It would be easy to get lost in all that technical detail, to figure the impression—both physical and vocal—is enough. But Chastain digs deeper than the aesthetics, and locates something crucial in Tammy Faye. It’s a genuine, deep-seated, perhaps ruinously naive compassion, which Chastain illustrates with great care.
With The Lost Daughter, Gyllenhaal easily proves her talent and instinct as a director by unflinchingly infusing a great story with her own ideas and images‚ and assembling an unbeatable cast and crew (including Happy as Lazzaro and Never Rarely Sometimes Always cinematographer Hélène Louvart) to bring it home.
With Dune, Villeneuve has the chance to right the wrongs of David Lynch’s 1984 misfire (a misfire according to some, anyway) and truly honor Herbert’s text. But Villenueve can’t help but lacquer it all up into something hyper polished and hard to the touch.
While the core narrative is plenty compelling in all its creeping dread and curiosity, The Power of the Dog is not too concerned with being about any one thing. The film’s secrets are revealed while new ones bloom into being. Life tumbles after life in the ecosystem of all of us, seething amid the dust clouds we can’t help but kick up.
The film doesn’t do much to distinguish itself, or to retain audience interest. Jackman, dutiful thespian as always, gives it his all, but the specter his character is running after doesn’t have enough shape, or meaning.
Beckett moves through the film not as an invincible badass, but as a man who is tired and in a great deal of pain. And there is indeed no rest for the weary: when Beckett has a brief respite from his physical odyssey, the grief rushes back in. It’s all pretty difficult to watch, as it probably should be.
It’s a lot of nervy construction built around very little substance. Driver and Cotillard are admirably committed, and the film does occasionally soar to giddily surreal, big-burst musical highs. Not near often enough, though.
The Suicide Squad walks about as far up to the line of the indecent as is perhaps possible for a film of this size right now, which makes portions of it genuinely exciting. But we get inured to its provocations too quickly, and then the movie tries to soften itself and add emotional dimensions that aren’t exactly earned.