Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the Pixar fantasy “Luca” (direct-to-streaming on Disney+), the action comedy “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” (in theatres) and the English psychological drama “Censor” (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 the Pixar fantasy “Luca” (direct-to-streaming on Disney+), the action comedy “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” (in theatres) and the English pychological drama “Censor” (VOD).
Richard joins NewsTalk 1010’s Jim Richards coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse like these movies?” This week we talk about “Luca,” the kid’s fantasy film from Pixar, the action adventure of “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” with Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson and Salma Hayek, and the English psychological drama “Censor.”
In “Censor,” a new psychological horror film on VOD, Niamh Algar plays Enid, a stern young woman who brings childhood trauma to her job as an English film censor.
Set in Margaret Thatcher’s Britain, “Censor” makes it clear that Enid sees her job as an essential service. Her profession, as she sees it, is to protect the public by cutting out eye gouges, intestinal tug of wars and other ghastly staples from the “video nasties” she screens before they are released. Convinced those bloody exploitation films feed anti-social behavior, she’s snip happy. Her co-workers mockingly call her “Little Miss Perfect” but she has a dark side.
When she reviews a gorefest called “Don’t Go in the Church,” it brings back long suppressed memories of the disappearance of her sister Nina. Delving deeper into the work of the movie’s notorious director Frederick North, she comes across Alice Lee (Sophia La Porta), an actress who looks exactly like her late sister. Searching for answers Enid visits the set of North’s new film, and her descent into madness begins. “People think I create the horror,” North says. “But I don’t. Horror is already out there, in all of us.”
“Censor” works on several levels. It has elements of the video nasties Enid tries to suppress, but as fact and fiction intertwine, it is her efforts to edit her memories that resonates. She is driven in her work by trauma in her life, and vice versa. As “Censor” drifts from tribute to the video nasties that fuel the early part of the story to a psychological portrait of Enid’s problems, it is clear she can no longer tell what is real and what is not. Driven by guilt, she is unable to move past grief to acceptance. That is the root of her problems, not the outside influence of art, no matter how grotesque.
The Welsh-born director Prano Bailey-Bond doesn’t have quite enough steam to keep the intriguing premise going straight through to the end but she does fill the screen with compelling images, some inspired by the lurid video nasty period VHS horror aesthetic, others reflecting the dull grey of 1980s England. It adds up to a movie that stylishly explores the relationship between art and real-life.
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 climate change circles the term “hope gap” refers to people who worry about global warming but feel powerless to do anything about it. The new film “Hope Gap,” now on VOD, has nothing to do with the climate, but is all about change and a person who feels powerless to prevent it.
Bill Nighy and Annette Bening play mild-mannered Edward and firecracker Grace, a married couple of twenty-nine-years. Their cluttered home displays the earmarks of a life well-lived. Shelves overflow with books and knick knacks, photographs decorate the fridge. They have a seemingly comfortable relationship; they know how one another takes their tea and pad about the house working on their pet projects, his academic updating of Wikipedia history sites, her poetry projects.
When their son Jamie (Josh O’Connor) comes to their Sussex coast home to visit there is tension in the air. Grace, in an attempt to shock Edward out of what she thinks is his silent complacency, picks a brutal fight, overturning a table and slapping her husband in the face. “He should fight back,” she says to Jamie. “I want a reaction.”
The relative calm of the seaside home shattered, Edward announces that he has long felt inadequate in the marriage and that he’s leaving, immediately. Devastated, Grace wants to try and work things out as Edward begins his new life.
“Hope Gap” has moments of humour but make no mistake, this is downbeat story about two people who were living separate lives under one roof. The overall tone is one of melancholy but not melodramatic. Nighy and Bening give naturalistic performances, each feeling the pain of the other’s actions in a battle of wills. Bening is heartbroken, angry and yet hopeful for reconciliation. Nighy plays Edward like a wounded animal, skittish and afraid, a damaged man who has retreated from the relationship.
The beauty of the screenplay by Oscar-nominated writer-director William Nicholson, is that it doesn’t take sides. Complex characters are thrown into a complicated, almost unbearable situation with no real winners. It paints a vivid picture of Grace and Edward but doesn’t judge them.
“Hope Gap” is a portrait of middle-age angst. It may not make for a good date night movie but the nuance of the relationships on display is worth the price of admission.
A weekly feature from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest and most interesting movies! This week Richard looks at the kid’s action movie “My Spy,” the divorce drama “Hope Gap” and the political polarization of “The Hunt.”
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk about the weekend’s biggest releases including “My Spy,” the odd couple flick for kids, the controversial “The Hunt,” the adult drama “Hope Gap” and the wild supernatural comedy “Extra Ordinary.”