In short, [Showalter] can’t see Tammy Faye as a person, rather than as a character in a media drama. As a result, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, far from getting behind the public image, merely creates another one.
Cry Macho doesn’t resound with the hectic astonishment of The 15:17 to Paris or the tragic imagination of Sully, but it delivers whispers of both. Its breezy, easygoing fable of late-life adventure and connection is also a story of an over-the-hill athlete who may meet his match on any street corner.
Above all, the film decries the impunity that the war’s masterminds and the country’s leaders enjoyed while William and other frontline grunts took the blame. It’s that notion of the prevailing order’s insidiously hermetic system of self-protection that gives The Card Counter its furious energy.
For all its symbolic heft and keen-eyed flair, there’s a scattershot quality to Candyman that has to do with the seemingly inescapable demands of its genre source. The horror-film combination of constrained tautness and calculated gore keeps some of the themes from fully developing and leaves narrative loose ends dangling.
The filmmakers of Respect aim at a wide audience with an altogether more obvious and calculating contrivance. They don’t grant the person, the personality, the character of Aretha the same originality, complexity, or substance that the real-life Franklin had; they leave all the specifics on Hudson’s shoulders, and her energetic, detailed, and focussed performance nearly papers over the missing heart of the movie.
In The Green Knight, Lowery revises a legend, in style and in substance, in order to evoke a way of telling different stories, and of telling stories differently. He takes the risk of perpetuating a deluded gospel of evil, or of seeming to do so, in a daring effort to dramatize a world in desperate need of artistic redemption.
Though Space Jam: A New Legacy fails, woefully, as an aesthetic object and as a viewing experience, it somehow nonetheless succeeds as a conceptual representation of a Hollywood studio’s terror in the face of streaming domination, of the movie industry at large that, like Warner Bros., is in the process of being swallowed up in one Serververse or another.
In his new film, Casanova, Last Love... Jacquot, who is seventy-four, stands his artistic practice on its head in order to consider it retrospectively. It’s a classic “late film,” one that, with the contemplative distance of experience, approaches his deepest concerns with apparent simplicity.
The movie exemplifies the power of the cinema—even the popular and commercial and invigoratingly swingy cinema—to reflect the inner life through imaginative methods that, at the same time, reveal the fractures and complexities of public life with probing and passionate insight.
The film is garishly overloaded with splices and grafts from other movies, other genres, and other premises, including a mythical setting and an evil corporation. The result is a distracting jumble that reduces the stakes of the movie’s mighty showdown nearly to a vanishing point, and turns the title titans and their other colossal cohorts into the incredible shrinking monsters.
As in life, intelligence in movies isn’t one-dimensional; it may be woefully lacking from one aspect of a film but shiningly present in another. Although the fight scenes in Nobody offer clever touches, they are nonetheless too stiffly convention-bound to give the movie energy.
The new film finds a few of its most inspired moments where it revises the plot to reflect current sensibilities, but its strained efforts at reviving the characters and situations of the original make it feel both hollow and leaden.