Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Bain about TV shows to watch this weekend including Viggo Mortensen’s father-and-son drama “Falling” (select theatres, rent or buy on the Apple TV app and other VOD platforms), the trippy “A Glitch in the Matrix” documentary (VOD), and the unfiltered Netflix romantic drama “Malcolm & Marie” (Netflix).
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with host Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including Viggo Mortensen’s father-and-son drama “Falling” (select theatres, rent or buy on the Apple TV app and other VOD platforms), the trippy “A Glitch in the Matrix” documentary (VOD), and the unfiltered Netflix romantic drama “Malcolm & Marie” (Netflix).
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 Viggo Mortensen’s father-and-son drama “Falling” (select theatres, rent or buy on the Apple TV app and other VOD platforms), the trippy “A Glitch in the Matrix” documentary (VOD), the unfiltered Netflix romantic drama “Malcolm & Marie” (Netflix) and the Australian sheep story “Rams” (Vortex Media, VOD/Digital).
Darth Vader may be the cosmically worst cinematic father in the universe but down on earth Willis, as played by Lance Henriksen in the new film “Falling,” gives the “Star Wars” villain a run for his money.
Writer, director and star Viggo Mortensen found inspiration for the story after caring for his real-life father in his declining years. Mortensen plays John, husband of Eric (Terry Chen), son of Willis. He’s ex-Air Force, now working as a commercial pilot based in Los Angeles. It’s a long way from the rural New York farm where he was raised and his father still resides.
Willis isn’t doing well. Dementia has robbed him of the ability to live alone in the rambling old farmhouse he’s inhabited for decades. Hoping to make his father’s life easier, John brings him to California with an eye toward making it easier to care for him.
Trouble is, Willis’ disease has made him the definition of cantankerous. Anger, misogyny, and homophobia are a way of life for the old man who never misses an opportunity to spew his hatred. John bears the brunt of it, but Willis is an equal opportunity offender whose current bad attitude is a magnification of the behavior that tore his family apart decades before.
“Falling” gives genre legend Henriksen his meatiest role in years. He is the dominant and dominating character, a man who makes Archie Bunker look like Justin Trudeau. It’s a raw performance but after the first hour it becomes something close to parody as Willis’ insults become more and more vicious and increasingly inane.
Mortensen’s take on Jack is more nuanced. As the younger man searches for closure, Willis continuously tests the limits of his compassion and challenges the old man’s view of masculinity. Where Henriksen is playing to the back of the house, Mortensen is subdued, finding the character’s kindness in a very difficult situation.
We learn more about Willis in the flashbacks that make up about fifty percent of the movie’s running time. As a young misanthropist-in-the-making Willis is played by Sverrir Gudnason with a sneer and a quick tongue. The flashbacks are an origin story, a study in where Willis came from and a glimpse of the man he once was, for better and for worse, as he began driving everyone around him away. In these scenes he still has a remnant of his humanity, and therefore, is a more interesting character than his elderly counterpart.
“Falling” is a self-assured and sometimes poetic directorial debut for Mortensen, marred by a repetitive central character you don’t want to be around for the film’s 112-minute running time.
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 psychological drama “The Lodge,” the poignant Brit com “Military Wives,” the Netflix comedy “The Lovebirds,” the family drama “The Roads Not Taken” and the Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon comedy “The Trip to Greece.”
Sally Potter’s “Roads Not Taken” is a bleak film given life by a resolute performance from Elle Fanning as Molly, a young woman caring for her father, a writer with early onset dementia.
Javier Bardem is Leo, a man who lives in a rundown apartment in Brooklyn. When we meet him, he’s lying in bed, unable to answer calls from his concerned daughter. Molly arrives to find him comatose but alive. Relieved, she spends the day navigating her father’s schedule of doctor’s visits and clothes shopping, made all the more difficult by his worsening condition and the insensitive reaction of almost everyone they come in contact with, including ex-wife Rita (Laura Linney). “He just pretends to not remember things,” she says, “to make me feel guilty.”
Breaking up the day-to-day are flashbacks—or are they hallucinations?—from Leo’s past life. “Where have you been all day dad,” Molly asks as his mind reels backwards through time to a romance with Dolores (Salma Hayek) in rural Mexico and sojourn in Greece where he meets a beautiful young woman who reminds him of his daughter.
As a portrait of a fragmented mind, apparently based loosely on Potter’s experience with her younger, musician brother Nic, “The Roads Not Taken” succeeds because of the performances. The story telling is ragged, jarring as it jumps through time without providing enough connective tissue to hold together.
Fanning, as a person who realizes she must grieve for her father before he is gone, drips compassion. It’s heartfelt work that gives the movie a pulse. “No matter how far away you go,” she says. “No matter what they says, “you are always you.” Bardem, essentially playing three characters, is effective, allowing just enough of Leo’s personality to shine through to make us understand who he once was.
“The Roads Not Taken” is not an easy movie to watch. It brims with empathy for Leo but allows the story’s grief and regret overpower its message of steadfast love.
Richard and CP24 anchor George Lagogianes have a look at the weekend’s new movies, the Harry Potter prequel “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” the coming-of-age story “Edge of Seventeen” and Miles Teller as real life boxer Vinny Paz in “Bleed for This.”
Richard sits in with Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s new movies, the Harry Potter prequel “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” the coming-of-age story “Edge of Seventeen,” Miles Teller as real life boxer Vinny Paz in “Bleed for This” and “Nocturnal Animals” with Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal.