Thoughts after the cut.
|Yay! No vampires.|
Directed by David Cronenberg
Produced by Paulo Branco and Martin Katz
Written by David Cronenberg (screenplay); Don DeLillo (novel)
Starring Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, Sarah Gadon, Mathieu Amalric, Jay Baruchel, Kevin Durand, K'naan, Emily Hampshire, Samantha Morton, and Paul Giamatti
A twentysomething billionaire (Pattinson) wants a haircut, so he travels in his limo across town in the midst of a chaotic, apocalyptic Manhattan. Over the course of the day, he encounters several people, discussing life, philosophy, economics, and the universe, among other things.
It's a slick, yet grimy vision full of musings and somewhat witty banter that is sure to bore some viewers. There's a lot of talking in this film, and most of it can seem like empty or heavy-handed garbage. Really, part of me thinks it's just nonsensical ramblings for the sake of sounding intellectual. Apart from the excessive babbling, the performances are, in general, nothing special. However, Robert Pattinson makes the most of his somber Twilight persona in his best performance yet, and the supporting cast of names and unknowns does a decent job. As much as I was disappointed, I can't help but admire the film's gall. I'd even see it again.
Oscar Potential: None
|A gorgeous dud.|
Directed by Tim Burton
Produced by Tim Burton and Allison Abbate
Written by John August (screenplay); Tim Burton (idea)
Starring Catherine O'Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Charlie Tyran, Atticus Shaffer, and Winona Ryder
When Victor's dog Sparky meets an untimely end, the boy resurrects him with lightning, aka Frankenstein-style. Things take a turn for the worse when Victor's classmates learn of his experiment before the upcoming science fair.
Burton's latest animated feature is a crisp black-and-white horror knockoff. Clearly, Burton was having a blast just getting to make this fun, nostalgic film, yet I was uninterested from the start. Though most of the voice cast consists of noteworthy talent, the largely unrecognizable (to me, at least) voices, thankfully, do not draw attention away from the story. Not surprisingly, Danny Elfman's score is one of the highlights of the film. But that's all the praise I can give. I wanted to be engaged with it, but the film felt like it was on auto-pilot for an hour and a half. For a better Frankenstein send-up, just watch (or rewatch) Young Frankenstein. I'd even recommend Dark Shadows over this one.
Oscar Potential: Best Original Score, Best Animated Foreign Film
Oslo, August 31st (2012)
|Lie gives a fine performance in one of the year's best films.|
Directed by Joachim Trier
Produced by Hans-Jørgen Osnes and Yngve Sæther
Written by Joachim Trier and Eskil Vogt (screenplay); Pierre Drieu La Rochelle (novel)
Starring Anders Danielsen Lie, Hans Olav Brenner, Ingrid Olava, Ystein Rger, Tone B. Mostraum, Kjrasti Ooden Skjeldal, Johanne Kjellevik Ledang, Petter Wioth Kristiansen, Renate Reinsve, and Anders Borchgrevnk
Anders (Lie), a recovering drug addict, gets a one-day leave from his rehabilitation center for a job interview. Being on the outside isn't an easy adjustment, and he struggles to deal with old relationships and, of course, the pain of his addiction.
In only his fifth credited film appearance, Anders Danielsen Lie delivers a striking portrayal of a sick man fighting himself, as he depicts Anders' inner turmoil in a subtle, authentic performance. The rest of the cast is solid, but can only support the great work by Lie. Addiction is tough to pull off, and a hard sell for me. Last year, raves poured in for a film about sex addiction, but I actually prefer this understated gem. It doesn't need the explicitly stunning visuals of the aforementioned Shame to make the most of its quiet, depressing moments with its tortured protagonist. Although this film hasn't received as much notice, it is one of 2012's finest offerings.
Oscar Potential: None