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.
For a film where every single scene is rigidly contained within a screen — framed by an iPhone FaceTime chat, a laptop exchange, TV image, home movie or security camera surveillance — Searching has a surprising sense of momentum.
Crucially, Macdonald (see also The Last King of Scotland, Marley, State of Play) doesn’t stint on the train-wreck aspects of her career: the infamous Diane Sawyer interview, disastrous, flabby late-career performances, and yes, those tabloid images of a gaunt, wild-eyed, and clearly tripping Houston. Whether audiences feel greater insight into her dreams and demons as a result is somewhat less certain.
Despite committed performances all around, Boundaries stays firmly rooted in the meh. Much as we want to root for Laura, her constant whining about her unhappy childhood wins no empathy and drags things down.