The film’s final act stretches credulity and hangs its hat on an impossibly (albeit suitably Harlequin-esque and dreamy) farewell sequence. Still, it’s all but certain the intended audience will find in Five Feet Apart a cogent and watchable weepie worthy of marquee status at sleepovers.
There are white-knuckle moments, notably Gloria’s crossing of the border with a heap of stuff that would raise troubling questions were she stopped and searched. Rodriguez puts us right there in the car beside her and it’s thrilling. But the outcome arrives a bit too pat, our heroine conveniently switching from cowed hostage to arms-wielding ass-kicker with dubious ease.
Conceptually ambitious and sporadically entertaining but more often confusing and ultimately kind of dumb, Serenity must have seemed appealingly high-minded on the page. But the zigzagging new thriller lands with a thud despite a skilled cast and writer/director Steven Knight’s commendable desire to scribble outside the lines of conventional narrative.
Destroyer is all about Kidman as tortured, haggard detective Erin Bell. A single look into those bleary, bloodshot eyes alerts us to the fact that this character has been through the wringer. Destroyer is a forensic study of how Bell got this way. The trick, I suppose, is making us care.
While entertaining, The Upside lacks the original film’s fizzy spark, the prickly charisma of its co-stars, and the tantalizingly sense that this incredible story — which is actually true — happened on a planet we would recognize as our own.
Let’s just say the film — scripted by Bader’s nephew Daniel Stiepelman with the Justice’s blessing — successfully splits the difference between capturing Ginsburg as a contemporary folk hero and as a fiercely ambitious intellectual competing for footing in an era when mixing a killer martini was the very height of wifely prestige. No one will mistake it for a documentary.
Saoirse Ronan as Mary and Margot Robbie as Elizabeth offer rich, committed performances and highly passable accents. There’s also a certain thrill in being transported to another very real-feeling world: inside elaborate stone mansions lit only by candles and furnished with stiff but fancy furniture. The costumes, jewelry and makeup, too, are fabulous. But a hard-to-pinpoint pall hangs over Mary Queen of Scots.
You will not see a more perfect and imperfect rock and roll biopic than Bohemian Rhapsody, which does many things extremely well, other things sort of average, and one thing flawlessly: capturing the immense charisma and panache of Queen singer Freddie Mercury. Jamie Foxx’s full-body inhabitation of Ray Charles just got some competition at the top.
It’s hard to imagine anyone who enjoyed Radner’s performances in their lifetime not finding much to love about Love, Gilda… even as our hearts break a little at what might have been had she lived longer.
Credit the towering talents of Emma Thompson and Stanley Tucci with redeeming The Children Act, a film oddly thin on story despite coming from the marvelous Ian McEwan, who adapted his own novel for the screen but somehow failed to capture the surge of the source material.