Posts Tagged ‘Travis Fimmel’

CTVNEWS.CA: THE CROUSE REVIEW LOOKS AT “RAMPAGE” & 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 angry ape movie “Rampage,” the timely and touching drama “Indian Horse” and the boy-and-his-horse drama “Lean on Pete.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

RICHARD’S WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS FROM CP24! FRIDAY APRIL 13, 2018.

Richard joins CP24 anchor Nathan Downer to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the giant ape movie “Rampage,” the touching drama “Indian Horse,” the Middle East thriller “Beirut” starring Jon Hamm and Joaquin Phoenix in “You Were Never Really Here.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

“It isn’t about the horse,” says “Lean on Pete” director Andrew Haigh.

By Richard Crouse

“In all honesty if I heard about a film about a boy and his horse I wouldn’t want to go see that because I would think it was a family movie,” says English director Andrew Haigh. We are talking about his newest film Lean on Pete, which is, ironically, a film about a boy and his horse.

Based on the book by Willy Vlautin, it sounds like family fare but it is anything but. The cast should be the first clue. Steve Buscemi, Chloë Sevigny and Steve Zahn, all edgy 90s indie virtuosos, are the above-the-title stars, hinting that this isn’t going to be another National Velvet retread.

“The book is sad at times and tragic at times so the movie felt like a faithful adaptation of that. Oddly, I think that’s why I liked it because it was seemingly playing with more traditional ideas but telling the real life version of that. There could be a family movie about a boy on the road with a horse but it not going to be real. It was only after I finished the film that I realised, ‘This is going to be quite a challenge.’”

Charlie Plummer, last seen as John Paul Getty III in All the Money in the World, plays Charley Thompson a fifteen-year-old looking for permanence in his hardscrabble life. To pass the time he gets a job tending to an aging Quarter Horse named Lean On Pete. When the horse’s owner, a crusty old horse trader played by Buscemi, decides to get rid of Pete, to “send him to Mexico”—i.e.: the glue factory— Charley makes off with the horse, embarking on a road trip in search of a better life for both of them.

“It isn’t about the horse,” says Haigh. “It is about Charley’s desperate need for some stability, some security, someone to care for him, someone to care about him. That’s what’s driving him.”

As Charley the eighteen-year-old Plummer is magnetic, quietly creating the character of a desperate young man who does bad things for mostly the right reasons.

“It is not easy trying to cast someone about that age. Especially someone who has to both physically feel right, that they are still a kid but very nearly an adult. I knew I wanted him, in a frame, to look like a kid and then suddenly go older, then younger.

“There a lot of good boys that we had seen but Charley had something different. He approaches scenes in a different way. He doesn’t go the easy emotional way. He finds something a more challenging which sometimes keeps you at even more of a distance but then sometimes pulls you in with that amazing face he has.”

Haigh, who next project is The North Water, a sprawling TV movie about a disgraced ex-army surgeon now working as ship’s doctor on a whaling expedition, hopes people respond to Lean on Pete’s messages of kindness and compassion.

“If people leave the cinema and they feel for that kid and think about him that is all I can really hope for,” he says. “I hope it speaks to the importance of the need to help people who are suffering. I don’t know if people will take that away or not but it is certainly in the DNA of the film.”

LEAN ON PETE: 2 ½ STARS. “effective portrait of a lonely boy.”

The boy-and-his-horse story of “Lean on Pete” sounds like family fare but it is anything but. The cast should be the first clue. Steve Buscemi, Chloë Sevigny and Steve Zahn, all edgy 90s indie virtuosos, are the above-the-title stars, hinting that this isn’t going to be another “National Velvet” remake.

At the beginning of the story fifteen-year-old Charley Thompson (Charlie Plummer) and his single father Ray (Travis Fimmel) are starting their lives over in Portland, Oregon. Charley’s mom went out for cigarettes years ago and never came back. Since then father and son and moved around the country, Ray chasing work, Charley trying to find a place to fit in. They are more like friends than father and son. Ray offers up dubious fatherly advice—“The best women have all been waitresses at some point.”—and finds a new women in every new town.

To pass the time Charley gets a job tending to an aging Quarter Horse named Lean On Pete. Working for crusty old horse trader Del Montgomery (Buscemi) Charley finds purpose and despite the warnings of jockey Bonnie (Sevigny) not to get emotionally involved with the horse—“Don’t think of them as pets,” she says.—the teenager coddles the horse even as it becomes clear Pete isn’t going to win anymore races.

When Del decides to get rid of Pete, to “send him to Mexico”—i.e.: the glue factory— Charley makes off with the horse, embarking on a road trip in search of a better life for both of them.

There are many good messages here for kids about resilience and loyalty but again let me remind you this isn’t a kid’s movie. Del’s foul language and a scene where Charley beats a homeless man with a tire iron rule that out. What we’re left with is a story that feels like it was written for a young adult audience but made by someone weaned on mid-period Wim Wenders. Tonally it feels as though it has one hoof in YA, the other in more adult fare.

Tonality aside, the first hour works very well. Plummer is magnetic, quietly creating the character of a desperate young man who does bad things for mostly the right reasons. His scenes with Buscemi and Sevigny sparkle with a gruff warmth, setting up the lesson in resilience that dominates the second half. As Charley sets off into America’s hinterland Bonnie’s statement of fact, “There’s only so many times you can fall down, right?,” is proven wrong time after time. It’s a road trip of misery that sees Charley survive in very trying circumstances. Paced a little too leisurely in its second hour the road trip section, despite the dramatic events portrayed, is far less interesting than the character work of the first hour.

“Lean on Pete” is an effective portrait of a lonely boy but ultimately simply becomes a laundry list of Charley’s bad decisions.

RICHARD’S WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS FROM CP24! FRIDAY JUNE 10, 2016.

Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 3.14.58 PMRichard and CP24 anchor Nneka Elliot talk about the weekend’s four big releases, “Now You See Me 2,” the Cos Play freak-out “Warcraft,” the great Greta Gerwig’s “Maggie’s Plan,” and the spooky atmosphere of “The Conjuring 2.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

RICHARD’S CTV NewsChannel REVIEWS FOR JUNE 10 WITH MARCIA MacMillan.

Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 11.38.58 AMRichard and CTV NewsChannel morning show host Marcia MacMillan chat up the weekend’s big releases, the magically delicious “Now You See Me 2,” the Cos Play freak-out “Warcraft,” Greta Gerwig’s marvelous “Maggie’s Plan,” and the spooky atmosphere of “The Conjuring 2.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

Metro: Rebecca Miller, When a baby plan goes awry in Maggie’s Plan

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 8.34.37 AMBy Richard Crouse – Metro 

Maggie’s Plan, the new film from director Rebecca Miller, is an idiosyncratic look at the lives of some know-it-alls who don’t really know-it-all.

“I love complex geometry where I can connect different people in different ways,” she says, “and where you can completely change relationships over the course of a film.”

Populated by New York City academics—there’s a crypto anthropology prof, a sperm donor who thinks math is beautiful, a tenured Columbia instructor—Maggie’s Plan stars Greta Gerwig as, a single a-type art teacher hoping to have and raise a baby by herself. She has a sperm donor and a plan. Complicating her strategy is John, played by Ethan Hawke, a part-time professor who initially asks her to read the first chapter of his novel but quickly becomes a love interest. The resulting love triangle—he’s married to Georgette (Julianne Moore)—teaches Maggie to make fewer plans and embrace the mysteries of the universe.

“I was looking for something that could be funny, could be set in New York and that I could connect to,” says Miller, who adapted the screenplay from an unpublished novel by Karen Rinaldi. “Some months before I received the chapters Julianne Moore told me the story of a woman who had left her marriage, started a new family, blended a family and found herself in an organizational pickle. She constantly had to figure out other people’s ski holidays and things. I wondered if people could connect to this idea of how complicated it is to be a person right now and how many choices we have. I felt like it was kind of in the air and it felt very real to me. In that sense it had a lot of juice in it.”

The script of Maggie’s Plan suggests Miller may be a spiritual cousin of Woody Allen. Actually, she’s the daughter of legendary playwright Arthur Miller, but the way she writes about neurotic New Yorkers here has more in common with Allen than her dad’s realist morality plays. With a great deal of humour she details the lives of smart but not terribly aware New Yorkers.

“On a totally practical level I wanted to make a movie in New York because I was living here,” she says. “We lived in Ireland for years as our primarily home and then we shifted it here for a time. I was excited to be here but I had youngish children in the house so for me to live and work in the same place was important.

“I have a real love for [New York]. When you have been living here forever you don’t necessarily appreciate it but when you come back to the place suddenly everything looked so beautiful and appealing and wonderful. All my love and feelings for the actual, exact places that are in the movie spilled out onto the screen.”

She also included at least one incident from her life. In one funny scene a character expresses displeasure by burning a manuscript and returning the ashes to its author.

“I did burn someone’s book when I was in college,” she laughs. “It wasn’t a book they had written, to be fair. It was only a book they had lent to me and I was angry at them so I burned it. My salad days. I much more calm now.”

MAGGIE’S PLAN: 3 ½ STARS. ” idiosyncratic look at the lives of some know-it-alls.”

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 6.47.16 AM

In “Maggie’s Plan,” the new film from director Rebecca Miller, two academics have a meeting of the minds.

Set against a backdrop of the ivory tower of academia—there’s a crypto anthropology prof, a sperm donor thinks math is beautiful, a tenured Columbia professor—Greta Gerwig plays the title character, a single, a-type art professor hoping to have and raise a baby by herself. She has a sperm donor, a pickle entrepreneur named Gus (Travis Fimmel)—“What do I deposit my genetic gold mine in?” he says.— and a plan. Complicating her plan is John (Ethan Hawke), a part-time professor who initially asks her to read the first chapter of his novel but quickly becomes a love interest. The resulting love triangle—he’s married to Georgette (Julianne Moore)—teaches Maggie to make fewer plans and embrace the mysteries of the universe.

The script of “Maggie’s Plan” suggests Rebecca Miller may be a spiritual cousin of Woody Allen. Actually, she’s the daughter of Arthur Miller, but the way she writes about neurotic New Yorkers here has more in common with Allen than her dad’s realist morality plays. With a great deal of humour she details the lives of smart but not terribly aware people. More important than the funny observational nature of the story is the cast’s ability to make self-absorption likeable.

As always Gerwig is a treasure who appears to be living the moment we witness on screen for the very first time. She makes it look easy but her naturalism is not only charming in the extreme, it’s very tough to do. She is the movie’s beating heart and despite some mislaid plans, always comes off as engaging.

Working opposite her is Hawke who effortlessly embodies John’s ego driven quest to be thought of as a serious novelist. Moore hands in a rare comedic performance—complete with an intimidatingly unidentifiable accent—as Georgette, an intellectually fierce but pretentiously over-the-top bundle of nerves.

“Maggie’s Plan” is an idiosyncratic look at the lives of some know-it-alls who don’t really know-it-all. It’s a screwball comedy that is equal parts goofy and great.