Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Case about the best movies and television to watch this weekend including Tom Holland’s PTSD drama “Cherry” (Apple TV+), the hoop dreams of “Boogie” (in theatres), and the touching family drama of “Jump, Darling” (Apple, Google Play, VOD) featuring Cloris Leachman in her last leading role.
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including Tom Holland’s PTSD drama “Cherry” (Apple TV+), the hoop dreams of “Boogie” (in theatres), the touching family drama of “Jump, Darling” (Apple, Google Play, and VOD) featuring Cloris Leachman in her last leading role and the dreamy thrills of “Come True” (VOD).
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 Tom Holland’s PTSD drama “Cherry” (Apple TV+), the hoop dreams of “Boogie” (in theatres) and the touching family drama of “Jump, Darling” (Apple, Google Play, and VOD) featuring Cloris Leachman in her last leading role.
“Jump, Darling,” now on VOD, is a family drama that looks at three generations through the lens of three very different characters.
Russell Hill (Thomas Duplessie) is a young Toronto man whose dreams of being an actor are put on hold while he pursues a career in drag. His longtime boyfriend Justin (Andrew Bushell) doesn’t approve. He thinks the drag shows are a variety act, beneath Russell’s talent. “He wanted to be an actor and now his fear of ambition has become bar star.” One break-up later, Russell packs up and moves to rural Prince Edward County in Eastern Ontario to bunk with his sickly grandmother Margaret (Cloris Leachman).
It’s an adjustment. Margaret has dementia, his domineering mother Ene (Linda Kash) is a dark cloud—“I barely hear from you,” she says, “and now you’re squatting with your grandmother.”—and Hannah’s Hovel is the only gay bar within a hundred clicks. Ene wants to put Margaret in a care home, a safe place where she can be cared for or fall down the stairs. Margaret doesn’t want to trade her home for “a prison,” and certainly doesn’t want to live with Ene.
To keep Margaret out of a home, and himself in one, Russell becomes the elderly lady’s primary caregiver as he navigates like in his new small town.
The feature debut of writer/director Philip J. Connell revolves around a trio of characters. Ene is given the least to do, stuck as she is, trying to manage both Margaret and Russell, but Kash brings humanity to the tightly wound character.
The stars of the show are Duplessie and Leachman in her final leading role.
As Russell, Duplessie subtly portrays the pain that brought him to this point in his life. It’s nice, charismatic work that finds an interesting duality between Russell and his drag character Fishy Falters. What could have been a fish-out-of-water story is elevated by a performance that is about courage, empathy and staying true to your passions.
Like Duplessie, Leachman finds the vulnerability in Margaret, creating a character who is at once frail but driven by the strength of her convictions. It is a tremendous late-in-life performance that doesn’t rely on old codger tricks. Instead, Leachman allows subtlety to fule her performance. Quiet but feisty, her facial expressions tell her story as much as the dialogue.
“Jump, Darling” features a couple of show-stopping musical numbers from Fishy Falters but succeeds because of its focus on the family and their dynamics.
Richard joins CP24 anchor Nathan Downer to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the dirty-mouthed puppet movie “The Happytime Murders,” the prison drama “Papillon,” the rom com “Little Italy” and the gritty crime drama “Crown and Anchor.”
Richard has a look at the raunchy puppet movie “The Happytime Murders,” the time-travelling rom com “Little Italy,” the “Papillon” reboot and the gritty crime drama “Crown and Anchor” with the CFRA Morning Rush host Bill Carroll.
“Little Italy,” a new rom com starring Hayden Christensen and Emma Roberts, is good hearted enough but feels like it arrived via a marinara sauce splattered time capsule from 1985.
Leo Campo (Christensen) and Nikki Angioli (Roberts) were inseparable while growing up in Toronto’s Little Italy. “To us Little Italy wasn’t just a few blocks, it was our whole world.” Their families were tight, working side by side at the Napoli Pizza Parlour until the Great Pizza War erupted, causing a split that saw the pizza place sliced down the middle, cleaved into two separate businesses. Years pass. “It’s Little Italy’s oldest food fight.” Nikki moves to England to study the culinary arts while Leo stays home, working with his father.
Five years later Nikki returns home to renew her English work visa and is drawn back into the world she thought she had left behind. My Nikki is coming home today,” says mother Dora (Alyssa Milano). “Now we have to find her a husband so she’ll stay.” Will there be amore? Will the moon hit her eye like a big pizza pie or will she return to her cooking career in London?
“Little Italy” is an “I’m not yelling I’m Italian” style rom com. Desperate to establish the flavour of Little Italy it parades stereotypes across the screen speaking in loud exaggerated Italian accents. It’s annoying but it is all played for laughs, tempered with the easy sentimentality of the most rote of rom coms.
Director Donald Petrie, whose “Mystic Pizza” made a superstar out of Roberts’s Aunt Julia, never finds the balance between the slapstick, romance and cliché. Sometimes it feels like sketch comedy, other times like every rom com you’ve ever seen. Either way, it never feels original or particularly likeable. Top it off with a been-there-done-that run to the airport climax that would likely get everyone involved, if this is anything like real life, arrested and you have a movie that is all about love that is anything but loveable.
Richard and CP24 anchor Jamie Gutfreund have a look at the weekend’s new movies,“The Accountant,” starring Ben Affleck as a deadly bookkeeper, “American Honey” starring Sasha Lane, “Unless” with Catherine Keener and “Christine” with Rebecca Hall!
“Unless,” a new film staring Catherine Keener, is a portrait of a family in distress.
Successful author—a “book club darling”—and translator Reta Winters (Keener), her physician partner Tom (Matt Craven) and children are rocked out of their suburban complacency when daughter Norah (Hannah Gross) drops out of society to become a panhandler on the streets of Toronto.
Wrapped in a thick wool blanket, holding a sign that reads “Goodness,” Norah sits, catatonically outside of legendary discount department store Honest Ed’s. Detached and despondent, the young woman sits, quiet as the falling snow that swirls around her as her family struggles to understand why and how she ended up on the street. Is it a breakdown? A protest? A personal revolution? A reckoning of some sort?
Based on Pulitzer Prize winner Carol Shields’s final novel, she passed away in 2003, “Unless” isn’t driven by plot but by Norah’s unhappiness and her family’s reaction to it. Some flowery dialogue occasionally gets in the way—“Sometimes I think that for Norah there’s a bounteous feast going on but she has not been invited.”—but Keener’s keen intelligence and concern provides the emotional core that shapes the thin story into a compelling character study. In the novel Reta’s journey was an internal one and Keener makes it external and as cinematic as possible given the subdued nature of the film.
Although the question of why and how this happened lies at the heart of the film, director Alan Gilsenan is more interested in the effects of Norah’s decision than the decision itself. There is a conclusion, a reason, but the destination in this case is less satisfying than the journey. The trauma that triggered Norah’s inward turn is unsettling, both emotionally and visually as presented in the movie, but doesn’t provide the kind of capper a story like this needs to transcend character. It feels slightly out of balance in its final minutes as it switches focus from Reta to Norah because we realize that this isn’t the story of a woman’s decision to drop out, but the story of a family’s reckoning with the aftermath of that choice.