Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Case about television and movies to watch during the pandemic including “Dads,” a new doc directed by Bryce Dallas Howard, just in time for Father’s Day, the new Kevin Bacon thriller “You Should Have Left” and the music documentary series “Laurel Canyon.”
Richard and “CP24 Breakfast” host Bill Coulter have a look at some special streaming opportunities and television shows to help fill the hours during the pandemic, including “The Muppets take Manhattan,” streaming for free on ctv.ca, the latest Stay at Home Cinema, the riveting drama “I May Destroy You” on HBO, the documentary “Ali & Cavett: The tale of the Tapes” on HBO and Kevin Bacon’s latest thriller “You Should Have Left,” now on VOD.
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 new Kevin Bacon psychological thriller “You Should Have Left,” the Heather Graham family drama “The Rest of Us,” the “Showgirls” rethink “You Don’t Nomi” and “Mr. Jones,” the true-life story of one journalist’s journey to tell the truth.
Richard Zooms with “You Should Have Left” star Kevin Bacon. They talk about the movie’s portrayal of psychological drama, what dreams really mean and why the movie is more timely now than when they filmed it. Then Richard asks the “Footloose” star about Ontario’s recent “no dancing, no singing” on patios rule.
YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT SYNOPSIS: What should have been a distraction free vacation at a remote house in Wales for husband and wife Theo (Bacon) and Susanna Conroy (Amanda Seyfried) and daughter Ella (Avery Tiiu Essex), turns out to be anything but when their “simple sanctuary” morphs into something sinister.
What should have been a distraction free vacation at a remote house in Wales for husband and wife Theo (Kevin Bacon) and Susanna Conroy (Amanda Seyfried) and daughter Ella (Avery Tiiu Essex), turns out to be anything but when their “simple sanctuary” morphs into something sinister.
Susanna is a busy actor; Theo is a rich banker starting a new life and family after his first wife died under mysterious circumstances. Feeling the need for quality time, they jet off to Wales to spend a week in the country. The rental house is even more beautiful than the on-line pictures. “It’s bigger on the inside than outside,” Theo marvels as they walk into the majestic foyer. There’s no cell service and the place is stark, stripped of all the owner’s personal touches, but Ella’s bedroom has a bed “the size of Connecticut” and all seems well.
Soon, doors open by themselves and Theo discovers a hallway that appears to be a place where time stands still. Then, the strange dreams begin. Before long Theo’s nightmares spill over into his waking hours as reality and dreamland become harder and harder to differentiate. Tensions flare, and after a fight Susanna leaves to cool off, leaving Theo and Ella in the house alone overnight.
It’s then that things get really weird. The house seems to adhere to the wonky laws of physics as written by M.C. Escher. One room is five feet longer in the inside than the outside and the home’s long hallways are interconnected in ways designed to entrap and confound anyone unfortunate to find themselves stuck in their seemingly endless maze.
As Theo tries to keep Ella safe, he finds an ominous note scrawled in his diary. “You should have left,” it says in large, sloppy letters. “Now it’s too late.” What’s going on? Is he trapped in a haunted multiverse? Is the house the course of his torment or are these phenomena a product of an unhealthy mind?
“You Should Have Left” is heavy on atmosphere but light on actual raise-the-hairs-on-the-back-of-your-neck scares. There is the odd jump scare moment but the movie is mainly geared toward psychological drama, the primal fear for the safety of a child or losing one’s sanity. Theo spends a great deal of time wandering the house, opening the doors that sometimes lead somewhere unexpected, sometimes lead him right back to where he started. It’s a clever way to represent the various parts of his personality and the psychological journey he is on. “The right ones always find the house,” says a townsperson. “Or is it the reverse? does the house find them?”
Director David Koepp keeps the special effects to a minimum, relying instead on the weight of Theo’s psychological crisis to carry the story. It’s like “The Shining” without a showstopping “Here’s Johnny” scene. The weird and wild stuff is mostly done with camera tricks and inventive direction, giving the haunted house scenes an organic, slightly more realistic feel.
“You Should Have Left” is part psychological thriller, part morality tale. At just ninety minutes it feels a hair long and a late stage dramatic point between Susanna and Theo feels forced but Bacon keeps the portrait of a man trying to understand what is happening around him intriguing.
Richard sits in with Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the big weekend movies, Peter Berg’s ripped-from-the-headlines “Patriot’s Day,” “Live By Night” from director-actor Ben Affleck, the terrible “Monster Trucks” and the sublime “20th Century Women” and “Paterson.”
His trademarked approach involves beginning his films with long slice-of-life scenes.
There’s no story really, just people doing everyday things—playing with their kids, buying muffins for their wives—before being exposed to unspeakable tragedy. His last two films, “Deepwater Horizon” and “Lone Survivor” were built around that template, one he revisits in the real life drama “Patriots Day.”
In this case the movie begins on April 15, 2013 in Boston. Mark Wahlberg (Berg’s go to heroic everyman) is Sgt. Tommy Saunders, a cop with a bad knee and a caring wife (Michelle Monaghan), assigned to traffic duty at the Boston Marathon finish line. As he takes his place across town two brothers, Dzhokhar (Alex Wolff ) and Tamerlan (Themo Melikidze) Tsarnaev, prepare homemade double boiler bombs and a plan to spread terror at the all American event.
With the character introductions out of the way the race begins with hundreds of people running through the streets, careening toward the finish line and devastation.
Berg, like Hitchcock, knows that showing the bomb but not saying when it will go off is almost unbearably tense. You know it’s there, you know what will happen, but the waiting is the thing that builds suspense.
When the two bombs do explode, maiming and killing dozens of people as the brothers slip off into the crowd, Berg recreates the mayhem, splicing together hundreds of shots, many only four or five seconds long. It’s hellish collage that places the viewer amid the action.
The remainder of the running time is spent making sense of the situation and tracking the terrorist brothers.
Berg fills the time with several very tautly staged scenes—a carjacking is memorable for its quiet menace—but the violence, especially an extended shootout on a residential street is not glamorized. It’s raw and tremendously tense.
Wahlberg is the film’s conscience—he says things like “We can’t go back to all these families with nothing. We owe them better.”—but the movie’s beating heart is Berg’s celebration of the indomitable spirit of victims and law enforcement alike. He is an unapologetic champion of everyday heroes, people who don’t flinch in the face of adversity. His heroes are the real greatest generation types who live next door and always do the right thing.
In Berg’s last film, “Deepwater Horizon,” the explosions were the stars. In “Patriots Day” the action and the fireworks propel the story, showcasing instead of overwhelming the heroics.