Friday, December 20, 2013

American Hustle: Movie Review

Traded history for comedy to give us characters with a lasting impression.

“American Hustle” is the story of the Abscam scandal of the 1970s when the FBI was investigating theft, forgery and stolen art. The history of the story is likely sketchy at best which would explains why it opens with “Some of this actually happened” as opposed to the more standard “Based on a true story.” David O. Russell chose to just focus on the characters instead. 2013

Directed by: David O. Russell

Screenplay by: Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell

Starring: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Nebraska: Movie Review


Simple story, characters, photography and comedy done pretty much to perfection.
“Nebraska” is a simple journey, told with beautiful black and white photography, of a father who thinks he has won a million dollars and a son who doesn’t know what to do with his father except go along with him. Woody Grant (Bruce Dern) suffers from dementia but he’ll argue that point with you straight to the pub. David Grant (Will Forte) lives a fairly empty life so decides to head to Nebraska with his father. 2013

Directed by: Alexander Payne

Screenplay by: Bob Nelson

Starring: Bruce Dern, Will Forte and June Squibb

Friday, December 6, 2013

Philomena: Movie Review


Masterfully written, beautifully portrayed story that is better than just a human interest story.
“Philomena” starts with Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan) in the doctor’s office; he’s quite pleased with news of his outstanding stool sample – until he realizes it just means that it hasn’t been received yet. The humour is kind of a like that. You don’t realize that the movie is funny until a joke has just been said and you’ve been given a moment to digest the punch line. The movie really is very funny. 2013

Directed by: Stephen Frears

Screenplay by: Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope

Starring: Steve Coogan and Judi Dench

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Short Term 12: Movie Review

Realism allows comedy and drama to come together in a fully likable manner.

The realism of a foster care center for teenagers is up-close and personal but provides so much humour that the drama is never over-whelming. It’s also quite touching that the adults in charge are just as messed up as the kids but try even harder in covering it up. Short Term 12 stars Brie Larson as Grace a twenty-something counselor who is in charge of fellow staff and a few emotionally-damaged kids. 2013

Directed by: Destin Cretton

Screenplay by: Destin Cretton

Starring: Brie Larson, John Gallagher Jr.