Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to VOD and streaming services including the psychological drama “The Lodge,” the poignant Brit com “Military Wives,” the Netflix comedy “The Lovebirds,” the family drama “The Roads Not Taken” and the Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon comedy “The Trip to Greece.”
Sally Potter’s “Roads Not Taken” is a bleak film given life by a resolute performance from Elle Fanning as Molly, a young woman caring for her father, a writer with early onset dementia.
Javier Bardem is Leo, a man who lives in a rundown apartment in Brooklyn. When we meet him, he’s lying in bed, unable to answer calls from his concerned daughter. Molly arrives to find him comatose but alive. Relieved, she spends the day navigating her father’s schedule of doctor’s visits and clothes shopping, made all the more difficult by his worsening condition and the insensitive reaction of almost everyone they come in contact with, including ex-wife Rita (Laura Linney). “He just pretends to not remember things,” she says, “to make me feel guilty.”
Breaking up the day-to-day are flashbacks—or are they hallucinations?—from Leo’s past life. “Where have you been all day dad,” Molly asks as his mind reels backwards through time to a romance with Dolores (Salma Hayek) in rural Mexico and sojourn in Greece where he meets a beautiful young woman who reminds him of his daughter.
As a portrait of a fragmented mind, apparently based loosely on Potter’s experience with her younger, musician brother Nic, “The Roads Not Taken” succeeds because of the performances. The story telling is ragged, jarring as it jumps through time without providing enough connective tissue to hold together.
Fanning, as a person who realizes she must grieve for her father before he is gone, drips compassion. It’s heartfelt work that gives the movie a pulse. “No matter how far away you go,” she says. “No matter what they says, “you are always you.” Bardem, essentially playing three characters, is effective, allowing just enough of Leo’s personality to shine through to make us understand who he once was.
“The Roads Not Taken” is not an easy movie to watch. It brims with empathy for Leo but allows the story’s grief and regret overpower its message of steadfast love.
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 Jennifer Lawrence spy thriller “Red Sparrow,” the 1970s retread “Death Wish” with Bruce Willis and the deliciously venomous “The Party” starring Patricia Clarkson.
Richard and CP24 anchor Nathan Downer have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the Jennifer Lawrence spy thriller “Red Sparrow,” the 1970s retread “Death Wish” with Bruce Willis and the deliciously venomous “The Party” starring Patricia Clarkson.
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases, the Jennifer Lawrence spy thriller “Red Sparrow,” the 1970s retread “Death Wish” with Bruce Willis and the deliciously venomous “The Party” starring Patricia Clarkson.
At the end of the chamber dramedy “The Party,” you’ll be glad you were able to be a voyeur and not actually attend the get-together in person. It’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” with more characters and twice the vitriol.
Kristin Scott Thomas is Janet, the newly appointed U.K. Health Minister and host of the party. When we first see her she’s holding a gun on a guest. It’s that kind of party.
Cue the flashback.
Gathered together are Janet’s nearest and dearest. There’s sharp-tongued best friend April (Patricia Clarkson), her almost ex and professional life coach Gottfried (Bruno Ganz), Martha (Cherry Jones) and her pregnant partner Jinny (Emily Mortimer), jumpy financial whiz Tom (Cillian Murphy), whose cocaine and aforementioned gun add some spice to an already edgy situation. On the periphery, for a time anyway, is Bill (Timothy Spall), a ticking time bomb with a glass of champagne.
Director Sally Potter wastes no time in presenting her sophisticated but sour soiree. The verbal—and text—fireworks begin almost immediately. Sparkling dialogue drips from the mouths of these actors like liquid gold. When Jinny announces she’s have more than baby Martha says, “Triplets. People. Small people.” It doesn’t sound like much on paper, but the magic is in the delivery. The best lines are reserved for Clarkson, whose blunt, plainspoken words add fuel to the already hot state of affairs. “Although it may have a deleterious effect on your career I think you could consider murder,” she purrs at one point.
Canapés smoulder, truths are revealed—there will be no spoilers here—and lives are shattered, all in just 71 minutes. “The Party” is a delightfully nasty piece of work, artfully realized by Potter and delivered with just the right amount of venom by a dedicated cast.