Posts Tagged ‘Paul Thomas Anderson’


Richard joins CTV NewsChannel and anchor Lois Lee to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the virtual reality of “The Martrix Resurrection,” the coming of age dramedy “Licorice Pizza” and Denzel Washington in “The Tragedy of Macbeth” and the jukebox musical “Sing 2.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with guest host Matt Harris to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the virtual reality of “The Martrix Resurrection,” the coming of age dramedy “Licorice Pizza” and Denzel Washington in “The Tragedy of Macbeth” and the jukebox musical “Sing 2.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!


Can Richard Crouse review three movies in just thirty seconds? Have a look as he races against the clock to tell you about the Neo’s return to virtual reality in “The Matrix: Resurrections,” the coming of age dramedy “Licorice Pizza” and Denzel Washington in “The Tragedy of Macbeth” in less time than it takes to buy a pack of Twizzlers.

Watch the whole thing HERE!

LICORICE PIZZA: 4 ½ STARS. “debut of two new, very promising actors.”

“Licorice Pizza,” the new slice-of-life drama from director Paul Thomas Anderson, and now playing in theatres, is a very specific movie. It transports us back in time to Los Angeles circa the 1970s. Nixon is president. In Hollywood the Tail o’ the Cock restaurant is the place to see and be seen and gas stations face country wide fuel shortages. But against that specific backdrop comes a story ripe with freewheeling charm, nostalgia and universal themes.

Cooper Hoffman, son of the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman, is Gary Valentine, a cocky fifteen-year-old actor with a blossoming career and a back pocket filled with get rich quick schemes. At picture day at his high school he spots photographer’s assistant Alana (Alana Haim). She is ten years older than him, but he’s feeling lucky and asks her out on a date. She agrees, but says it isn’t a date, just dinner. He takes her to hotspot Tail o’ the Cock and at the end of the night tells her, “I’m not going to forget you. Just like you’re not going to forget me.”

It is the beginning of a mostly platonic relationship that sees them drift in and out of one another’s lives, start a water bed business and navigate maturity. “Maybe fate brought us together,” Gary says to her. “Our roads brought us here.”

“Licorice Pizza” (the name refers to a defunct Californian record store chain) isn’t a movie overly concerned with plot. Instead, it relies on the characters to keep things interesting.

Newcomers Hoffman and Haim, (she plays guitars and keyboards in the pop rock band Haim), do just that. Each are magnetic performers on their own, she is all glowering intensity, he’s got teenage swagger down to a tee—“I’m a showman,” he says, “it’s what I’m meant to do.”—but put them together and sparks fly. From their first exchange in the high school gym to the film’s closing moments they win us over. In the movie the characters experience the first blush of friendship and love. In the audience we get to experience another first, the debut of two new, very promising actors.

Later, after the film, I found myself daydreaming that perhaps we could revisit them every ten years or so à la the relationship trilogy “Before Sunrise,” “Before Sunset” and “Before Midnight.”

Some old-timers get to strut their stuff as well. Sean Penn plays a riff on hard drinking actor William Holden with equal parts smarm and charm and Bradley Cooper pulls out all the stops to bring Hollywood hairdresser-turned-movie mogul Jon Peters to vivid, excessive life.

It is an evocative rendering of a specific time and place, but it doesn’t all sit right. In his recreation of the 1970s, director Paul Thomas Anderson includes two scenes featuring John Michael Higgins as Jerry Frick, owner of the San Fernando Valley’s first Japanese restaurant, The Mikado. In his two scenes he is seen speaking with an over-the-top, buffoonish Japanese accent in conversation with his Japanese wives, played by Yumi Mizui and Megumi Anjo. Both scenes stick out like sore thumbs. I imagine that they are meant to represent the causal racism of the time but they break the movie’s magical spell with cultural insensitivity that adds nothing, save for a cheap laugh, to the story.

“Licorice Pizza” is kind of flipping through a diary. Some details are intense, some glossed over, but everything is relevant to the experience being written about. Like diary entries, the movie is episodic. Each passing episode allows us to get to know Gary and Alana a bit better, and just as importantly, remind us what it means to be young and in love.


A weekly feature from from! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at “The Post,” starring Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep and the latest from Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the timely historical film “The Post,” starring Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep and the latest from Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

PHANTOM THREAD: 4 STARS. “a ‘Pretty Woman’ premise elevated to high art.”

For his final acting job Daniel Day-Lewis has chosen “Phantom Thread,” a psychosexual story set in the world of fashion. Directed by his “There Will Be Blood” collaborator Paul Thomas Anderson, it’s an unpredictable film that some will find brilliant, others just plain odd.

Set against the backdrop of 1950s London, Day-Lewis plays fashion designer Reynolds Woodcock. A perfectionist, he is an elegant combination of neurosis, talent and impatient whim. “If breakfast isn’t right,” explains sister and secretary Cyril (Lesley Manville), “it’s very hard for him to recover through the rest of the day.” A coiled spring, he puts the haughty into haute couture.

Never married, he has had many relationships with women, tossing them aside when he’s done. “Marriage would make me deceitful,” he says. “I don’t ever want that.” His only real pleasure is derived from his work, the act of creation.

His latest companion is Alma (Vicky Krieps), a delicate country waitress who becomes his muse and lover, even though, as he says, she butters her bread too loudly at breakfast. (To be fair Anderson amps up the sound so the buttering of toast sounds like the Indy 500.) “It’s hard to ignore,” he sneers, “like you just rode a horse across the floor.” Her purpose in Reynolds’s life is purely functional; she is a perfect model for his lithe designs. “You have no breasts,” he says. “It is my job to give you some if I choose to do so.” She wants more and even though her attempts at normalcy are met with scorn, she finds a way to make herself irreplaceable in his life.

“Phantom Thread” almost feels like two movies bound by the same characters. The first hour is a character study turned lush romance. Reynolds displays his controlling ways early on, wiping off Alma’s lipstick with the words, “I want to really see you.” Is it romantic or borderline abusive? Later, still on their first date he gets her out of her clothes and into one of his dresses. She is swept off her feet, despite his callously nonchalant behaviour. We soon learn she is no pushover, daring to stand up to the great man in a battle of wills.

The second half is a study of power and relationships with a menacing twist. Enough said. No spoilers here but it becomes about the need to shed routine in favour of changes and challenges in any pairing. It’s part “Masterpiece Theatre,” part Hitchcock and all Paul Thomas Anderson in his uncompromised glory.

It is luscious, beautifully appointed with production design and clothes that the perfectionist Woodcock himself would appreciate.

Krieps is a poised presence who more than holds her own against Day-Lewis. Subtly graceful with a spine of steel, she is simultaneously powerful and vulnerable. It is tremendous work and a perfect counterpoint to Day-Lewis’s more visceral work.

The three-time Oscar winner does not hand in a showy performance. It’s one built out of small details that radiate both his narcissism and insecurities. His curmudgeonly behaviour is sometimes funny—“Right now I am only admiring my own gallantry,” he says during one argument—but never slips into a tortured artist caricature. He’s a charming snake with a perfectly foppish bowtie and Day-Lewis binds together all the character’s idiosyncrasies to create a person who, on one hand, always sews a lock of his mother’s hair into his suit jackets, just above the heart, while on the other rails at Alma who has the audacity to bring him tea without asking permission. “The tea is going out… but the interruption is staying right here with me.”

Manville, as sister Cyril, earns most of the film’s laughs, perfectly delivering jabs and wilting looks.

In “Phantom Thread” Anderson takes a “Pretty Woman” style premise and elevates it to high art.

Richard predicts Oscar winners on CP24 with Stephen LeDrew

Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 3.55.29 PMRichard predicts Oscar winner on CP24 with Stephen LeDrew!

Watch the whole thing HERE!





Oscar nods: 87th Academy Award nominations announced on “Canada AM”

Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 9.45.16 AMOscar nods: 87th Academy Award nominations announced on “Canada AM” with Richard, Beverly Thomson, Marci Ien and Deadline’s Pete Hammond.

Watch the whole thing HERE!

Best Picture
“American Sniper”
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“The Imitation Game”
“The Theory of Everything”

Actor in a Leading Role
Steve Carell, “Foxcatcher”
Bradley Cooper, “American Sniper”
Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Imitation Game”
Michael Keaton, “Birdman”
Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything”

Actress in a Leading Role
Marion Cotillard, “Two Days One Night”
Felicity Jones, “The Theory of Everything”
Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”
Rosamund Pike, “Gone Girl”
Reese Witherspoon, “Wild”

Actor in a Supporting Role
Robert Duvall, “The Judge”
Ethan Hawke, “Boyhood”
Edward Norton, “Birdman”
Mark Ruffalo, “Foxcatcher”
J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”

Actress in a Supporting Role
Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”
Laura Dern, “Wild”
Emma Stone, “Birdman”
Keira Knightley, “The Imitation Game”
Meryl Streep, “Into the Woods”

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, “Birdman”
Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”
Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Morten Tyldum, “The Imitation Game”
Bennett Miller, “Foxcatcher”

Foreign Language Film
“Wild Tales”

Writing – Adapted Screenplay
Graham Moore, “The Imitation Game”
Damien Chazelle, “Whiplash”
Anthony McCarten, “The Theory of Everything”
Jason Hall, “American Sniper”
Paul Thomas Anderson, “Inherent Vice”

Writing – Original Screenplay
Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo, “Birdman”
Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Dan Gilroy, “Nightcrawler”
E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman, “Foxcatcher”

Emmanuel Lubezki, “Birdman”
Roger Deakins, “Unbroken”
Robert D. Yeoman, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Dick Pope, “Mr. Turner”
Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lynzewski, “Ida”

Music – Original Score
Hans Zimmer, “Interstellar”
Alexandre Desplat, “The Imitation Game”
Johann Johannsson, “The Theory of Everything”
Alexandre Desplat, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Gary Yershon, “Mr Turner”

Makeup and Hairstyling
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“Guardians of the Galaxy”

Costume Design
Colleen Atwood, “Into the Woods”
Anna B. Sheppard, “Maleficent”
Milena Canonero, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Jacqueline Durran, “Mr. Turner”
Mark Bridges, “Inherent Vice”

Music – Original Song
“Glory” by Common and John Legend, “Selma”
“Lost Stars” by Gregg Alexander, Danielle Brisebois, Nick Lashley and Nick Southwood, “Begin Again”
“Everything Is Awesome” by Shawn Patterson, “The LEGO Movie”
“I’m Not Gonna Miss You,” by Glen Campbell, “Glenn Campbell: I’ll Be Me”
“Grateful,” “Beyond the lights”

Visual Effects
“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”
“Guardians of the Galaxy”
“Captain America: Winter Soldier”
“X-Men: Days of Future Past”

Documentary Short Subject
“Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1”
“Our Curse”
“White Earth”
“The Reaper”

Documentary Feature
“Last Days in Vietnam”
“The Salt of the Earth”
“Finding Vivian Maier”

Film Editing
Sandra Adair, “Boyhood”
Tom Cross, “Whiplash”
William Goldenberg, “The Imitation Game”
Joel Cox and Gary Roach, “American Sniper”
Barney Pilling, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

Sound Editing
“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”
“American Sniper”

Sound Mixing
Mark Weingarten, “Interstellar”
Thomas Curley, ”Whiplash”
“American Sniper”

Production Design
“Into the Woods”
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“The Imitation Game”
“Mr. Turner”

Short Film – Live Action
“Boogaloo and Graham”
“The Phone Call”

Short Film – Animated
“The Bigger Picture”
“A Single Life”
“The Dam Keeper”
“Me and My Moulton”

Animated Feature Film
“Big Hero 6”
“How to Train Your Dragon 2”
“The Boxtrolls”
“The Tale of the Princess Kaguya”
“Song of the Sea”