Argott and Joyce subordinate these more pressing political questions to a mirror-box exploration of the nature of truth and the unfathomable secrets of the soul. As such it is thoughtful, sometimes ingenious, but you can’t help thinking that they missed the real story.
Although Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson aren’t at all bad together, neither do they strike sparks. That’s unfortunate, since the movie flirts, and that is the word, with the idea of a romance between them.
The best part of Ron Howard’s long-winded and fitfully moving Pavarotti occurs at the beginning with footage from 1995 of the world-famous tenor — who died in 2007, at 71 — visiting an opera house built in the middle of the Amazon jungle. The legend has it that Enrico Caruso had performed there 100 years before.
As long as Rocketman is charting the jet-propelled rise of Elton John in the early 1970s, it is an absolute gas. As soon as it plunges into the burnout years — addictions, betrayals, diva fits — it plays like every other rags-to-rock-to-riches saga you’ve ever seen. Especially “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Booksmart registers as an instant classic that doesn’t reinvent the genre so much as refurbish it from within, and it matters very much that the writers, director, and stars are all women. Also that they’re having a hell of a good time.
Several talking heads appear, including George Shultz, James Baker, and Lech Walesa. Tellingly, none of the interviewees is Russian. A running theme is that many Russians consider Gorbachev a traitor. “A tragic figure” Herzog calls him.
Here’s the thing about Disney’s “live-action” remakes of its animated classics: The new versions may be bigger, louder, and more lavish, but they’ll never be original. The thrill of first impact is gone.
All is True is expertly acted and handsomely filmed but suffers from an excess of sentimentality, a rash of revelations, and a surfeit of subtext, with characters blurting out the hidden motives for their behavior instead of simply behaving them. I imagine Shakespeare himself might be simultaneously tickled and appalled.
The Souvenir demands to be seen. Hogg is a major filmmaker pointing herself in new directions -- the past and future simultaneously – and hashing out the places where memory tells the truth and where it only offers more romanticism, more lies.
Parts of the film aren’t pretty because people don’t always act in pretty ways, and the speculation that such an event might create its own hermetically sealed reality, one increasingly distorted to our eyes, is intriguing, if not especially deep. It all plays out like a “Big Brother” reality show with 5,000 participants and no Big Brother.
Think “An Inconvenient Truth” meets “Babe,” or “The Good Earth” meets a biodiverse “Marley & Me,” with a dash of the Food Network’s “Pioneer Woman” tossed in. Among other things, that means furry critters romping to a folksy soundtrack with tubas and banjos employed unironically. It means circle-of-life lessons and sun-dappled everything. It means check your cynicism and snark at the gate, if you dare.