Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Case about movies on VOD and in theatres to watch this weekend including Netflix’s “The Queen’s Gambit,” the Disney+ education program “Weird But True,” “Let Him Go,” the Kevin Costner movie, now playing in theatres, the Hallmark parody “Cup of Cheer.”
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 the Kevin Costner family drama “Let Him Go” (in theatres), the Hallmark parody “Cup of Cheer” (streaming), the noir-ish “The Kid Detective” (Theatrical) and the minor-key “Major Arcana” (VOD).
The last time we saw Kevin Costner and Diane Lane paired up on screen they were Jonathan and Martha Kent, adoptive parents of Clark “Superman” Kent. Once again, they are parents who suffer a loss, but their kryptonite, the thing that makes them weak, isn’t a Krypton crystal but a grandson named Jimmy.
In the early moments of “Let Him Go,” now playing in theatres, Margaret and George Blackledge (Lane and Costner) suffer an unimaginable loss when their son is killed while riding horseback on their Montana ranch. Left behind are grandson Jimmy (played by Bram Hornung and Otto Hornung) and daughter-in-law Lorna (Kayli Carter).
Life goes on and several years later Lorna remarries, tying the knot with Donnie Weboy (Will Brittain), a terse, violent man who doesn’t invite any family to the wedding. Days later Margaret’s suspicions are raised when she sees Donnie bullying Jimmy and hitting Lorna in public. The next day, stopping by to do a wellness check—with a freshly baked Bundt cake in hand—she discovers that Donnie, without saying a word, relocates Lorna and Jimmy to North Dakota.
Determined to find out where they are and why they left, Margaret packs up the car, and after some discussion, convinces George, a retired sheriff, to come along.
Their investigation reveals the Weboy clan to be a badlands crime family, run by powerful matriarch Blanche Weboy (Lesley Manville). It was Blanche who ordered Donnie to come home and now that the family is reunited, including Lorna and Jimmy, the Blackledges discover she will use any means necessary to keep the fam together.
“Let Him Go” is a love story disguised as a crime drama. Margaret and George’s relationship has a comfortable, lived-in vibe but their love for Jimmy is the engine that drives the story. We don’t get to know the youngster but without him and a grandparent’s love, and to a lesser degree, Blanche’s twisted love for her family, there is no story.
Director Thomas Bezucha, who also wrote the script based on Larry Watson’s novel of the same name, takes his time laying the groundwork leading up to the explosive climax. The slow pace echoes the speed of life in mid-1950s Montana but, in the movie’s first half, tests the limits of the audience’s patience. The malevolent menace projected by Blanche brings the movie to a simmer but it takes too long to come to a full boil.
Costner and Lane bring an authenticity to their performances that make them completely believable as a couple of 40 years and later, when things heat up, a partnership who can get the job done. Costner has aged out of being an action star but he does something different here. He’s older and more physically vulnerable, but his years of experience as a lawman give George gravitas when he needs it.
“Let Him Go” has interesting elements, beautiful landscape photography and some well-rounded characters you can get behind—and others you may enjoy hating—but the story tangents and leisurely pacing blunt the effectiveness of the storytelling.
Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Case about movies on VOD and in theatres to watch this weekend including “Misbehaviour” starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Kiera Knightley, Ethan Hawke as the legendary inventor in “Tesla” and the activist doc “We Are Many.”
Richard and CP24 anchor Cristina Tenaglia have a look at the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the oddball comedy “Kajillionaire” starring Richard Jenkins and Evan Rachel Wood, the poignant Brticom “Misbehaviour” with Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Keira Knightley and Jessie Buckley and the second Richard Jenkins movie of the week, “The Last Shift.”
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 the oddball comedy “Kajillionaire” starring Richard Jenkins and Evan Rachel Wood, the poignant Brticom “Misbehaviour” with Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Keira Knightley and Jessie Buckley and the second Richard Jenkins movie of the week, “The Last Shift.”
Fifty years after the 1970 Miss World pageant erupted into chaos a new film documents the events that sent host Bob Hope scurrying from the stage, bombarded by flour bombs and heckles. “Misbehaviour,” a new British film starring Keira Knightley and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and now on VOD, sees members of the nascent British women’s liberation movement rebel against the show’s objectification of its contestants and Hope’s terrible jokes. “I consider the feelings of women,” he says, “I consider feeling women all the time.”
Knightley is Sally Alexander, a single mother and academic who believes the women’s liberation movement must address systemic sexism if there is to be meaningful change. Jo Robinson (Jessie Buckley) takes a more hands-on approach, defacing statues and sexist billboards. Despite differing approaches, they focus their efforts on the Miss World pageant, an annual event with a world-wide television audience of over 100 million people.
In a parallel story Gugu Mbatha-Raw is Jennifer Hosten, Grenada’s first competitor in Miss World. Intelligent, elegant and composed, she’s willing to endure the contest’s objectification for the chance to make history as the first woman of colour to win the pageant crown. “You are a very lucky person if you think this is being treated badly,” she tells Miss Sweden, Maj Johansson (Clara Rosager).
“Misbehaviour” is an ambitious movie disguised as a feel good Britcom. Issues are raised and the era is vividly portrayed trough fashion and the attitude of the pageant’s organizers, but the story’s main point, that feminism comes in many styles and can mean different things to different people, is broached in a superficially earnest way, but never explored. Alexander and Robinson see the absurdity of the beauty contest is liken to a “cattle market.” The farcicality of it all, the bathing suit competition, the numbers on the wrists, is not lost on Hosten but for her it is an opportunity to make a statement to other woman and girls who look like her that this, and anything else in life, is possible. That doors can be opened.
Knightley and Buckley are reliably good but it is Mbatha-Raw who brings the heart and soul to “Misbehaviour.” More than just a retelling of the flour-bombing of Bob Hope or a history lesson on the roots of the women’s liberation movement (at the end we actually meet the real-life counterparts of the film’s characters), it’s character study of Hosten. She may not be the focus of the story, that’s Alexander and Robinson, but Mbatha-Raw’s warmth tempered by inner unease makes her the movie’s most layered and interesting character.
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 Shia LeBeouf’s semi-autobiographical story “Honey Boy,” the eco-doc “Spaceship Earth,” the period dramedy “Emma,” the ripped-from-the-headlines “The Assistant,” the family drama “Ordinary Love,” the horror comedy “Extra ordinary,” the ugly divorce proceedings of “Hope Gap” and the neo-realist look at the gig economy “Sorry We Missed You.”
In “Ordinary Love,” a new family drama on VOD starring Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville, the “Taken” star is up against a foe that tests his special set of skills.
Neeson and Manville are Joan and Tom, a retired Northern Ireland couple whose perfect life is upended when she finds a lump in her breast. Determined to ease his wife’s journey into the medical morass of mammograms, chemotherapy and all the attendant side effects, he is optimistic and supportive. “There isn’t a moment I won’t be there with you,” he says.
From there the film follows Joan’s year-long treatment, from discovery to treatment to double mastectomy and all the emotions that come with a potentially deadly diagnosis. It is the year that will test the stay-at-home couple’s bond like no other. “We’re both going through this,” he says. “No, we’re not!” she says.
There is nothing ordinary about “Ordinary Love.” It is a well-observed slice of life that celebrates the mundane things that make up a life, particularly when trauma comes to town. Never maudlin and always heartfelt, it realistically handles the seven stages of shock—shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, testing, and acceptance— and even adds in a few others that accompanies a life changer like cancer. Screenwriter Owen McCafferty carefully navigates the story as far away from melodrama as possible to delve into the more elemental emotions of everything from compassion and kindness to resentment and rage.
Neeson and Manville, ably assisted by directors Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Lyburn, appeal to the audience’s sympathetic tendencies but also mines the humor that arises from the uncomfortable situations.
“Ordinary Love” avoids the pitfalls of many other films that deal with illness. It never shies away from the reality of the situation but finds tenderness in its character’s humanity. After thirty years of marriage they still like one another and it shows. I defy you to watch Tom cut Joan’s hair as it falls out in clumps due to chemotherapy and not feel the warm authenticity of the scene.