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.”
Based on a well-loved James Baldwin novel, “If Beale Street Could Talk” is a story of love in the face of injustice. Director Barry Jenkins, in his follow-up to the Oscar winning “Moonlight,” has crafted a stately film that takes us inside the relationship at the heart of the story and the heartlessness that threatens to rip it apart.
Childhood friends “Tish” Rivers (Kiki Layne) and Alonzo “Fonny” Hunt (Stephan James) kept their relationship platonic until it blossomed into love when she was 19 and he was 22. With a lifetime of familiarity behind them, their relationship progresses quickly. They move into together and wait for the birth of their first child when tragedy strikes. Framed for sexual assault by racist cop Officer Bell (Ed Skrein) Fonny is thrown in jail. “I hope nobody ever has to look at somebody they love through class,” Tish says. The families rally to raise money for his defence but circumstance conspires to keep him incarcerated.
“If Beale Street Could Talk” is a love story framed against a backdrop of disenfranchisement and turmoil. It is about a woman’s love for her fiancé, a mother and father‘s for their daughter, the power of love to be the fuel of survival. As the faces of this love Jenkins displays an impeccable eye for casting. Through their body language and easy chemistry Layne and James hand in performances ripe with empathy, power and, here’s that word again, love.
There is a delicacy to the filmmaking. Jenkins takes his time, slowly building the story of heartbreak tinged with hope. It’s a period piece but placed alongside the spate of newspaper stories of young African-American men by police it feels as timely as today’s headlines.
Richard and CP24 anchor Jamie Gutfreund have a look at the weekend’s new movies, “Get Out,” the most original horror film to come down the road in some time, the melodramatic romance “A United Kingdom,” the zombie flick “The Girl with All the Gifts,” and the documentaries “I Am Not Your Negro” and “Dying Laughing. They also do some Oscar predictions!
Nominated this year for an Oscar as Best Documentary Feature, Raoul Peck’s “I Am Not Your Negro” draws from an unfinished book by novelist, essayist, playwright, and poet James Baldwin. Deeply personal, “Remember This House” was meant to be a remembrance of his friends and civil-rights titans Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. Voiced by Samuel L. Jackson, using Baldwin’s own words and a smattering of archival footage, the film isn’t a biography of the man but a biography of a lifetime of experiences, experiences that reverberate today.
As timely in 2017 as when the words were written in 1979, it’s a portrait of race relations in America, a place Baldwin calls, “a complex country that insists on being very narrow-minded.” To hammer home this point Peck uses archival footage from Baldwin’s lifetime as well as ripped-from-the-headlines images of Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Black Lives Matter and Michael Brown.
With no talking heads Peck relies on news footage, movie clips and archival talk show tape, intercutting them with the fluidity of jazz. Posters and graphics punctuate the narration, subliminally driving home Baldwin’s points. More striking than the visuals is the arresting eloquence of Baldwin’s words. When he makes—and Jackson verbalizes—statements like, “To look around America today is to make prophets and angels weep,” it is impossible to not to be moved by both the beauty of the language and the underlying message.
Baldwin lived at a tumultuous time but as his words remind us, “History is not the past it is the present. We are our history.”
Welcome to the House of Crouse. West of Memphis, is a documentary from Oscar nominated director Amy Berg, details the efforts to find justice for Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley Jr. and James Baldwin, collectively known as the West Memphis Three. Last week I saw a tweet from Echols–“I walked off of death row exactly 5 years ago today.”–and was inspired to go back into the HoC vault to find chats with Echols, his wife Lorris Davis and Berg. It’s fascinating stuff, so c’mon in and sit a spell and listen in.
West of Memphis, a new documentary from Oscar nominated director Amy Berg, details the efforts to find justice for Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley Jr. and James Baldwin, collectively known as the West Memphis Three.
Convicted on dubious evidence in 1994 of the murder of three young boys, they became a cause celeb, with stars like Johnny Depp and Eddie Vedder working to exonerate them.
The outcome of the 17-year crusade to earn a new trial for the trio is well known — no spoilers here — and the movie ends on a high note, with the men granted their freedom after 18 years and 78 days in prison.
A year after his release Echols talked about adjusting to life on the outside.
“At the time I got out I had been in solitary confinement for almost a decade,” he told me in September, “so I literally went from being in solitary confinement one day to the next being thrown out into the world.
“Out here it is like having to choose constantly. You make no choices in prison. It takes a lot of effort, a lot of energy. I’m having to learn things all over again. Even like how to go to the bank or use an ATM. Or use a computer.”
Despite being in “a state of deep, deep, profound shock and trauma for at least two months when I first got out,” he says life on the inside was worse.
“The level of stress, anxiety and fear that you live in is beyond comprehension to most people. You never even go to sleep all the way. Just the slightest noise wakes you up. There were times in the prison when you hear a noise and you’re on your feet, ready to fight before your eyes even open up, before you’re even conscious of what’s going on.”
These days he lives in Massachusetts with his wife Lorris (they married while he was behind bars), has written a book titled Life After Death and wants to do Tarot readings at MOMA asm performance art, but the adjustment to life on the outside continues.
“Life since then has been about learning to put one foot in front of the other. I have so much fear and anxiety just about surviving in the world that most of what I’m doing and dealing with is about coping and how to get beyond that. That’s all I’m focused on.”