Richard joins CP24 anchor Nathan Downer to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the kid-friendly Halloween flick “The House With A Clock In Its Walls,” the politics of “Fahrenheit 11/9” and the faux tear-jerkery of “Life Itself.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases, Jack Black in “The House With A Clock In Its Walls,” the birth of Trump in “Fahrenheit 11/9,” and the tear-inducing (but not for the reason you think) “Life Itself.”
Richard has a look at Jack “o’-lantern” Black in “The House With A Clock In Its Walls,” the birth of Trump in “Fahrenheit 11/9,” and the tear-inducing (but not for the reason you think) “Life Itself” and the fist-in-your-face stylings of “Assassination Nation” with the CFRA Morning Rush host Bill Carroll.
A weekly feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at the kid-friendly Halloween flick “The House With A Clock In Its Walls,” the politics of “Fahrenheit 11/9” and the faux tear-jerkery of “Life Itself.”
If the title itself didn’t give it away, fans of the sappy television hit “This is Us” will know what to expect from “Life Itself.” The new film from “This is Us” guru Dan Fogelman is a Xerox of his TV show. Grab some Kleenexes and cue the schmaltz.
Divided into chapters, Fogelman goes multigenerational in “Life Itself,” guiding us through the lives of a handful of people on a couple of continents. Anxious New Yorker Will (Oscar Isaac) bends his therapist’s (Annette Bening) ear, droning on about his failed marriage to Abby (Olivia Wilde) and Bob Dylan.
Cut to the future. There’s Will and Abby’s daughter Dylan (Olivia Cooke), an angry punk chanteuse who specializes in, SURPRISE, Bob Dylan songs.
Jump across the pond to Spain. There the wealthy Mr. Saccione (Antonio Banderas) promotes one of his workers, Javier (Sergio Peris-Mencheta). With the extra money is able to marry his girlfriend Isabel (Laia Costa), but later a tragedy, witnessed by their son Rodrigo (Àlex Monner), traumatizes the boy. Saccione pays for therapy and later, after some turmoil, pays for Rodrigo to go to school in New York, which co-incidentally is where the story comes full circle.
See how everything connects in the grand soap opera of life?
There’s more. Mandy Patinkin pops up as Will’s father, a cancer diagnosis rocks a family and don’t forget molestation. It’s a litany of tragedy—suicide, mental health issues, abandonment and family dysfunction—that feels like a sappy Afterschool Special written by Nikolai Gogol, coated in a fine dusting of schmaltz. It longs to be a rich, complex look at life, love, loss and olive oil but is instead a metaphorical Crock-Pot—a slow burn of the story that never comes to a boil—that, unlike the one on Fogelman’s TV show, never actually catches fire.
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk about the PG-scares of “The House With A Clock In Its Walls,” the politics of “Fahrenheit 11/9,” and the tear-jerking of “Life Itself.”
Richard and CP24 anchor Jamie Gutfreund have a look at the weekend’s new movies including “Patti Cake$,” the New York City drama “The Only Living Boy in New York,” the civil war shoot ’em up “Bushwick” and Penelope Cruz in “The Queen of Spain.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Erin Paul to have a look at the big weekend movies including “Patti Cake$,” the New York City drama “The Only Living Boy in New York,” the civil war shoot ’em up “Bushwick” and Penelope Cruz in “The Queen of Spain.”
“I knew her very well,” says Penelope Cruz, “but in a way she was not exactly the same person because so many things happened to her and she changed over time, like we all do.”
Cruz isn’t talking about an old friend or a long lost relative. The Spanish superstar is referring to Macarena Granada, a character she first played a decade ago and revisits in the new film The Queen of Spain.
“She has a very intense life,” continues Cruz, “so that was the tricky thing. For the people who knew Macarena, how do I make her recognizable and what are the changes we can see in her after all these years?”
Audiences first met Macarena in 1998 when Cruz played her as an upcoming Spanish movie star in a frothy little confection called The Girl of Your Dreams. It’s years later in real and reel life as Cruz brings the character back to the screen.
Set in 1956, The Queen of Spain portrays Macarena as a huge international star lured back to her home country to star in the first American movie to be shot there since the Franco took power. It’s a wild production but complicating matters is the appearance—and subsequent disappearance—of Macarena’s former director and the man who made her a star.
“The first film was set at a time of interaction with Germany and Macarena had to protect herself from Goebbels,” says Cruz. “This time she is up against Franco. In a way every time she is acting in a film she is just not acting, she is some kind of political heroine. She is fighting for justice. What a life this woman has had! Every time she goes into making a movie she has to save somebody’s life or do something life changing for everybody. If we ever do the third one I don’t know who she’ll have to deal with. Depends on what country. Hopefully the third one will happen someday. Let’s see who she has to encounter this time.”
The Queen of Spain marks the third time Cruz has worked with Fernando Trueba, the Spanish auteur who directed her break out film Belle Époque.
“The knowledge he has of cinema, the passion he has for cinema is very contagious,” she says. “With Fernando it is always more than just entertainment. He is such a great filmmaker and he always talks about so many big subjects at the same time.
“I think Belle Époque is a masterpiece. The film was amazing and for me to start with somebody as brilliant as Fernando, well, it was a year that made it impossible for me not to fall in love with movies.”
The chance to show what goes on behind the scenes in The Queen of Spain’s film-within-the-film was another reason she decided to come back to Trueba and Macarena.
“There are not enough movies about that,” she says. “When I am on the set everything is so crazy and chaotic but at the same time it works. I feel like we need that chaos for it to work. It is magical that things happen and movies get done and get finished. I’m always on the set thinking, ‘These three days of shooting is enough material for three more movies.’”