Check out my thoughts on each new film after the cut.
Seven Psychopaths (2012)
|Rockwell (right) is best in show.|
Directed by Martin McDonagh
Produced by Graham Broadbent, Peter Czernin, and Martin McDonagh
Written by Martin McDonagh
Starring Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Christopher Walken, Tom Waits, Abbie Cornish, and Olga Kurylenko
Martin (Farrell) is writing a screenplay entitled Seven Psychopaths. With his friend Billy (Rockwell) along for the ride, he meets a series of psychopaths, including a gangster (Harrelson) who loves his dog, a man (Waits) with a bunny, and Billy's fellow dog "borrower" (Walken), en route to finishing his screenplay.
If you've seen In Bruges, McDonagh's humor and writing style will be instantly recognizable in this film. That style also works here, yet it seems a bit too tongue-in-cheek this time around. Of course, the film is funny, and the cast does well with the material. But no one, apart from Rockwell, really stands out. Though McDonagh's twisted sense of humor is still there, it doesn't have as much bite and irreverence that made his previous film so much fun. It's enjoyable, but its uniqueness appears too blatant at times.
Oscar Potential: Best Original Screenplay
Nobody Walks (2012)
|Thirlby is a great reason to see this film.|
Directed by Ry Russo-Young
Produced by Jonathan Schwartz, Andrea Sperling, and Alicia Van Couvering
Written by Lena Dunham and Ry Russo-Young
Starring John Krasinski, Olivia Thirlby, Rosemarie Dewitt, India Ennenga, Dylan McDermott, and Justin Kirk
New Yorker Martine (Thirlby) visits Los Angeles to work on the sound of her new short art film with Peter (Krasinski). Staying with Peter and his family causes a number of problems, and the family is forever changed from her brief stay.
Trailers make some good films look great, and this is how I felt about this one. Essentially, the film is a small-scale success with very little to bring you back to it a second time. Though this indie is slightly disappointing, the cast is very good. Thirlby, Krasinski, and Dewitt give solid performances. And the cinematography and sound design are also worth mentioning. It's a rather lightweight film, but it's still a worth a look.
Oscar Potential: None
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)
|Lerman gives one of the year's best performances.|
Directed by Stephen Chbosky
Produced by Lianne Halfon, Russell Smith, and John Malkovich
Written by Stephen Chbosky (screenplay/book)
Starring Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miler, Mae Whitman, Kate Walsh, Dylan McDermott, Joan Cusack, and Paul Rudd
Charlie (Lerman) is a troubled high school freshman without any friends. Fortunately, he meets seniors Patrick (Miller) and Sam (Watson), who open his world to great music and a wonderful new life with strong friendships.
When films like these succeed, they usually have great writing, performances, and a little something extra. Surprisingly, this film is an example of that. Lerman delivers one of the year's best leading performances, and Miller and Watson also turn in good work. If the film belongs to anyone, though, it's Logan Lerman. In addition to its fine screenplay, the film features great music and beautiful cinematography. For me, it's an excellent coming-of-age film that will, unfortunately, receive little awards play, like 2009's Adventureland.
Oscar Potential: None