Happily, this is a movie about not just idealism but practical idealism, and the struggle that maintaining it requires. It looks drop-dead gorgeous and, despite a few storytelling short cuts, it's unexpectedly moving.
It’s a good movie, so smartly directed by Ralph Fiennes, who also appears as Nureyev’s dance instructor, that at times it feels like an IQ test. But the story is intriguing and, ultimately, gripping enough to overcome all that.
Peele’s visual audacity is at times breathtaking, and always serves a greater purpose. There is a beautiful overhead shot of the family walking along the beach, carrying their supplies, casting long shadows. There’s no way to know in the moment you’re admiring this that it carries meaning that informs the rest of the film. That’s just terrific filmmaking.
It’s a weird little genre, the sick-teen romance. “Five Feet Apart” winds up as just a pedestrian entry in it, because it tries way too hard on the melodrama front. Being a teenager is difficult enough. Being a sick teenager is presumably that much harder. Being a teenager in “Five Feet Apart” means suffering from something else, in addition: overkill. And that’s deadly.
How you feel about the film will depend on how you feel about politics, probably. But don’t let partisanship get in the way of appreciating another inventive film from McKay, and some truly brilliant performances. Surely on that, we can all agree.
David Lowery’s film is about as quiet and patient as what is ostensibly a caper movie can be. Yet its engine never idles, in large part because Redford, at 82, remains a movie star, someone to whom we are drawn, even as he is politely robbing a bank with a note, a gun and a smile.
McEwan, as is his wont, aims for something bigger here, the bigger questions — the biggest, even, of life and death. Thanks to Thompson’s outstanding performance, he mostly achieves what he sets out for.
If Greene had simply told the story in more straightforward documentary fashion, Bisbee ’17 would be an interesting film. By telling the story within the story, he’s done something more: He’s made an urgent, powerful one.