Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with guest host Graham Richardson to talk the new movies coming to theatres including latest Wizarding World entry, “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore,” Mark Wahlberg in “Father Stu” and the family drama “All My Puny Sorrows.”
Richard appears on “CTV News at 6” to talk about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week he has a look at the latest Wizarding World entry, “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore,” Mark Wahlberg in “Father Stu,” the family drama “All My Puny Sorrows” and the HBO series “Winning Time.”
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres. Today we talk about Jude Law and the latest Wizarding World entry, “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore,” Mark Wahlberg in “Father Stu” and the family drama “All My Puny Sorrows.”
Watch Richard Crouse review three movies in less time than it takes to make some toast! Have a look as he races against the clock to tell you about the latest Wizarding World entry, “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore,” Mark Wahlberg in “Father Stu” and the family drama “All My Puny Sorrows.”
Richard joins NewsTalk 1010 host David Cooper on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse Like This?” This week we talk about the latest Wizarding World entry, “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore,” Mark Wahlberg in “Father Stu” and the family drama “All My Puny Sorrows.”
As you might imagine from a movie that begins with the voiceover, “In the history of mankind has there ever been a more obvious truth than the statement, ‘We’re all going to die?” and yet in our bones, how many of us can conceptualize that,” “All My Puny Sorrows” does not shy away from the delicate matter of death.
Struggling writer Yoli (Alison Pill) and concert pianist Elf (Sarah Gadon)—short for Elfrieda—are sisters who fled a strict, rural Mennonite upbringing to forge lives in the arts. A deep bond exists between the, even though their lives took very different paths.
Yoli is in the midst of a divorce after sixteen years of marriage. As daughter Nora (Amybeth McNulty) is lashes out, Yoli wonders aloud if she’s handling things correctly. “Ending sixteen years of monogamy with Dan has triggered some kind of weird animal reaction,” she says. “To be honest, the last few months have not been my proudest.”
Elf, though internationally successful and happily married, has lost her lust for life. When she attempts suicide for the second time, Yoli comes to her side, hoping to help her sister avoid the same fate as their father Jake (Donal Logue) who killed himself when they were children, but her pleas fall on deaf ears.
“Will you take me to Switzerland?” asks Elf.
“Yeah, we’ll get Swatches,” says Yoli.
But Elf wants to go to an assisted suicide clinic, “where dying is legal and you don’t have to die alone.”
Writer-director Michael McGowan, adapting the novel-of-the-same-name by Miriam Toews, tells a story all about grief and death that examines the purpose of life. McGowan sensitively shows how life’s decisions have echoes felt by everyone in the inner circle and beyond.
These themes are enhanced by the performances of Pill, Gadon and Mare Winningham as their beleaguered mother. The literary script often feels as though the characters are speaking in carefully constructed prose, but in the mouths of these performers love, frustration and acceptance of the situation is palpable. Pill and Gadon click as sisters, bringing to the screen a lifetime of love and petty squabbles.
“All My Puny Sorrows” is an emotional movie that embraces the totality of the situation, the exasperation, sorrow and even occasional humor.
Although she sang with John Travolta in Grease, danced with Gene Kelly in Xanadu and recently featured her hit Let’s Get Physical on Glee, Olivia Newton-John hasn’t appeared in a full-on musical on the big screen for 30 years. That will change this weekend when she will be seen playing an overprotective hockey mom in Score: A Hockey Musical.
Director Michael McGowan wanted Newton-John, but didn’t think he’d be able to get the Australian superstar, who now makes her home in Florida, to come north to shoot the film.
“She’s funny and she doesn’t take herself seriously,” he said, “but for her to say, ‘This is the film, a hockey musical shot in Toronto, in February, seemed virtually impossible.”
When asked why chose to do this film, Newton-John laughed and said, “Because it was fun. Marc Jordan (who plays her husband in the film) is my friend and he is married to Amy Sky, one of my best friends who also produces my music, so why not?”
Shooting in Toronto in frigid February temperatures, she says, was “an experience,” but the working with the cast and crew made it worthwhile. “My memory of the movie was having fun,” she adds.
Working with her friend Jordan, who is best known as a solo singer-songwriter (he wrote the hit Rhythm of My Heart for Rod Stewart), caused to her to occasionally get the giggles so badly she could barely contain herself.
“I was really embarrassed in the end because you can break up a couple of times but you have to know when to stop, but Marc was just so hysterical.”
Ditto her director. “He is marvelous,” Newton-John says. “He has such a quirky sense of humour which fits in with mine really well. On the set he was very relaxed; he’s worked with everyone before so it was a real family atmosphere. There was no stress, there was no, ‘Oh he’s yelling at you.’”
She saves her highest praise, however, for her young co-stars, Noah Reid and Allie MacDonald who play her son and his best friend. When asked if she passed along any tips to the neophytes she said, “They are both really gifted. I probably should have asked them for hints rather than the other way around.”
“It’s a lot of good fun, but the peace message is good I think. I’m not one for violence and was brought up in the same kind of family as (the character of home-schooled-pacifist-hockey-prodigy-Farley Gordon). Maybe not quite as stringent but my father was a professor and parents were academic and peace was a big thing for my mother. It wasn’t important to win, it was important to play fair, so (Score: A Hockey Musical) kind of rung true for me.”
Does a country that already has a Hockey Hall of Fame and a ubiquitous coffee chain named after a defenceman really need a singing and dancing tribute to the sport? Director Michael McGowan thought so and the result is Score: A Hockey Musical, a parody of hockey violence set to a soundtrack that rhymes baloney with Zamboni.
“We do hockey well and we do music well in this country, and the fact that a hockey musical hadn’t been done seemed to me like a great opportunity,” he said. “It’s such a ridiculous idea on one hand, but it is instantly memorable as a film idea. In a crowded marketplace you’re always trying to stand out.”
Helping the film to stand out is a berth as the opening night film at TIFF and a host of stars on ice in leading roles and cameos. Headlining a musical for the first time in thirty years is Olivia Newton John, playing an overprotective hockey mom. “She’s funny and she doesn’t take herself seriously,” says McGowan, “but for her to say, ‘This is the film, a hockey musical shot in Toronto in February seemed virtually impossible.”
Joining John is Promiscuous singer Nelly Furtato, who plays Kelly, the “ardent hockey fan.”
“I had written in the script, ‘She licks the fat bellied man’s stomach,’” says McGowan. “There is not a hope in hell that I’m going to say, ‘OK Nelly, now you lick the fat bellied man’s stomach.’ But she completely embraced it. It was like, ‘If you’re going to play in this world of the hockey musical you have to embrace it fully.’”
Rounding out the cast are newcomers Noah Reid and Allie MacDonald, along with George Stroumboulopoulos, Evan Solomon, sports anchor Steve Kouleas, the world’s most famous hockey dad Walter Gretzky and former NHL star Theo Fleury.
“At the end I was shaking my head about who was actually in the film,” he says.
McGowan hopes that his mix of sports and song will score with audiences. “There are so few opportunities as Canadians for us to express our patriotism,” he says adding that the mix of “hockey and music, in a story that works, will hopefully be a communal experience.”