Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Case about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week we have a look at the Netflix biopic “tick, tick… BOOM!,” the documentary “Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road” and the Tilda Swinton movie “The Souvenir Part II” in theatres.
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including Ron Perlman in “This Game’s Called Murder,” the Netflix musical biopic “Tick, Tick… Boom,” the documentary “Brian Wilson, Long Promised Road” and the arthouse sequel “The Souvenir Part II.”
Richard joins CTV NewsChannel and anchor Angie Seth to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the wild Ron Perlman flick “This Game’s Called Murder,” the Netflix musical biopic “Tick, Tick… Boom,” the documentary “Brian Wilson, Long Promised Road” and the arthouse sequel “The Souvenir Part II.”
It’s rare to see a “Part II” on an arthouse flick title, but here we are. “The Souvenir Part II,” starring the mother and daughter duo of Tilda Swinton and Honor Swinton Byrne, and now playing in theatres, picks up where 2019’s “The Souvenir’s” coming of age story left off.
In that movie, film student Julie (Byrne) falls into a life-changing relationship with an older, arrogant man named Anthony. His death from a heroin overdose sends her reeling.
The new film sees Julie attempt to process Anthony’s death by making a graduation movie as a “memorial” for her late partner. As the project moves forward, it’s apparent Julie, who didn’t know Anthony was a heroin addict, is struggling to make sense of his loss. From the beginning her idea is met with bewilderment by her professors who don’t like the script and her producing partner (Jaygann Ayeh) who grows frustrated with her choice in actors.
“The Souvenir Part II” is a quiet, meticulous film about how artists mine personal experience to create art, to find a voice. Swinton Byrne’s Julie develop into a filmmaker, an artist and person who creates her own path. It is a lovely, delicate-but-steely, natural performance that digs deep into Julie’s maturity, personal and professional. It’s a pleasure to see Swinton and Swinton Byrne interact as mother and daughter in the film. There’s an authenticity to those scenes that feels like a warm hug.
“The Souvenir Part II” is based, in part, on director Joanna Hogg’s experience, and drips with complex ideas and emotions. As Julie heals herself, the film hauntingly has one eye on her past while the other looks to her future.
The filmmaking is more about mood than straightforward storytelling. It’s as if Hogg had a question from Julie’s film school classmate Patrick (Richard Ayoade) ringing in her head as she made the film. “Did you avoid the temptation to be obvious?” he asks. She did, and the movie is better and more challenging for it.
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the direct sequel to 1991’s “T2,” “Terminator: Dark Fate,” “Harriet,” the inspiring life story of American abolitionist and political activist Harriet Tubman and the Edward Norton noir “Motherless Brooklyn.”
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with news anchor Lois Lee to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including the reunion of Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Terminator: Dark Fate,” the biopic “Harriet” starring Cynthia Erivo and “Motherless Brooklyn” from star, director, producer and writer Edward Norton.
Richard has a look at the new movies coming to theatres, including the direct sequel to 1991’s “T2,” “Terminator: Dark Fate,” “Harriet,” the inspiring life story of American abolitionist and political activist Harriet Tubman and the Edward Norton noir “Motherless Brooklyn” with CFRA morning show host Bill Carroll.
A weekly feature from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest and most interesting movies! This week Richard looks at the reunion of Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Terminator: Dark Fate,” the biopic “Harriet” starring Cynthia Erivo and “Motherless Brooklyn” from star, director, producer and writer Edward Norton.
American abolitionist and political activist Harriet Tubman led an extraordinary life. Born into slavery she transcended, escaping to freedom before being a conductor on the Underground Railroad and rescuing 70 enslaved people, including her closest relatives. “Harriet” starring Cynthia Erivo in the title role, details her legendary life in a formulaic film that nonetheless inspires.
Set in Maryland, “Harriet” begins in 1849 with Minty (Erivo)—she didn’t take the name Harriet Tubman until later—leaving behind everything she knew, family, friends, her husband John Tubman (Zackary Momoh) to escape the violence and oppression of a land owner who refuses to honour a deal to give her the freedom she deserves. “I’m going to be free or die,” she says as she embarks on an arduous journey across unfriend territory with a team of slave trackers trailing behind. With ingenuity and some divine guidance she makes it one hundred miles to Pennsylvania, freedom and the helpful hands of William Still (Leslie Odom Jr.), abolitionist and one of the architects of the network of secret roads and safe houses that became the Underground Railroad, the escape route many enslaved African-Americans used to access to the free states and Canada. He helps her get established but after a year Harriet feels that freedom without family is an empty experience. “If I’m free,” she says, “my family should be too. I made up my mind, I’m going back.”
That marked the first of many danger-filled journeys that saw Harriet, sometimes in disguise, sometimes carrying a gun, always equipped with courage and resourcefulness, lead dozens of people to freedom.
“Harriet” sometimes falls into overused thriller conventions but the career-making performance from Erivo, who displays a range that spans the absolute hands-in-the-air joy at crossing the border to autonomy to the steely determination when facing down her former oppressor, masks some of the uneven storytelling. Sudden shifts in tone, from harrowing to light, are jarring but the sheer force of Tubman’s personality (and Erivo’s performance) smooth out the rough spots.
Director and co-writer Kasi Lemmons fills also the story with vivid details that evoke the time and place. The use of coded songs as a way to communicate is one particularly effective note that weaves tradition into the movie.
“Harriet” is an historical origin story that, for better and for worse, echoes the superhero origin tales we’ve seen so much of recently. It’s appropriate. Tubman was a real superhero. She is the stuff of legend, a woman who risked everything to fight against a fundamental, moral wrong. The movie that celebrates her life occasionally errs in its excess—it covers a great deal of ground—but the light it shines on Tubman and her accomplishments burns brightly.