Posts Tagged ‘Julie Delpy’


I sit in for NewsTalk 1010 host Jim Richards on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “NewsTalk Tonight” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse Like This?” This week we talk about the explicit and emotional “Joy Ride,” the noir-ish thriller “The Lesson” and the drama “This Place.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!


I joined CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres.  Today we talk about

the explicit and emotional “Joy Ride,” the noir-ish thriller “The Lesson” and the drama “This Place.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


I join CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to talk about the explicit and emotional “Joy Ride,” the noir-ish thriller “The Lesson” and the drama “This Place.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


I sit in with CKTB morning show host Tim Denis to have a look at the explicit and emotional “Joy Ride” and the noir-ish thriller “The Lesson” with Richard E. Grant.

Listen to thew whole thing HERE!


I joined CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres.  Today we talk about the explicit and emotional “Joy Ride,” the noir-ish thriller “The Lesson,” the Netflix documentary “Muscles and Mayhem” and the Disney+ reality show “Secret Chef.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


I sit in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the explicit and emotional “Joy Ride,” the noir-ish thriller “The Lesson” and the drama “This Place.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!


Fast reviews for busy people! Watch as I review three movies in less time than it takes to turn on the lights! Have a look as I race against the clock to tell you about the explicit and emotional “Joy Ride,” the noir-ish thriller “The Lesson” and the drama “This Place.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

THE LESSON: 3 ½ STARS. “a slow burn with wit, theatrical cruelty and surprises.”

A chamber piece set against a backdrop of the literary world, “The Lesson,” now playing in theatres, is a fabulously twisty noir-ish study in betrayal and revenge.

Liam Sommers (Daryl McCormack) is an aspiring author, fresh out of university, who lands a cushy job as a live-in tutor for his idol, the fabulously wealthy J.M. Sinclair (Richard E. Grant), the most revered author in the country, who also just happens to be the subject of Liam’s thesis. “I’m sure he’d be flattered,” says Sinclair’s brooding wife, art dealer Hélène (Julie Delpy) to Liam, “but you’re not here for him.”

“Good writers borrow,” says Sinclair, “but great writers steal,” and Sinclair is a great writer.

The reclusive author is recovering from the loss of his older son Felix by suicide two years before, and has brought Liam in to prep his other son, a snot-nosed brat named Bertie (Stephen McMillan), for his Oxford entrance exams. “He has to get in, Liam,” says Hélène.

On arrival, Liam discovers that despite seemingly having it all—think Downton Abbey with fewer servants—the family is lacks one crucial thing, happiness. Kept under the thumb of the egomaniacal Sinclair, who Bertie describes as, “uncaring and cruel,” an air of tension hangs over the house like a shroud.

When Sinclair agrees to read Liam’s work-in-progress novel in exchange for the ambitious, but unpublished, author’s thoughts on his latest book—”The ending, Part III? It feels like a different novel,” says Liam.—it sets off a series of events that unveil the movie’s main themes—inspiration, ethics and vengeance.

The darkly comic “The Lesson” succeeds not because of its pulpy story, which is a bit of down-and-dirty fun, but because of the way the actors inhabit their characters. Grant and Delpy are perfectly cast as a couple who opted for cruelty over love many years ago.

Grant embraces Sinclair’s techy personality and never tries to make him likeable. It’s a bravura performance that drips with superiority, intellect and derision. Sinclair knows his place in the world and is willing to do almost anything to stay there.

Delpy is a slightly more sympathetic character who allows the odd feeling, other than contempt, to bleed through her icy façade. Her misery is evident, she has lost her son and more, but behind there is something more lurking just behind her restrained disguise.

It is McCormack, however, who grounds the flights of fancy with a very real performance fueled by ambition, that prevents “The Lesson” from becoming too arch, too aware of its excesses.

“The Lesson” is a slow burn, a story that unfolds at its own pace with wit, theatrical cruelty and welcome surprises.

Richard’s Look Back at THIRTEEN Big Hits and Some of the Big Misses of 2013

Screen Shot 2013-12-30 at 10.24.58 AMTOP THIRTEEN HITS (click on the title to see trailer)

1. 12 Years a Slave.  There’s a key line near the beginning of “12 Years a Slave, “ the new drama from “Shame” director Steve McQueen. Shortly after being shanghaied from his comfortable life as a freeman into a life of slavery Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) declares, “I don’t want to survive. I want to live.” Based on Northup’s 1853 memoir the movie is an uncompromising story about will, suffering and injustice.

2. American Hustle.  “American Hustle” is one of the year’s best. It’s an entertainingly audacious movie that will doubtless be compared to “The Wolf of Wall Street” because of the similarity in tone and themes, but this time around David O. Russell has almost out-Scorsese’d Scorsese.

3. Before Midnight.  “Before Midnight” is beautifully real stuff that fully explores the doubts and regrets that characterize Jesse and Celine’s (Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy) love affair. Done with humor, heart and pathos, often in the same scene, it is a poignant farewell to two characters who grew up in front of us.

4. Blue Jasmine.  Darker than most of Woody Allen’s recent output, “Blue Jasmine” doesn’t go for laughs—very often anyway—but is an astutely crafted psychological character study. Jasmine is a modern day Blanche Du Bois, a faded bright light now forced to depend on the kindness of strangers. Getting in her way are delusions of grandeur and a continued sense of denial—likely the same sense that kept her guilt free during the years the illegal cash was flowing—that eventually conspire to fracture her psyche. “There’s only so many traumas one can take,” she says, “ before you end up in the street, screaming.”

5. Captain Phillips.  I don’t think it’s fair to charge audiences full price for screenings of “Captain Phillips.” While watching this exciting new Tom Hanks thriller I was reminded of the old Monster Trucks ads that bellowed, “You Pay for the Whole Seat but You’ll Only Need the Edge!”It a film about piracy and I don’t mean the sleazy guys who bootleg movies but the real pirates who were responsible for the first hijacking of an American cargo ship in two hundred years.

6. Dallas Buyer’s Club. In “Dallas Buyer’s Club” Canadian director Jean-Marc Vallée has made an emotional drama that never stoops to melodrama. Instead it’s an inspirational film about standing up for what you believe in.

7. Frances Ha.  The seventh film from “Greenberg” director Noah Baumbach isn’t so much a traditional narrative as it is a character study of Frances (Greta Gerwig), an underemployed dancer struggling to find herself in New York City. It plays like a cleaned up black-and-white version of “Girls”; an emotionally rich and funny portrait of twenty-something ennui. “Frances Ha” is a collection of details. There is an engaging story, but it’s not exactly laid out in three acts. It feels more intimate and raw than the usual twenty-ish crisis flick and with each detail we get another piece of the puzzle that makes up Frances’ life.

8. Fruitvale Station. It’s important to remember that “Fruitvale Station” isn’t a documentary. Director Ryan Coogler has shaped the movie for maximum heartrending effect, and by the time the devastating last half hour plays out it’s hard to imagine any other movie this year packing such a emotional wallop.

9. Gravity.  “Gravity” isn’t an epic like “2001: A Space Odyssey” or an outright horror film like “Alien.” There are no monsters or face hugging ETs. It’s not even a movie about life or death. Instead it is a life-affirming movie about the will to survive.

10. Her.  “Her” is an oddball story, but it’s not an oddball film. It is ripe with real human emotion and commentary on a generation’s reliance on technology at the cost of social interaction.

11. Inside Llewyn Davis. “Inside Llewyn Davis” is a fictional look at the vibrant Greenwich Village folk scene. Imagine the cover of “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan” come to life. Sharp-eyed folkies will note not-so-coincidental similarities between the people Llewyn meets and real-life types like Tom Paxton, Alert Grossman and Mary Travers, but this isn’t a history, it’s a feel. It gives us an under-the-covers look at struggles and naked ambition it takes to get noticed.

12. Nebraska.  The humour doesn’t come in the set-up-punch-line format but arises out of the situations. A scene of Woody’s gathered family—his elderly brothers and grown sons—watching a football game redefines the word taciturn but the subject of the sparse conversation, a 1974 Buick, is bang on, hilarious and will likely sound familiar to anyone with a large family.

13. Wolf of Wall Street.  “Wolf of Wall Street” makes for entertaining viewing, mostly because DiCaprio and Jonah Hill are able to ride the line between the outrageous comedy on display and the human drama that takes over the movie’s final minutes. Both are terrific, buoyed by the throbbing pulse of Scorsese’s camera. With its fourth wall breaking narration, scandalous set pieces and absurd antics “The Wolf of Wall Street” is an experience. At three hours it’s almost as excessive as Balfort’s $26,000 dinners. It feels a bit long, but like the spoiled brats it portrays, it will not, and cannot, be ignored.


TREND: Big stars don’t guarantee box office!

1. The Fifth Estate – Budget: $28 million, Global box office: $6 million, Return: 21%  Late into “The Fifth Estate” Guardian investigative journalist Nick Davies (David Thewlis) says, “most good stories start at the beginning.” I argue that he’s right– about 99% of the time. Unfortunately this look at WikiLeaks and hacker-turned-whistleblower Julian Assange falls into the 1%.

2. Bullet to the Head – Budget: $25 million, Global box office: $9 million, Return: 36%  With a name like Bullet to the Head you know the new Sylvester Stallone movie isn’t a romantic comedy. Although he paraphrases the most famous rom com line of all time, “You had be at BLEEP BLEEP!” the movie is nothing but an ode to testosterone.

3. Getaway – Budget: R180-million, Global box office: R105-million, Return: 58 percent.  On a scale of zero to stupid, ”Getaway” ranks an eleven. It is what we call in the film criticism business a S.D.M. (Silly Damn Movie). OK, I made that last part up, but I couldn’t really think of any other category to place this movie under.  Maybe E.S.D.M. (Extremely Silly Damn Movie).

Dishonorable Mentions:

Paranoia – Budget: $35 million, Global box office: $13.5 million, Return: 39%.

R.I.P.D. – Budget: $130 million, Global box office: $78 million