Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the romantic drama “All My Life” (in theatres), the surreal “Black Bear” (in theatres and VOD) and the music documentary “Crock of Gold – A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan” (iTunes and select cinemas in Ottawa and Kingston).
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with host Jennifer Burke to have a look at the new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the romantic drama “All My Life” (in theatres), the surreal “Black Bear” (in theatres and VOD) and the music documentary “Crock of Gold – A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan” (iTunes and select cinemas in Ottawa and Kingston).
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the romantic drama “All My Life” (in theatres), the surreal “Black Bear” (in theatres and VOD) and the music documentary “Crock of Gold – A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan” (iTunes and select cinemas in Ottawa and Kingston).
If “All My Life,” a new tearjerker starring Jessica Rothe and now playing in theatres, wasn’t based on the real life story of a Toronto couple, it would be the kind of story Nicholas Sparks would write.
Jennifer (Rothe) and Solomon (Harry Shum Jr.) are a cute couple who meet-cute in a bar and seem destined to live a cute happily ever after. They like the same kind of cheesy 80s rock, they laugh and giggle while jumping into water fountains and say things like, “I didn’t know how much I could actually love before I met you,” to one another.
But keep in mind, this isn’t a rom com. It’s a romantic drama in à la Sparks, so I’ll stop using the word cute now.
There’s nothing cute (whoops) about Sol’s diagnoses of terminal liver cancer. Their plans for a December wedding on hold, their friends raise money and give them the day of their dreams as Sol’s health worsens.
“All My Life” is a three or four hanky movie where everything you think will happen, happens. But what it lacks in innovation, it makes up for with a certain kind of comfortable predictability. You’ve heard the dialogue before—”You make me feel Like I can do anything. Like we can do anything.”—and the group of BFFs are the usual kind of misfits who could have wandered in from any number of other teen dramas but when the movie focusses on the leads, Rothe and Shum Jr., it becomes less about cliches and more about the heart of the story.
The pair share a number of scenes that drive home the direness of the situation. Strongest is a heartfelt discussion about their future plans that closes with, “I am not your widow, I am your bride,” a message of true love that makes up for the manipulation of the earlier scenes.
“All My Life” is sugary enough to give you a cavity, but in its better moments it is a reminder to embrace life and roll with the punches, no matter what happens.
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 Wes Anderson’s animated political allegory “Isle of Dog,” Claire Foy as a woman trapped in a mental facility in “Unsane” and “Flower,” starring Zoey Deutch.
Steven Soderbergh’s new movie asks a simple question, Is Sawyer Valentini’s greatest fear real or a delusion? Starring Claire Foy and Jay Pharoah, it takes the legendary director back to basics. Shot entirely with an iPhone camera, it only cost $1.2 million to make.
Foy plays Valentini, a businesswoman with an unhappy life. After a bad one-night stand leads to a panic attack she consults a head-shrinker at a facility called Highland Creek Behavioural Health Facility. In their meeting she divulges something that has been plaguing her, a former stalker. Even though she moved 450 miles away he still haunts her mind. “Rationally I know this is my imagination, but I’m alone in a big city and I never feel safe,” she says, “not for one minute.” Tricked into committing herself—“ There’s some more forms you need to fill out, it’s just routine.”—she is thrust into a house of horrors, surrounded by troubled patients—like the belligerent Violet (Juno Temple)—many, like her, who are there against their will. Her pleas for release fall on deaf ears. Worse, her stalker David (Joshua Leonard) works in the psychiatric ward as an orderly. Or does he? “This man, he’s followed me all the way here from Boston. I’m calling the cops and I want him arrested!”
“Unsane” is a nightmare that stems from not reading the fine print. “They got meds,” says fellow inmate Nate (a terrific Jay Pharoah). “You got insurance. You talk, they find a way to get you committed and you stay as long as your insurance will pay. When they stop paying, you’re cured!” Sawyer’s situation is a political comment on insurance scams and locking up people for profit. It’s a #MeToo thriller—no one believes her stories of stalking—but really, at its heart, “Unsane” is a Gothic b-movie that owes a debt to “The Snakepit” and “Shock Corridor” with some “Gaslight” thrown in for good measure. It’s an examination of women’s voices not being heard of a crumbling medical infrastructure but mostly it’s about Sawyer’s world falling apart and her frustration at not being able to do diddly-squat to put it back together.
Foy is in almost every frame, bringing a frail yet steely presence to the role. She is more than a damsel in distress. By turns charming, cunning, ruthless and jittery, she’s a character designed to keep us guessing. Does she belong in the facility or not? “The Queen” star navigates Sawyer’s personality shifts, zigging and zagging, keeping the audience tantalizingly in the dark as to the truth of her mental state.
“Unsane” has a few clunky moments that detract from the overall feeling of paranoia Soderbergh builds throughout. Beautifully composed and edited “Unsane” still looks like it was shot on an iPhone. Often blown out or bathed in inky blacks it’s an aesthetic we’ve become used to from Instagram and social media videos and it brings and naturalism to the surreal story.
“Unsane” may be low tech but it’s not amateurish. Soderberg expertly builds tension to the point where Sawyer’s frustration is palpable.
JFL42 closes out ComedyCon with an In Conversation with Jay Pharoah hosted by Richard Crouse! Join us at the TIFF Bell Lightbox on Saturday afternoon at 5PM for a one-one-one interview with Jay Pharoah, a sneak peak of his new Showtime comedy series White Famous, followed by a Q&A!
Why Jay Pharoah?
Because he kept us laughing for six seasons as a cast member on Saturday Night Live
Because his impressions of President Barack Obama, Will Smith, Denzel Washington, Jay-Z, Kevin Hart, Kanye West and Chris Tucker are uncanny
Because we’re so excited for his television return with the new Showtime series White Famous, executive produced by Jamie Foxx