Posts Tagged ‘Noah Baumbach’


Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with news anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including “Frozen 2,” “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” “Marriage Story” and “Waves.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


A weekly feature from! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest and most interesting movies! This week Richard looks at “Frozen 2,” Tom Hanks as Mister Rogers in “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” and Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson in “Marriage Story.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard has a look at the new movies coming to theatres, including the icy charms of “Frozen 2,” Tom Hanks as television icon Mister Rogers in “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” two films from Adam Driver, “Marriage Story” and “The Report” and one of the year’s very best films, “Waves” with CFRA morning show host Bill Carroll.

Listen to the whole thing HERE!


Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk the new movies coming to theatres including “Frozen 2,” the highly icy sequel to one of Disney’s biggest animated hits, Tom Hanks as Mister Rogers in “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” and two films from Adam Driver, “Marriage Story” and “The Report.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

MARRIAGE STORY: 4 STARS. “three hankie, emotionally fraught movie.”

“Marriage Story” is not a first date movie. It is a three hankie, emotionally fraught movie about appealing but damaged people whose divorce is filled with a sense of loss and a growing shroud of incivility.

Adam Driver is Charlie, a hotshot avant-garde theatre director living and working in Brooklyn, New York with his wife Nicole (Scarlett Johansson). She is a former movie star with a list of teen comedies to her credit. They met at a party, instantly fell in love, had son Henry (Azhy Robertson) all was well until it wasn’t. Charlie may have slept with a stage manager but it’s Nicole’s growing dissatisfaction that widen the chasm between them. “I never really came alive for myself,” she says. “I was only feeding his aliveness.”

What begins as a simple conscious uncoupling becomes complicated when Nicole accepts a starring role on a television series based in Los Angeles, taking Henry to live with her. The family, stretched between two coasts and two careers, wears thin and soon the pressures of the split take their toll. “It’s not as simple as not being in love anymore,” says Nicole.

On my way into the press screening for “Marriage Story” a publicist handed me a small package of Kleenex branded with the movie’s logo. “I won’t need these,” I thought. “I’m a professional, here to dispassionately judge this film on its merits. I made it through ‘Kramer vs. Kramer’ like a dry-eyed superman and if I can do that, I can do anything.” I’m not too proud to tell you that I was glad I had the Kleenexes. “Marriage Story” is so agonizingly vivid, so without melodrama, that I felt at times as though I was a voyeur, that I shouldn’t be watching some of these emotionally charged scenes. As Charlie and Nicole drift apart and lawyers, like the ruthless Nora Fanshaw (Laura Dern in full beast mode), become involved the idea that they might have a chance of staying friends once this is all said and done becomes heartbreakingly remote.

Driver and Johansson convincingly play the bond that made them a couple and as it unravels both reveal the fatal flaws that drove a wedge between them. The two actors, unshackled from the constraints of the blockbusters that pay for their Italian castle retreats, dig deep, wallowing in their character’s self-absorption and anger.

Johansson, in full monologue mode, thrills in a lengthy speech detailing her state of mind. And do not even get me started by Driver’s final scene with his son as he reads a long-forgotten note. (NO SPOILERS HERE) Director Noah Baumbach keeps those scenes—and the entire movie for that matter—uncluttered. Simple and direct, he allows the actors to do the heavy lifting with naturalistic performances and both pack a wallop.

“Marriage Story” may not be a great choice for a first date but the emotional, sincere truth Baumbach and cast wring out of the material is best seen with a companion, or at the very least a package of Kleenex.

THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES (NEW AND SELECTED): 3 ½ STARS. “highbrow (ish) humour.”

Fans of Adam Sandler’s patented man-child character will be pleased to note he revives it for his newest film “The Meyerowitz Stories (New And Selected).” But those not enraptured with his childlike alter ego shouldn’t write this movie off. For the most part Sandler’s new one leaves the lowest-common denominator jokes behind in favour of highbrow (ish) humour. In other words, this is more “Punch Drink Love,” less “Billy Madison.”

Dustin Hoffman is Harold Meyerowitz, embittered sculptor, former art professor and walking, talking embodiment of New York neurosis. He’s also father to Danny (Sandler), Matthew (Ben Stiller) and Jean (Elizabeth Marvel). Harold is a crusty old man, self-centered and very aware of his lack of legacy. Newly divorced Danny has moved into the Greenwich Village home Harold shares with his fourth wife, Maureen (Emma Thompson).

The film studies the strained relationships between Harold and his kids but spends much of the movie detailing the half brothers Danny and Matthew. Danny stayed home to raise his daughter, has never had a job and now feels like a failure compared to the younger Matt, a Los Angeles hot shot with his own financial management company.

When Harold takes ill his children have to reassess their feelings for their difficult dad and each other.

“The Meyerowitz Stories (New And Selected)” doesn’t have the guffaws that Sandler at his best can deliver. Instead it is dusted laughs derived from the situations and characters. At its heart it’s a story of family dysfunction populated by people who never dip into self-pity. Marvel makes the best of her few moments but it is Sandler and Stiller who deliver the goods. Both hit career highs playing toned down versions of their carefully crafted comedic characters. Adding real humanity to Danny and Matthew elevates them from caricature. By not going for the broad strokes they are able to create tender and stinging moments that are some of the best in both their careers.

Hoffman is a hoot, perfectly complimented by Thompson who has some of the film’s best lines. Of the supporting cast Grace Van Patten, Danny’s loving daughter, is a standout.

“The Meyerowitz Stories (New And Selected)” could have been maudlin but when filtered through director Noah Baumbach’s sensibility is a smart and heartwarming.


Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 2.46.24 PMRichard and CP24 anchor Nneka Elliot talk about the weekend’s four big releases, including “Finding Dory,” the buddy comedy “Central Intelligence” with Duane Johnson and Kevin Hart, and a duo of documentaries, “De Palma,” an unflinching look at the films of Brian De Palma and the self explanatory “Raiders! The Greatest Fan Film Ever Made.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 9.36.51 AMRichard and CTV NewsChannel morning show host Todd Van der Heyden chat up the weekend’s big releases, including “Finding Dory,” the literary bio “Genius” with Jude Law and Colin Firth, and a duo of documentaries, “De Palma,” an unflinching look at the films of Brian De Palma and the self explanatory “Raiders! The Greatest Fan Film Ever Made.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

DE PALMA: 4 STARS. “a simple film about a complex subject.”

Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 1.04.52 PMTracking shots. Split screens. Eighteen-minute Steadicam sequences. Visually spectacular set pieces. All are part of the Brian De Palma canon, but absent from a new, comprehensive look at his career. “De Palma,” a love letter to the director from filmmakers Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow, makes up for its lack of visual pyrotechnics with De Palma’s storytelling prowess.

“Many of movies were considered great disasters at the time,” says the director of “Phantom of the Paradise,” “Dressed to Kill” and “Body Double.” Now, decades after his commercial peak, many of De Palma’s films are considered classics. This new talking head documentary chronicles them all, warts and all.

From his early days as an indie filmmaker, working in the shadow of better known friends like Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola, to his critically reviled (“You are always being criticized against the fashion of the day,” he says.) but commercially successful period to a brief era when reviews and audiences lined up in tandem, he holds nothing back.

We learn how the director kicked “Scarface” screenwriter Oliver Stone off the set for talking to the actors, that in “The Untouchables” Robert De Niro wore the same kind of silk underwear Al Capone wore (“You never saw it but it was there,” says De Palma.) and how the studio loved the controversial “Body Double” “until they saw it.”

There’s more, told in De Palma’s bemused, colourful way—“I love photographing women,” he admits. “I’m fascinated by the way them move.”—but the real meat of the doc comes when he auteur talks about being a square peg trying to fit into Hollywood’s round hole. “The values of the system are the opposite of what goes into making good original movies,” he says.

“De Palma” is a simple film about a complex subject. “The thing about making movies is every mistake is right up there on the screen,” he says. “Everything you didn’t solve. Every shortcut you made. You will look at it for the rest of your life. It’s like a record of the things you didn’t finish.” It’s a master’s class not just in De Palma’s life and career, but also in how movies were made in the latter half of the twentieth century.