Posts Tagged ‘Kate Bosworth’


Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 4.56.39 PMCP24 film critic Richard Crouse reviews “Still Alice,” “Cake,” “Strange Magic,” “The Boy Next Door” and “Mordecai.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 10.27.23 AMRichard’s “Canada AM” reviews for “Still Alice,” “Cake,” “Strange Magic,” “The Boy Next Door” and “Mordecai.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

STILL ALICE: 4 STARS. ” elevated by a central performance from Julianne Moore.”

still-alice-picture-7“Still Alice” has a Disease of the Week Movie plot but is elevated by a central performance from Julianne Moore. Her portrayal is deeply nuanced, self-aware but most of all, heartbreaking.

Moore plays the title character, a linguistics teacher at Columbia University in New York. She has a career, a loving husband (Alec Baldwin), three grown children Anna (Kate Bosworth), Lydia (Kristen Stewart) and Tom (Hunter Parrish) and early onset Alzheimer’s. She’s a woman who reveled in intellectual success, proud of her vocabulary and mental prowess but lately she can’t remember the small things. She blanks on people’s names and gets lost in familiar places.

Before she becomes incapable of looking after herself she records a message to her future self. In it she describes a contingency plan, a way to end the suffering that will be easy on her and the family.

Later in the film, when we finally see the video message, we are struck by the duality of Moore’s performance. The transformation from early onset to full blown Alzheimer’s has been subtle but constant. Placing her afflicted self side-by-side with her healthier being displays the depth, beauty and subtly of Moore’s work. It’s a showstopper of a sequence that cleverly displays Alice’s deterioration and Moore’s mastery of the character.

Also notable is Kristen Stewart who delivers a rough hewn but tender version of a daughter who is occasionally frustrated by her mother’s situation but slowly come s to form a deeper relationship with her than anyone else in the film. Her reading of a passage from “Angels in America” and the emotional heft that comes with it should mute the ”Twilight” jokes once and for all.

“Butterflies have short but beautiful lives,” Alice says, and while “Still Alice” doesn’t have the raw intensity of films like “Iris” and “Away From Her,” it is a showcase for a beautiful portrayal of a woman who has everything stripped away from her.

Dog days of summer RICHARD CROUSE METRO CANADA Published: September 13, 2011

PHMeLaPpKt1fPU_1_m1971 was a watershed year for new cinema. Films like A Clockwork Orange, Dirty Harry and Straw Dogs pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable on the silver screen. None are passive films. Each brims with the obsessions of their makers, and for that each was the subject of controversy and censorship.

Eventually they became accepted by the mainstream. A Clockwork Orange has become a cultural touchstone, with everyone from Lady Gaga to David Bowie to Kylie Minogue, who dressed in a black bowler hat and a white jumpsuit on tour in 2002, paying tribute. It was even played at the Cannes Film Festival and released on Blu Ray to mark its fortieth anniversary. Dirty Harry is on constant rotation on television and Rod Lurie’s remake of the Sam Peckinpah film Straw Dogs hits screens this weekend.

The movie stars James Marsden and Kate Bosworth as David and Amy Sumner, a big city couple who move back to her hometown on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Tensions with some of the locals (including True Blood’s Alexander Skarsgård) bubble to the surface and soon boil over into violence.

“If you look at a movie like Straw Dogs, which was heavily influenced by a book called The Territorial Imperative,” says Lurie, “Peckinpah seems to be saying that violence is in the genetics of all men and therefore we must be aware of it so we can control it. It was extremely fascist thinking but that also seems to be the thing with Dirty Harry.

“A Clockwork Orange is a much more clinical look at that but I think artists were trying to provide the answers top what society was asking then. It was a very, very violent era.

“This was an era in which people were searching for answers to the madness that was going on around them,” Lurie continues, “and filmmakers were trying to provide some of the answers. You had everything from the assassinations of Kennedy and King to Vietnam to the Whitman murders to My Lai. I think all of society was trying to understand how human beings could do such things.”


tumblr_lmgmmsP09C1qdqmcmo1_400No one was more surprised than me that I enjoyed Blue Crush. It is a by-the-numbers teen drama about three Hawaiian wahinis who have crappy day jobs to the pay the rent and support their surfing addiction. One of them, Anne Marie (Kate Bosworth) was a child champion of the sport, but stopped competing when she was almost killed when she lost control of her board and bashed her head on a rock. Now after a break of three years she’s signed up to ride the big waves in the island’s largest surfing competition. She’s in training until she meets a young, rich football player who sweeps her off her feet. Story wise Blue Crush falls flat when it is on land, but the surfing scenes are spectacular. There are a few little twists that set this apart from the usual teen fare – the girls have decidedly unglamorous jobs as hotel maids, and live in a grotty little shack – but don’t expect to be wowed by the plot. Think of it as The Wide World of Sports with dialogue.

21: 3 STARS

Publicity-Stills-for-21-jim-sturgess-885084_1920_1280For most of us Las Vegas can be summed up in two words: lost wages. Everybody knows that the odds favor the casinos, but a new movie from the director of Legally Blonde would have you believe that if you are smart enough and cunning enough you can beat the house. 21 is the based on the true story of five MIT students who use their mathematical skills to bilk the casinos out of millions of dollars. It’s part Good Will Hunting part Cincinnati Kid with a little taste of The Sting thrown in for good measure.

The caper begins innocently enough with Ben Campbell (Across the Universe’s Jim Sturgess) applying for a scholarship to Harvard Med. He’s a cerebral stud who has spent his entire life with his face buried in a text book in preparation for his dream of attending Harvard. When it comes right down to it though, he knows his chances of admission and scholarship would be better if he had some actual life experience.

Enter Professor Micky Rosa (Kevin Spacey), math teacher by day, gambling guru by night. He runs a club of super smart students who specialize in an elaborate method of card counting that is virtually guaranteed to pay off at the blackjack tables. Every weekend they make a quick trip to Vegas, don disguises and pump up their bank accounts.

Micky, sensing Ben’s card shark potential tries to recruit him for the club. Ben is reluctant to join, but soon sees the blackjack scam as a fast easy way to make the $300,000 he needs for tuition. Once the money starts rolling in his standard issue school outfit of jeans and t-shirts is replaced with Armani threads and his old nerdy friends get swapped for new high rolling acquaintances.

Of course it isn’t all aces and face cards. Professor Micky turns out to be closer in personality to tough guy Mickey Cohen than Professor Higgins and when an ill tempered specialist in “loss prevention” (Laurence Fishburne) gets on the case Ben soon realizes that success in Vegas comes with a dangerous price.

21 is actually a few movies in one. It’s a caper story, a true-life drama (although the details have been changed considerably from what actually happened), a suspense and even a romance as Ben falls for blackjack wizard Jill Taylor (Kate Bosworth in her third film with Spacey). Director Robert Lucketic, best known for fluffy comedies like Legally Blonde and Win a Date with Tad Hamilton, deftly balances the film’s various tones, and nicely delineates the drab classroom drama of the MIT scenes from the considerably more glamorous “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” feel of the gambling story.

Of the older cast members, Spacey seems set to chew through the scenery but Fishburne brings just the right amount of old school Vegas menace to the role of a casino detective with a score to settle. Of course, nobody is going to see this movie for the senior members of the cast; this one is strictly aimed at a younger audience.

Heading the ensemble of card cheaters is Jim Sturgess, an unknown British actor who made a bit of a splash last year in Across the Universe, a little seen film based on the music of The Beatles. His odd, variable American accent notwithstanding, Sturgess does a nice job anchoring the cast with a performance that sees him change from nice guy to egomaniac blackjack stud. His appealingly Paul McCartney-esque good looks allow him to be believable as the nerdy student and the high roller, but it is his trip down the rabbit hole as he tries to cram a lifetime of living and frivolity into his weekend jaunts to Vegas that make his character interesting.

Unfortunately the rest of the cast of players aren’t quite as attention-grabbing. Kate Bosworth is pretty, but pretty dull as the, well pretty blonde member of the blackjack team, while Aaron Yoo, Liza Lapira and Jacob Pitts aren’t given enough screen time to make much of an impression as the secondary members of the card counting crew. Only Josh Gad, a Jack Black look-a-like, stands out among Ben’s friends as a memorable character.

21 doesn’t roll as high as Ocean’s 11 but is a good bet for your weekend entertainment dollar.