Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the drama “Judas and the Black Messiah” (Theatres), the psychological thriller “St. Maud” (digital and on-demand) and Robin Wright’s directorial debut “Land” (in theatres).
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 drama “Judas and the Black Messiah” (Theatres), the psychological thriller “St. Maud” (digital and on-demand) and Robin Wright’s directorial debut “Land” (in theatres).
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 drama “Judas and the Black Messiah” (Theatres), the psychological thriller “St. Maud” (digital and on-demand), Robin Wright’s directorial debut “Land” (in theatres), the cheesy action flick “Skyfire” (VOD) and the dark comedy “Breaking News In Yuba County” (VOD).
Is Maud (Morfydd Clark), the nurse at the centre of the genuinely creepy “Saint Maud,” a true believer, a woman touched by the hand of God, or a troubled person looking for answers in all the wrong places?
Opening with scenes of an unexplained medical accident, “Saint Maud” wastes no time hinting at the grim visuals to come. Cut to Maud in her dowdy bedsit. Gathering her things, she makes her way out the door, wondering to God what her place in the world is. “Surely I was meant for more than this,” she says as she arrives at the home of her charge, a glamorous former dancer named Amanda (Jennifer Ehle), a late stage cancer patient.
They are an odd couple. Amanda is used to a life of indulgence while Maud is an intensely devout palliative care nurse who believes salvation comes through suffering. “Never waste your pain,” she says. Maud does not approve of Amanda’s lifestyle, but the two women seem to bond in a moment of shared religious ecstasy. Later, when it becomes clear that Amanda isn’t looking for salvation, Maud is fired, pushed to even more extreme behavior to fulfill what she sees as God’s plan for her life.
“Saint Maud” carefully doles out its shocks, allowing a shroud of unease to envelop the proceedings. British writer-director Rose Glass has made an up-close-and-personal horror film that details the protagonist’s torment in very vivid terms. Much of what happens is internal, portrayed through Clark’s finely crafted performance. She is both vulnerable and steely, zealous and unsure before the events of the climax reveal her relationship with God. Whether it is real a test of her faith or imagined is open to interpretation. The final twenty minutes of this short film—with credits it’s eighty-five minutes—are a surreal culmination to Maud’s internal struggle, ripe with religious imagery, gothic sensibility and martyrdom.
“Saint Maud” is a sizzling mix of psychological drama and devotion that could have used a dose of backstory to help us understand why Maud became pious to the point of extremity. As it is we get hints along the way, and while the story is still very effective, it could have been deepened by a better glimpse into Maud’s past.
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to VOD and streaming services including the Netflix animated movie “The Willoughbys,” the Netflix doc “Circus of Books,” the high school crime drama “Selah and the Spades” and a pair of big screen movies coming to VOD, “Bad Boys for Life” and “Run This Town.”
The Rob Ford Movie. That’s the shorthand being used to describe “Run This Town,” a film coming to VOD this week. It’s set during the tumultuous term of the late Toronto mayor but make no mistake this isn’t a Ford biopic or a study of his politics. It’s a film that uses Ford’s tumultuous time as a backdrop for an unconvincing study of millennial angst among other things.
Set in 2013, the film centers around Bram Shriver (Ben Platt). Fresh out of journalism school he’s keen to tackle the big stories, to write articles that will move the needle. His dream job of being a reporter at The Record, however, sees him writing Best Hot Dogs in the City clickbait lists instead of investigating city hall.
Meanwhile, it’s chaos at city hall. Rob Ford (Damian Lewis under a mound of Fat Bastard make-up), the popular 64th Mayor of Toronto, is making headlines for his erratic behavior. Keeping things on course is Kamal (Mena Massoud), spin wizard and special assistant to the mayor, who, it is said, “knows everything.“ A Greek chorus of Steamwhistle-beer-drinking communications folks provide the necessary exposition to explain how they spin bad news and behavior into good news and how to vilify the press.
Back at the newsroom Bram stumbles his way into the wildest political scandal in Toronto history when he happens to pick up the phone and become the first person to find out about “the crack video.“ Can he capitalize on the biggest break of his career and finally put his Frum Award to good use or will he be doomed to write lists forever?
Keep in mind Bernstein and Woodward he is not. The story runs parallel to the reporting done by Bram’s real-life counterparts at The Globe and Mail and The Toronto Star. More pointedly Robyn Doolittle or Kevin Donovan, the real-life reporters who broke the story are nowhere to be seen or heard.
“Run This Town” is a mix of fact and fiction, of flights of fancy that live at the intersection of real reporting and fake news. A muddle of ripped from the headlines details, innuendo and fiction it takes on the Ford administration’s failings, the state of journalism, millennial angst, sexual harassment and more. Jam packed and lightening-paced it hop scotches around, pausing only long enough to linger on a grotesque caricature of Rob “Show me some respect, will ya?” Ford.
Ford, played by Lewis in a prosthetic suit, fake flab and a stereotypical “oot and aboot” accent, is portrayed as an incoherent buffoon. Misogynistic, racist, paranoid—and those are the good qualities the film grants him—he lurches about the office making inappropriate remarks, prone to fits of sudden temper. It’s an exaggerated interpretation of the mayor but it is also one that is all fat suit and no humanity. Say what you will about Ford’s behavior while in office, and there is much to be said about it, what we see here is larger-than-life without the enough life to make it feel real.
Richard and CP24 anchor Cortney Heels have a look at the weekend’s new movies including “Run This Town,” Pixar’s “Onward,” the social criticism of “Sorry We Missed You” and the sports drama “The Way Back.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including Pixar’s quest flick “Onward,” the sporty you-can-never-go-home-again story “The Way Back,” the social commentary of “Sorry We Missed You” and the ripped-from-the-headlines “Run This Town.”