Posts Tagged ‘Raffey Cassidy’

CTVNEWS.CA: THE CROUSE REVIEW LOOKS AT “MARY POPPINS RETURNS” & MORE!

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 Emily Blunt in “Mary Poppins Returns,” Natalie Portman in “Vox Lux” and Jason Mamoa as the underwater monarch “Aquaman.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

RICHARD’S CTV NEWSCHANNEL WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS FOR DECEMBER 12.

Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Lois Lee to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including the supercalifragilisticexpialidocious-ness of “Mary Poppins Returns,” the Transformers prequel “Bumblebee,” the underwater adventures of “Aquaman” and Natalie Portman as a pop star in “Vox Lux.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

VOX LUX: 3 ½ STARS. “Portman anchors the second half with a broad performance.”

“Vox Lux” sees Natalie Portman play a pop idol in a film that aims to expose popular culture’s obsession with false idols.

The film begins on a sombre note. An early morning drive through winding streets ends at a high school. Shots ring out. Panicked kids slip and slide on bloody footprints in the hall. One student, 13-year-old Celeste (Raffey Cassidy), tries to reason with the shooter, asking him to pray with her. Her efforts are rewarded with a gunshot to the neck, leaving her with a bullet permanently lodged in her spine. Later, at a memorial for the fallen students, Celeste and sister Eleanor (Stacy Martin) perform a self-penned tribute song. A video of the tune goes viral, attracts the attention of a fast-talking manager (Jude Law) and earns Celeste a record deal. A quick tweak to the tune’s lyrics, the manager changes the “my” to “we,” and the song becomes an anthem for the nation, an expression of shared grief. She’s a pop superstar. “I don’t want people to think too hard,” she says. “I just want them to feel good.”

Jump forward 17 years. Celeste is now 31-years-old, still a glitter-covered pop star but now an alcoholic and mother to Albertine (Raffey Cassidy, again). Another shooting rocks her world, this time on a beach in Croatia. Terrorists, wearing masks similar to ones seen in one of the singer’s videos, attack and murder dozens of innocent people. Not responsible but certainly implicated in the violence, Celeste barely responds. She’s more concerned with her homecoming concert in Staten Island and ranting about the minutia of her life. She’s gone from the girl next door who survived tragedy to jaded celebrity teetering on the edge of a nervous breakdown.

“Vox Lux” feels like two movies. The first half is a textured examination of pop music’s place as a chronicle and catalyst of societal mores. Two terrible events, a school shooting and 9/11 frame Celeste’s rise to fame. Director Brady Corbet considers how tragedy has helped shape much of recent pop culture; how stars like Celeste have become symbols of those tragedies and the receptacles of the public’s need for comfort and catharsis. It’s powerful, if a little obtuse, stuff.

Portman anchors the second half in a broad performance. Covered in PVC and glitter she has more hard edges than her younger self. She’s more closed off, more superficial more concerned about how the press are speaking to her on a junket than the shooting on the other side of the world. It’s a detailed portrait of what happens when people breath rarefied air and aren’t the person the public thinks they are, but it isn’t as interesting as the film’s first hour.

A stand-out in both halves is Law as the aggressive manager. Law has morphed very comfortably into character roles and brings just the right mix of obsequiousness and grit to play the kind of guy who can toss off insider showbiz lines like, “She couldn’t sell a life jacket to Natalie Wood.“

Ultimately, while interesting, as a look at celebrity culture the last half of “Vox Lux” is as auto-tuned as the songs the Celeste sings at the end of the film.

CTVNEWS.CA: “THE CROUSE REVIEW LOOKS AT “THOR: RAGNAROK” & MORE!

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 the clown prince of Asgard in “Thor: Ragnarok,” the grammatically incorrect “A Bad Moms Christmas,” and the strange “The Killing of the Sacred Deer.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

RICHARD’S WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS FROM CP24! FRIDAY NOVEMBER 04, 2017.

Richard and CP24 anchor Nick Dixon have a look at the weekend’s new movies including Chris Hemsworth’s funny take on his most famous character in “Thor: Ragnarok,” the lump of coal that is “A Bad Moms Christmas” and the strangest movie of the year, “The Killing of the Sacred Deer.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

RICHARD’S CTV NEWSCHANNEL WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS & MORE FOR NOVEMBER 03.

Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Lois Lee to have a look at the clown prince of Asgard in “Thor: Ragnarok,” the grammatically incorrect “A Bad Moms Christmas, the strange “The Killing of the Sacred Deer” and the religious drama “Novitiate.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER: 4 STARS. “wallows in cruelty and depravity.”

Director Yorgos Lanthimos makes idiosyncratic films. From the bizarre home schooling fantasy “Dogtooth” to “The Lobster,” a film about turning lovesick divorcees into wildlife, he is unafraid to let his freak flag fly. His newest film, “The Killing Of A Sacred Deer” starring Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman, may be his most unapologetically odd film yet.

Farrell is Steven Murphy, an uptight cardiac surgeon married to ophthalmologist Anna (Kidman). Their two kids, Bob (Sunny Suljic) and Kim (Raffey Cassidy) are polite, happy kids. They eat dinner together every night and by all outward appearances lead a disciplined, quiet suburban life. It wasn’t always that way. Just three years before Steven was forced to stop drinking when it began to interfere with his work.

Now all is calm. The only strange thing is Steven’s attachment to Martin (Barry Keoghan), the son of a patient who died unexpectedly. Steven buys him expensive presents and always seems to have time to talk to the boy or take him out for lunch. Shortly after Martin is invited over for dinner, however, things in the Murphy household take a turn for the worse. Little Bob’s legs give out and soon he is paralyzed from the waist down. He’s given every test known to man and science but no diagnosis is forthcoming. Then Kim takes ill, collapsing at choir practice. Again, there doesn’t seem to be a medical reason for her paralysis.

There’s more, but there will be no spoilers here. If you want clues look up the Greek myth of Artemis’s demand of atonement from Agamemnon after he killed a sacred deer.

From this point on “The Killing Of A Sacred Deer” becomes a horror film about ideas rather than actions. It’s a study of extreme consequences, atonement and the length to which people will go to save their families. In many ways it’s the kind of story we’ve seen many times before but Lanthimos has filtered the domestic drama through his lens, creating an unsettling and absurd film that is as gripping as it is strange.

Lanthimos uses language and tone to bring us into his world. The actors have a eerie, mannered way of speaking as though they are always reading aloud from an Emily Post book. Before anything odd happens the matter-of-fact speech, often about the most trivial or, sometimes, inappropriate things, establishes the film’s otherworldly tone. It hangs heavy over every second of the movie and when the character’s veneers begin to crack it is even more disquieting.

“The Killing Of A Sacred Deer” does not offer explanations or apologies for anyone’s behaviour. Instead it is content to wallow in the cruelty and depravity of its story. Strange days indeed.

RICHARD’S WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS FROM CP24! FRIDAY MAY 22, 2015.

Screen Shot 2015-05-22 at 4.43.51 PMRichard CP24 reviews for “Tomorrowland,” “Poltergeist” and “Welcome to Me.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!