Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with news anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including the financial crisis drama “Hustlers,” the sprawling literary drama “The Goldfinch” and the sci fi story “Freaks.”
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 pole dancing bandits of “Hustlers,” the sprawling literary drama “The Goldfinch” and the sci fi story “Freaks.”
Richard has a look at the new movies coming to theatres, including Jennifer Lopez in “Hustlers,” the sprawling literary drama “The Goldfinch” and the sci fi story “Freaks” then has a look at the highlights from day one of the Toronto International Film Festival!
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk the new movies coming to theatres including Jennifer Lopez in “Hustlers,” the sprawling literary drama “The Goldfinch” and the sci fi story “Freaks” then has a look at the highlights from day one of the Toronto International Film Festival!
“The Goldfinch” is a sprawling movie based on a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction winning novel by Donna Tartt. Like the book, the film, starring Ansel Elgort, spans years and is stuffed with colourful characters. Also, like the book, it could be described as Dickensian, given its study of social status, unrequited love and the topper, abused orphans. But the film, despite the ample plotting, is really about something simple, how the beauty of great art can give life meaning.
The action begins when Theo Decker (Oakes Fegley) is 13 years old. He and his mother are spending an afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York before an appointment with his school principal. They look at some of mom’s favorite paintings, Rembrandt’s “The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp” before becoming separated. From the next room Theo hears a panic, then an explosion. He survived the blast but his mother was killed and he has always felt responsible for her death.
Throughout his eventful life, from being almost-adopted by a wealthy Upper West Side family, and re-connecting with his errant father (Luke Wilson) to becoming fast friends with a sketchy neighbour (Finn Wolfhard as a teen, Aneurin Barnard as an adult) and carrying a torch for Pippa (Ashleigh Cummings) another explosion survivor, his constant companion is a “The Goldfinch,” a valuable painting by Dutch painter Carel Fabritius he took from the blast site. Moving from place to place, state to state, it was a carefully wrapped reminder of the worst day of his life.
“The Goldfinch” is respectful of its source material. The book is an epic exercise in storytelling, twisting and turning its way through Theo’s life, exploring all the dark nooks and crannies. Flashing forward and back the film also takes time in allowing us to form a connection with Theo and the guilt he wears like a badge. As an adult, played by Elgort, a veneer of charm hides his inner turmoil and heavy drug use. While it is interesting to see Theo navigate these choppy waters the heart of the film lies in young Theo.
Fegley, best known for his touching work in “Pete’s Dragon,” inspires pure empathy, playing the youngster as someone trying to take control of a life he has no control over. He’s a victim of circumstance as much as his mother is, but his curse is that he must go on, burdened by the past. Fegley reveals layers. In a standout performance, he’s simultaneously a kid and an old soul.
“The Goldfinch” swings for the fences but doesn’t quite hit a home run. The expansive story takes one or two strange turns too many and feels stretched in its final half-hour but is bolstered by tremendous performances courtesy of the ensemble, with Fegley, Kidman, Jeffrey Wright and Luke Wilson leading the pack.
A weekly feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at Andrew Garfield’s romantic medical drama “Breathe,” the ice cold crime drama “The Snowman” and the controversial “Una.”
There was a time when serial killers ruled the movie theatres.
Movies like Kiss the Girls, Se7en and Silence of the Lambs were big hits and law enforcement types like Alex Cross and Clarice Starling were big draws. Now those stories have moved to the small screen and television shows like CSI and Criminal Minds track down the kinds of killers their big screen counterparts used to stalk.
This weekend serial killers return to the movies in the form of The Snowman, a Michael Fassbender film based on a novel by Jo Nesbø.
Fassbender plays Harry Hole, leader of an elite special victims unit charged with investigating a grisly murder on the first snow of winter. He believes it is the work of serial killer known as The Snowman.
Teaming with Katrine Bratt (Mission: Impossible’s Rebecca Ferguson) he is determined to catch the killer before the next snowfall.
Scott Bonn, criminology professor at Drew University, says audiences are drawn to serial killer movies in much the same way they are attracted to car accidents.
“The actions of a serial killer may be horrible to behold,” he wrote in the book Why We Love Serial Killers, “but much of the public simply cannot look away due to the spectacle.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation defines a serial killing as “a series of two or more murders, committed as separate events, usually, but not always, by one offender acting alone.”
Hollywood defines them by the box office they draw, and has never been shy about portraying serial killers or the police who track them down.
One of the first movies to take advantage of the fascination with serial killers was 1931’s M. Moon-faced actor Peter Lorre plays Hans Beckert, a serial killer who lures children with candy and companionship. “I can’t help myself,” he moans. “I haven’t any control over the evil that’s inside me! The fire! The voices! The torment!”
For a serial killer movie, M is remarkably free of graphic violence or bloodshed. That doesn’t mean it’s not harrowing. A scene in which the gnome-like Beckert lures a young girl with a balloon is spare — there’s virtually no dialogue — but it packs an emotional punch.
Just as important as the killer in the movies are the cops who bring the baddies to justice. In The Calling, Susan Sarandon creates a memorable serial killer hunter. She’s pill-popping Det. Hazel Micallef, a world-weary small town Canadian cop just a drunken whisper away from unemployment. The sleepy little town of Fort Dundas doesn’t offer up much in the way of major cases until a string of grisly murders — slit throats and organ removals — forces Micallef to dust off her detecting skills and track down a killer driven by fanatical religious fervour.
First time director Jason Stone ratchets the bleak atmosphere up to Creep Factor Five in this eerie character-driven mystery. There’s a little bit of Fargo in the mix, with some dark humor — “I just found the guy’s stomach!” — and disquieting imagery, but the real draw is watching the characters navigate through the film’s unsettled but strangely familiar world.
Bonn says movies like Psycho and Summer of Sam allow people to play armchair detective. “We may feel a bit guilty about indulging in them,” he writes, “(but) we simply cannot stop.”