It is rare to see two different actors win an Oscar for playing the same role. I can only think of one—Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro as Vito Corleone in The Godfather and The Godfather II. John Wayne and Jeff Bridges were both nominated for playing Rooster Cogburn in two different True Grit adaptations, but only Wayne won.
This year, we could very well see a repeat character in Joker, which is somewhat surprising given the blockbuster films Joaquin Phoenix and Heath Ledger were a part of are not the usual suspects for the Academy Awards.
Todd Philips Joker is going to be controversial and divisive (in many ways, it already is). This is to say, it will be needlessly controversial and divisive. This is not to say that Philips is not aiming for provocation, or that those worried about the film’s content are in the wrong for it. But this is also to say that, in the end, Joker is nothing more than a hollow experience meant to be edgy without any true substance. Which is not to say that Philips and co-writer Scott Silver do not attempt at a statement on something beyond the film. It is just that the thin political subtext is almost laughably myopic.
And that is the only laughable thing about the film. This “origin story” of the DC Comics villain has the most Continue reading Joker (2019) Movie Review
Gus Van Sant is a bold filmmaker. Hyper-restrained, brutal meditation on teenage violence in Elephant. Shakespearean adaptation populated by post-beatnik prostitutes and street rats in My Own Private Idaho. Prescient commentary on a dangerous media landscape in To Die For. Ill-advised and ultimately disastrous remake of a classic in Psycho. Even when they don’t work as intended, his films offer something unique and often refreshing.
Following what is arguably his biggest achievement in Milk, Van Sant fell into a slump with the flat, uninteresting Promised Land and the critically-panned, audience-ignored The Sea of Trees. Now he’s back with a return-to-form film, for better and worse.
Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot is a biopic of the late cartoonist John Callahan (Joaquin Phoenix). It focuses predominantly on his life-long struggle with Continue reading Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot (2018) Movie Review
Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here doesn’t concern itself with much plot. It doesn’t concern itself with much of anything in regards to narrative, as a matter of fact.
What it does concern itself with is Joe (Joaquin Phoenix), a hired hitman who is tasked with recovering the kidnapped daughter (Ekaterina Samsonov) of a New York Senator (Alex Manette). Mainly, it is concerned with Joe’s means of coping with his present job and his rocky past.
We first see Joe through a mask of plastic. The material slowly crinkles inward and then
Continue reading You Were Never Really Here (2018) Movie Review
Inherent Vice is the latest from writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson, based on the 2009 novel of the same name by Thomas Pynchon. Pynchon’s work is often characterized by its density and difficulty. As such, some said Vice could not be successfully adapted for the screen.
Continue reading Inherent Vice (2014) Movie Review
One man. Millions of movies.