Posts Tagged ‘Sarah Snook’


Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the family drama “Pieces of a Woman” (Netflix), dark satire “Promising Young Woman” (in theatres) and the documentary “The Dissident” (VOD/Digital).

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with host Anita Sharma to have a look at the new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the intense drama “Pieces of a Woman” (Netflix), dark satire “Promising Young Woman” (in theatres) and the documentary “The Dissident” (VOD/Digital).

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the intense drama “Pieces of a Woman” (Netflix), dark satire “Promising Young Woman” (in theatres) and the documentary “The Dissident” (VOD/Digital).

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

PIECES OF A WOMAN: 4 STARS. “exhausts and exhilarates in equal measure.”

“Pieces of a Woman,” now steaming on Netflix, begins with happy, loving couple Martha (Vanessa Kirby) and Shawn (Shia LaBeouf) on what should be one of the happiest days of their lives. In the scene, shot mostly in long takes, Martha is in labor, minutes away from giving birth to their daughter. With their midwife indisposed a replacement named Eva (Molly Parker), unfamiliar with their case, is sent in her place. By the end of the twenty five-minute pre-credit sequence tragedy has struck, and their lives are forever changed.

Director Kornél Mundruczó sets the bar very high in the opening moments of the film. It is riveting filmmaking, intimately showing Martha and Shawn’s anticipation, pain and anguish in real time. The bulk of the film deals with the aftermath as the couple are driven apart by grief and recrimination and it’s very strong, but cooler in tone than the opening.

It is interesting to note that “Piece of a Woman” was originally conceived as character sketches by Kata Wéber meant for the stage. You can feel the attention to detail that was lavished on each of the characters. They are richly drawn and carefully portrayed by the actors.

A trio of performances tell the story.

Kirby, best known as Princess Anne on “The Crown,” digs deep to create a portrait of a person devastated by the loss of her child; someone whose world stopped turning that day. As she looks for closure, there is an intensity that comes from her rage and sorrow manifesting themselves as heartbreak. It is layered, emotionally-draining, award worthy work.

LaBeouf plays Shawn as an attention hungry husband. A man trying to move on by forcing his attentions on Martha and when that doesn’t work, he looks elsewhere. LaBeouf is a bubbling cauldron of frustration, about to overflow.

As Martha’s mother, an imperious woman hell bent on assigning blame, Ellen Burstyn delivers a tour-de-force monologue about the way mothers raise their daughters that could be a short film all on its own.

“Pieces of a Woman” isn’t an easy watch. The performances are raw, real and uncomfortable that exhaust and exhilarate in equal measure.

Metro In Focus: Winchester, starring Helen Mirren, is a real house of horrors.

By Richard Crouse – Metro In Focus

The house is one of the strangest buildings ever erected. A massive 24,000 square feet, the rambling Queen Anne-style Victorian mansion has zigzagging staircases, 2,000 doors, rooms-within-rooms and over 10,000 windows. Some will even tell you the old place is haunted. Located on nine acres in Silicon Valley it is known as the Winchester Mystery House.

These days the house is open to the public but for many years it was the obsession of Sarah Winchester, the eccentric heiress of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company fortune, who envisioned the place as home to an “army of ghosts.”

This weekend, in the mystery thriller Winchester, Helen Mirren plays her. The backstory sees the widowed Winchester, reeling from the loss of her husband William in 1881, visit a psychic in hopes of finding solace. He says her recent tragedies — the loss of a daughter, father-in-law and husband — were the work of the spirits of people killed by the Winchester repeating rifle, a.k.a. The Gun That Won The West. To save herself from the restless spectres, he told her to move west and build a home big enough to accommodate all the phantoms that bedevilled her family.

She took the advice to heart, buying a large 161-acre plot of land in San Jose, Calif., and began building. And building. Legend has it that with no blueprints, Winchester, one of the richest women of the 1880s, spent the next 38 years — 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year — working on the strange dwelling.

Winchester lived in the house during construction and, to confuse curious spirits, never slept more than one night consecutively in any of the bedrooms. At night she held séances to confer with the ghosts who shared her living space, hence the nickname The Mansion Designed By Spirits. Guided by those apparitions she ordered never-ending alterations that required the use of maps to navigate. The place grew to such a size that after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake damaged the home, it took the staff hours to find her in the labyrinth of rooms.

Just as eccentric as the ever-evolving layout were Winchester’s home decor choices. She engraved the numbers 7 and 11 throughout the house for good luck and the number 13 to ward off evil spirits. A chandelier was redesigned to hold 13 candles instead of the usual 12 and drain covers on sinks were punched with 13 holes. Today, in tribute, a large 13-shaped topiary tree sits on the property and every Friday the 13th a bell is rung 13 times at 1300 hours.

Winchester lived in the home until her death in 1922. Work on the home ceased instantly and there are several half-driven nails in the walls where carpenters stopped hammering when they heard the news.

Winchester has the underpinnings of a good psychological drama but a biography dampens the mythology with a dose of reality. In the book Captive of the Labyrinth: Sarah L. Winchester, Heiress to the Rifle Fortune, author Mary Jo Ignoffo says Winchester “routinely dismissed workers for months at a time ‘to take such rest as I might.’”

Whatever the truth, Mirren sums it up best: “There’s nothing like it anywhere that I’ve ever seen. It grew out of such very specific circumstances that are sort of unrepeatable.”


A new feature from from! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at the devil doll flick “Annabelle: Creation,” the Jeremy Renner thriller “Wind River” and Brie Larson in “The Glass Castle.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard joins CP24 to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the devil doll flick “Annabelle: Creation,” the Jeremy Renner thriller “Wind River” and Jenny Slate’s dramedy “Landline.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the big weekend movies including the devil doll flick “Annabelle: Creation,” the Jeremy Renner thriller “Wind River” and Jenny Slate’s dramedy “Landline.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

THE GLASS CASTLE: 2 ½ STARS. “melts into a puddle of unnecessary sentimentality.”

Jeannette Walls’s childhood was the stuff of movies. Raised by free-spirited parents, she and her siblings were nomads, shunted around the country chasing the dream of an uncompromised life. “Daddy says where we are,” young Jeannette (Chandler Head) says, “is where home is.”

When we first see Jeannette (played as an adult by Brie Larson) it’s 1989. She is a successful gossip columnist for New York Magazine, engaged to David (Max Greenfield) an up-and-coming investment banker. Her cab ride home from a fancy dinner is interrupted by two homeless people who disrupt traffic as they garbage pick from a dumpster. Upset, she ignores them as the cab drives through the intersection.

Turns out the two are her parents, Rex (Woody Harrelson) and Rose Mary (Naomi Watts). The two are happily squatting in an abandoned building, continuing a lifelong tradition of living off the grid. He schools them by experience. “You learn from living,” he says. “Everything else is a damn lie.”

Rex is short tempered, an often drunk dreamer always looking for a place to start over. Rose Mary is an artist who redefines free-spirited. Together they raised their kids in an uncompromising manner. On the road constantly they hopscotch around the country at Rex’s whim, kept going by his promise of building them a gleaming new home, their very own Glass Castle. “All this running around is temporary,” he says. “We just need the perfect location for our castle.”

Throughout good times and bad Jeannette has a special relationship with Rex but his drinking spins out of control she realizes the kids have to go their own way.

Shades of last year’s ode to antiestablishment living “Captain Fantastic” hang heavy over “The Glass Castle.” Both chronicle overbearing fathers and their pliable children but the new film feels different because it never entirely embraces the alternative lifestyle it portrays. Walls—whose memoir forms the basis of the movie—is ultimately sympathetic in her portrayal of the man who infuriated her as much as he raised her. It is a father and daughter story about overcoming a non-traditional upbringing while also realizing he made her the person she is today.

It’s Jeannette’s life but it is Harrelson who steals the show. Is he the most versatile actor working today? He’s a journeyman who jumps from franchises to character dramas, from comedies to tragedies. As Rex he’s a volatile presence, loving one second, throwing a chair threw a window the next. Harrelson never plays him as a villain. Rather he explores the depths of the complex character, finding the kernels of humanity that allow us to look past his bluster.

By the time the end credits roll “The Glass Castle” feels stretched, as though director Destin Daniel Cretton doesn’t want the story to end. It’s a little too flashback-y in its last half hour, showing us things we already know, and a big epiphany moment—complete with swelling orchestra—feels forced. There are some heartfelt and emotional moments early on but as the story unfolds Creton allows it to melt into a puddle of unnecessary sentimentality.