While the man in the title may have played a part in ushering us towards this unfortunate state, Mike Wallace Is Here is nonetheless a refreshing return to a more promising era when a swashbuckling, nicotine-huffing newsman made powerful people sweat for our collective edification.
Produced by Cameron Crowe, who interviewed Crosby as a young journalist for Rolling Stone in 1974, the film spins a powerful and enlightening fable about the ultimate cost of survival. It’s about what happens when the most reckless and bridge-burning among us ends up being rock’s Harry Potter — i.e. the boy who lives — and must sift through the guilt and wreckage of all the relationships left in his wake.
The result is pretty to look at, with the misty lakes and foreboding forests of Denmark beautifully photographed and the costumes lavishly designed, but the sad (and boring) result has none of the bold thrust or festering passion originally created by the Bard.
If Spider-Man Far from Home is a triumph, as many will argue and its box office will undoubtedly confirm, it is a triumph of capitalism, not art. It is the film’s fervent hope that we, as consumers, are starting to lose our ability to tell the difference.
While it was a little disappointing to see the film relegate the other candidates to backup singers to Representative Ocasio-Cortez’s leading lady, that doesn’t make their contributions to the movement that elected her any less significant. Nor does it dull the emotional impact of her remarkable achievement.
The movie is not particularly well directed by Justin Kelly (a protégé of Gus Van Sant), and his screenplay (co-written with the real Savannah) has the toxic naturalism of a drag revue. Dern is never less than fascinating, even in Gothic raspberry wigs, and does everything possible to bring a sense of human urgency to an unconventional dual role, but the film deserts her midway.
Although it is based on a true story, Breakthrough is another glib and unconvincing faith-based movie that pushes miracles, spirituality and divine intervention, hoping for box-office gold. A terrific cast is the only thing that saves it from last rites.
One hour and forty minutes of gibberish about three generations of empowered female superheroes wreaking havoc on a postapocalyptic twilight zone, written and directed by a terrible filmmaker named Julia Hart. She’s no Rod Serling.
Reviews might be “mixed,” but don’t let that deter you. The Chaperone is a fascinating, exquisitely made film about the early life of sultry silent-screen star Louise Brooks, who traveled from Wichita, Kan., in 1922 to New York City with a proper chaperone named Norma Carlisle.
Enhanced by a moving, three-dimensional performance by the underrated veteran actress Mary Kay Place, Diane is a thoughtful, well-made first feature by Kent Jones, who programs the films every year for the New York Film Festival.