Posts Tagged ‘Penelope Cruz’


I appear on “CTV News at 6” to talk about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. I’ll tell you about the musical “The Color Purple,” the zippy “Ferrari,” the drama “The Boys in the Boat,” the Marvel animated series “What If…?” and the spy drama “Slow Horses.”

Watch the whole thing HERE! (Starts at 40:16)


Fast reviews for busy people! Watch as I review three movies in less time than it takes to strum a guitar! Have a look as I race against the clock to tell you about the musical “The Color Purple,” the zippy “Ferrari” and the drama “The Boys in the Boat.”

Watcxh the whole thing HERE!


I join CTV NewsChannel anchor Roger Peterson to talk about the musical “The Color Purple,” the zippy “Ferrari” and the drama “The Boys in the Boat.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


I sit in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with guest host Andrew Pinsent to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the musical “The Color Purple,” the zippy “Ferrari” and the drama “The Boys in the Boat.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!


FERRARI: 3 ½ STARS. “Driver and Cruz put the pedal to the emotional metal.”

“Ferrari,” director Michael Mann’s long gestating look at the summer of 1957 and the existential crisis that plagued Italian motor racing pioneer Enzo Ferrari, both personally and professionally, goes flat out, even when it isn’t on the racetrack.

When we first meet Ferrari (Adam Driver) he is a cultural hero in Italy, but his company and marriage are falling apart. His advisors tell him he must take on a partner, like Ford or Fiat, and

Increase his consumer car sales by four times if he hopes to stay afloat. Trouble is, Ferrari wants complete control of his company, and that means no partner and concentrating on race cars, not street vehicles.

At home, his infidelity pushes his wife Laura (Penélope Cruz) to extremes. She doesn’t care if he sleeps around, just so long as nobody knows about it. When he arrives home after the maid has served coffee, Laura expresses her displeasure by taking a potshot at him with a gun she carries for protection. That is, unfortunately, the extent of the passion left in the marriage.

Unbeknownst to Laura, who is grieving the loss of their young son, Enzo has a long-term relationship, and has fathered a son, with Lina Lardi (Shailene Woodley), a woman he met, and fell in love with, during the war. As their son’s baptism approaches, Lina wants to know if the child will carry the name Ferrari, but Enzo has other things on his mind, like the imminent collapse of his company.

His financial advisor Giacomo Cuoghi (Giuseppe Bonifati) suggests entering the grueling, 1000-mile open road race, the Mille Miglia. A win would establish Ferrari supreme over their main rival Maserati, and hopefully encourage sales. “Win the Mille Miglia, Enzo,” Cuoghi says. “Or you are out of business.”

Working from a script by Troy Kennedy Martin, who wrote 1969s “The Italian Job,” Mann’s film feels like two movies on one. On one hand there’s the drama with Laura, Lina and the company. On the other is a piercing look at the dangerous world of racing, circa 1957. “It is our deadly passion,” Enzo tells racers Alfonso de Portago (Gabriel Leone), Peter Collins (Jack O’Connell), and Piero Taruffi (Patrick Dempsey). “Our terrible joy.”

The racing scenes are exciting, shot with verve and style, with a couple of unexpected turns (literally) that vividly capture the dangers of racing. But the racing scenes feel conventional when stacked up against the more complex portraits of Enzo and Laura.

Driver plays Enzo as a charismatic man of action, a physically imposing person haunted by the voices of those who have gone before him, his father, his son and racing colleagues taken too soon. It reveals a rich inner life hidden by his stolid façade. Driver doles out Ferrari’s personality in dribs and drabs; the contented lover with Lina, the hard driving boss with his racers and the stoic husband no longer in love with his wife. All aspects of this performance come packaged in the form of a man treated like a deity—a priest even refers to him as a “god”—but prone to real world failings. Driver captures the public and personal to create a complex portrait of a man driven by a variety of forces.

He is at his best when opposite Cruz. Laura is a supporting character in the story over-all, but her agony/rage for a loveless marriage, a son she was powerless to save and a company she co-founded but is unable to have a say in, is palpable.

You can’t make a movie about Enzo Ferrari and not include racing, particularly the career defining Mille Miglia, but Mann wisely keeps the focus on the interpersonal. “Ferrari” has race scenes, several very effective ones, but the memorable moments happen when Driver and Cruz put the pedal to the emotional metal.


A weekly feature from from! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at “Lady Bird,” “Daddy’s Home 2” and “Murder on the Orient Express.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!



Richard and CP24 anchor Nick Dixon have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the mysteries of the all-star “Murder on the Orient Express,” “Daddy’s Home 2” and the sublime “Lady Bird.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!




Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Jennifer Burke to have a look at “Lady Bird,” “Daddy’s Home 2” and “Murder on the Orient Express.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

Metro In Focus: Like her novels, Agatha Christie was full of surprises.

By Richard Crouse – Metro In Focus

This weekend the Orient Express pulls into the station, bringing with it murder and mayhem. Murder on the Orient Express features an all-star cast including Johnny Depp, Dame Judi Dench and Daisy Ridley. Directed by and co-starring Kenneth Branagh as Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, the often-filmed mystery is based on the book of the same name by Agatha Christie first published in 1934.

The sensational story of a murder —13 strangers on the luxury train and an investigator’s race to solve the puzzle before the killer strikes again — is Christie’s best-known novel, but it is just one of 66 detective novels she penned in a career that spanned more than five decades.

“I think people have been pretty tough on her,” Branagh told The Guardian. “They’re suspicious of the volume of her output.”

It’s true that the author’s omnipresence on bookshelves, 20th century household-name status and massive popularity — over two billion copies of her books have been sold worldwide making her one of the bestselling authors ever — didn’t endear her to the literary elite, but Branagh sees her differently.

“Personally I admire the prolific nature of what she does … her ability to grab the audience’s attention is really striking,” he said. “The surface of what she writes has led people to dismiss her as a second-rater. But I think she is far more than that.”

Christie’s public persona was that of a button-down grandmother with a macabre imagination, but she led a remarkable life.

In an essay for Radio Times, Branagh writes, “This was a woman full of surprises.” He goes on to describe how the author became the first British female surfer to hang ten in Hawaii. “It was 1922,” he writes. “She was fully upright, scantily clad, and 32 years old.”

In her own words Christie says she wore a “wonderful, skimpy emerald green wool bathing dress, which was the joy of my life, and in which I thought I looked remarkably well!”

Another episode from her storied life feels like it could have been ripped out of the pages of one of her books. The year was 1926. Christie was on the verge of a divorce from her first husband when she vanished, leaving behind only her abandoned car, an expired driver’s licence and some clothes.

Already considered a national treasure, her mysterious disappearance was front-page news. Some thought it was a publicity stunt, others wondered if she was trying to frame her husband for murder.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, tried to solve the mystery with the help of a psychic. When Christie re-emerged 11 days later, after living under an assumed name in a small hotel, she offered no clues as to what had happened.

One popular theory suggests the Queen of Crime had fallen into a psychogenic trance. In the book The Finished Portrait, biographer Andrew Norman sites the adoption of a new personality and “failure to recognise herself in newspaper photographs” as signs that she was depressed and had fallen into a fugue state.

Christie never publicly commented on those missing days, not even in her official biography.

Now, 91 years later the mystery will likely never be solved. So much time has passed that not even Christie’s greatest creation, Murder On The Orient Express’s master detective Hercule Poirot, could get to the bottom of this mystery.