at the Japanese embassy in the Peruvian capital in 1996, is a hostage drama that is also about the power of music to bridge all gaps. It’s also a thriller and a love story. It’s a lot of things that never quite gel into one whole.
The story begins with a South American concert in honour of Japanese industrialist (Ken Watanabe) by opera singer Roxanne Coss (Julianne Moore). As arias and coloratura passages fill the air a group of guerrilla rebels burst in, take everyone hostage and demand their comrades be let out of prison in return for the release of the high falutin’ captives.
Negotiations drag on for over a month, confining the kidnappers and the kidnapped inside a luxury mansion. Soon bonds are forged, romances bloom—a translator (Ryo Kase) begins a clandestine affair with a terrorist (María Mercedes Coroy)—as differences are set aside and commonalities—a love of music, soccer and humanity—are unearthed.
The Stockholm Syndrome of “Bel Canto” is about as convincing as Julianne Moore lip syncing to opera singer Renée Fleming’s beautiful vocals. Splitting the focus of the story between the ensemble gives everyone something to do but never convincingly comes together as one story. I’m sure director Paul Weitz (half of the brother team, with Chris Weitz, who made “American Pie” and “About a Boy”) hoped the story would have political and socioeconomic resonances but it plays more like a soap opera, flitting from scene to scene with an ever-increasing sense of melodrama.
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk about Melissa McCarthy’s literary drama “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” the “Hunt for Red October” wannabe “Hunter Killer,” the highfalutin hostage story “Bel Canto,” the comedic cautionary tale “Room for Rent” and the Alzheimer’s dramedy “What They Had.”