Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Case about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week we have a look at the Apple TV+ darkly humorous series “Bad Sisters,” the Crave comedy series “Roast Battle Canada,” and the Lena Dunham coming-of-age story “Sharp Stick.”
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres. Today we talk about the Idris Elba vs. angry lion thriller “Beast,” the creepy kid movie “Orphan: First Kill” and the coming-of-age story “Sharp Stick.”
I sit in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the Idris Elba vs. angry lion thriller “Beast,” “Sharp Stick,” the latest from Lena Dunham, the creepy kid movie “Orphan: First Kill” and the coming-of-age story “Carmen.”
Frank and provocative, “Sharp Stick,” the new film written and directed by “Girls” creator and star Lena Dunham, returns to familiar ground with a sexual coming-of-age story.
Kristine Froseth stars as 26-year-old Sarah Jo. A sexually inexperienced woman who had a hysterectomy at age 17, she still lives at home with her mom (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and wannabe Instagram influencer sister (Taylour Paige). She scraps by, babysitting for Zach, son of Josh (Jon Bernthal) and Heather (Dunham). Heather is pregnant, and Josh has a wandering eye, which happens to land on the flirty Sarah Jo.
Their ”affair” culminates with a tryst on the floor of a cramped laundry room, setting Sarah Jo off on a journey of sexual discovery involving lots of pornography, a fixation on adult film star Vance Leroy (the ornately tattooed Scott Speedman) and carefully organized, random “educational” hook-ups.
“Sharp Stick” reverberates with echoes of the frankness of “Girls” and the edgy work of filmmakers like Larry Clark and Harmony Korine, but never rises to the level of any of those namechecks.
Dunham has woven some interesting characters to surround Sarah Jo, like her mother Marilyn, played by Leigh, a much-divorced Hollywood hanger-on and twerking sister Treina, but she hasn’t given her main character any real depth. She is thirsty for carnal knowledge, and approaches it like a job, with a check list to boot, but aside from the humor inherent in that, Sarah Jo’s arc simply isn’t that interesting. Her desperation to prove to herself and others is repetitive, her actions so naïve they suggest her emotional age is far less than her stated age of 26. Given her mother’s openness regarding sex, it doesn’t ring true that Sarah Jo is completely unfamiliar with anything to do with sexuality.
“Sharp Stick” does have a few funny scenes, an interesting character or three, and an uncomfortable but refreshing candidness about sex but, by the time the end credits roll, Sarah Jo’s journey is the film’s least interesting element.
Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Case about the best movies and television to watch this weekend including “Spiral,” the next chapter of the “Saw” franchise, the Amy Adams Netflix thriller “The Woman in the Window,” the non rom com “Together Together” with Ed Helms.
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including “Spiral,” the Chris Rock reboot of the “Saw” franchise, the Amy Adams thriller “The Woman in the Window,” the non rom com “Together Together” with Ed Helms and Patti Harrison and the trippy folk horror of “In the Earth.”
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 “Spiral,” the Chris Rock reboot of the “Saw” franchise, the Amy Adams thriller “The Woman in the Window,” the non rom com “Together Together” with Ed Helms and Patti Harrison and the trippy folk horror of “In the Earth.”
Richard joins NewsTalk 1010’s Jim Richards coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse like these movies?” This week we talk about “Spiral,” the Chris Rock reboot of the “Saw” franchise, the Amy Adams thriller “The Woman in the Window” and the non rom com “Together Together” with Ed Helms and Patti Harrison.
In adapting “The Woman in the Window,” a new thriller starring Amy Adams, now streaming on Netflix, director Joe Wright borrows liberally from the Hitchcock playbook, paying visual tribute to everything from “Foreign Correspondent” and “Psycho” to “Vertigo” and, of course, “Rear Window.” There are so many Hitch lifts in the look of the movie it makes Brian DePalma’s myriad Hitchcock homages look like petty thievery.
Adams plays child psychologist Anna Fox who lives alone in a rambling brownstone on 124th Street in Manhattan. Agoraphobic, she gets panic attacks at the idea of going outside, let alone actually stepping over her front threshold to the big bad world. Her only regular contact with the outside comes with her weekly visit from her therapist (Tracy Letts) and a downstairs tenant (Wyatt Russell).
When her new neighbors from across the street drop by unexpectedly, she reluctantly lets teenager Ethan (Fred Hechinger) in for a get-to-know-you visit. A day or so later Jane (Julianne Moore) swings by to chat, ask nosy questions and have a glass of wine.
After the visits Anna becomes voyeuristically invested in their lives, watching them from the safety of her apartment as they go about their day to days lives, exposed by two large windows that showcase their living areas.
One night, after mixing wine with her anxiety medication, she witnesses what appears to be an ugly domestic dispute that turns fatal. Trouble is, no one believes the “drunken, pill popping, cat lady.”
Question is, did she really witness a murder or was it a hallucination?
Anna is a classic unreliable narrator, a character whose credibility is questioned at every step of the way. Adams keeps her interesting, bringing a human face to trauma, anxiety and grief. We’re never sure if what we’re seeing is filtered through a haze of medication or actually happening and while Wright finds flashy visual ways to portray this, it is Adams who connects emotionally.
There are moments of supercharged filmmaking in “The Woman in the Window” but the tonal shifts and pacing get in the way of making this edge of your seat viewing. Director Joe Wright brings his trademarked visual style to illustrate Anna’s anxiety. Unusual angles and lurid colours illustrate Anna’s disconnected moments, wide shots of her empty apartment represent her isolation. It’s effectively and inventively done, but the slack pacing sucks much of the energy out of the storytelling.
“The Woman in the Window” has moments that truly work but it is dulled by its deliberate pace, repetitive nature and typical confessional ending.