A middle-aged husband’s life changes dramatically when his wife asks him for a divorce. He seeks to rediscover his manhood with the help of a new found friend, Jacob, learning to pick up girls at bars.
Director: Glen Ficarra
Writer[s]: John Requa, Dan Fogelman
Starring: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, Analeigh Tipton, Jonah Bobo, Marisa Tomei, Liza Lapira, John Carrol Lynch, Kevin Bacon, Josh Groban
Typecasting and formulaic film scripts are the most common occurrences in Hollywood. How many times have we seen: the female make-over story? love stories with straight-forward, one-sided occurrences, outcomes, and themes? Steve Carell play a 40-something sad-sack? Ryan Gosling as just a pretty face? The short answer: a ton of times. Another Hollywood production that features most all of those is Crazy, Stupid, Love. But it also features more. A lot more. It takes these commonalities, ideas, themes, and typecasts, and shatters them as the film develops into a new, refreshing take on many different fronts. And that is why it is one of my favorite movies ever, for its laughs, its themes, its style, its writing, and because after six or more viewings so far, I have not come close to tiring of it.
Continue reading “Crazy, Stupid, Love.”
A 20-something supervising staff member of a residential treatment facility navigates the troubled waters of that world alongside her co-worker and longtime boyfriend.
Director: Destin Cretton
Writer[s]: Destin Cretton
Starring: Brie Larson, John Gallagher Jr., Rami Malek
Short Term 12 is a reincarnation of a short from writer/director Destin Cretton, and it was the film of SXSW 2013 festival, winning both the Grand Jury Narrative Feature Award and the Narrative Audience Award. The film has received loads of award nominations from the indie film industry and is currently sitting at 100% on RottenTomates from the top critics, and now it’s finally available for home viewing.
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Rachel is a quick-witted and lovable stay-at-home mom. Frustrated with the realities of preschool auctions, a lackluster sex life and career that’s gone kaput, Rachel visits a strip club to spice up her marriage and meets McKenna, a stripper she adopts as her live-in nanny.
Director: Jill Soloway
Writer[s]: Jill Soloway
Starring: Kathryn Hahn, Juno Temple, Josh Radnor, Jessica St. Clair, Jane Lynch
Afternoon Delight was the first film I heard about from Sundance 2013. I follow Josh Radnor on the social medias, and I saw that he was doing this movie, and the trailer caught my eye and attention. It never really got a big release, so it has taken me a year to finally see it, but I’ve never seen Kathryn Hahn in a leading role, and she’s always friggen hilarious, so the wait was worth it.
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A week in the life of a young singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961.
Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Writer[s]: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Starring: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Justin Timberlake, Adam Driver, Garrett Hedlund
Folk music has never really been my thing, but it has been growing on me the past several months, just in time to see this pseudo-musical following a folk singer in 1961 New York. In fact, the first time I really every enjoyed the genre was from some music in the Coen brothers’ past film O Brother, Where Art Thou? when I was just 10 years old. That is an all-time great film, by the way, which is why I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Inside Llewyn Davis.
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A lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with his newly purchased operating system that’s designed to meet his every need.
Director: Spike Jonze
Writer[s]: Spike Jonze
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Pratt, Rooney Mara, Kristen Wiig, Olivia Wilde
The original synopsis for Her when it was in pre-production was something along the line of: “A man falls in love with his phone operating system”. Okay, so, a guy falls in love with Siri, and the story is being written by the director of Being John Malkovich and Adapation., so it’s gonna be some weird, mind bending experience. I was honestly excited to see it, but when trailers started coming out and full plot summaries were revealed, it turns out that this is a more serious, in-depth, true, loving story than I ever imagined. It’s a love story of our near future; a prediction of what is just around the corner.
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In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery.
Director: Steve McQueen
Writer[s]: John Ridley [screenplay], Solomon Northup [original work]
Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’o, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Brad Pitt, Michael K. Williams, Paul Giamatti
Steve McQueen is a director of unparalleled ability. 12 Years a Slave and 2011’s Shame are two dramas that literally couldn’t be any better. His ability, vision, and artistry was clearly no fluke in Shame, for he has even surpassed that film with this one that tackles our world’s worst ever crime: slavery.
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A grown man caught in the crossfire of his parents 15-year divorce discovers he was unknowingly part of a study on divorced children and is enlisted in a follow-up years later, which wreaks new havoc on his family.
Director: Stu Zicherman
Writer[s]: Ben Karlin, Stu Zicherman
Starring: Adam Scott, Richard Jenkins, Catherine O’Hara, Jane Lynch, Amy Poehler, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clark Duke, Jessica Alba
A.C.O.D., or Adult Child of Divorce, is a semi-autobiographical film from Stu Zicherman, who has worked on several shows, but overall is a newcomer to the film scene. He too is an A.C.O.D., and he helped salvage his parents relationship with his brother’s wedding. Ben Karlin, a writer on The Daily Show and Modern Family, helped write the script along with Zicherman. The story follows Carter [Adam Scott], an A.C.O.D., who seems to have his life together: he owns a restaurant, he has a girlfriend of four years, he dresses sharp, etc. But when his parents, who haven’t spoken in years, get back together, it is clear how big of an effect of his parents divorce still has on him and his ideals and motives.
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