Posts Tagged ‘Andrew Sensenig’

Upstream Color – Ah, Sweet Mystery Of Life

Posted 14 Dec 2013 — by Ezra Stead
Category Film Reviews, Most Confusing Films of All time, Movies I Got

By Ezra Stead

Upstream Color, USA, 2013

Written and Directed by Shane Carruth

Upstream Color is an even more complex and challenging film than Shane Carruth's first film, Primer. I will not hesitate to say that I think Shane Carruth is the most exciting new filmmaker of the 21st century. His first film, Primer (2004), is a masterpiece, the most realistic, challenging, and compelling time travel movie ever made. Now, nine years later, he has returned with Upstream Color, an even more complex and challenging film, and certainly a more visually appealing one. Forgoing the impossibly economical 16mm filmmaking of Primer in favor of gorgeous HD, Carruth has created a work of stunning beauty and deep emotional and philosophical resonance. Read More

I Love You Phillip Morris

Posted 06 May 2011 — by Ezra Stead
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Ezra Stead

I Love You Phillip Morris is a unique and hilarious romantic comedy. I Love You Phillip Morris, France / USA, 2009

Written and Directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa

This is one of the best and most unusual romantic comedies I have ever seen. The way it subverts the genre and toys with audience expectations is truly exceptional, which is probably what should be expected from co-directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, the writing team behind the highly unusual and subversive Christmas movie Bad Santa (2003). They followed that with the lazy Bad News Bears remake (2005), which basically retread the same ground in a much less funny and original way, but for that I shall give them a pass, mainly because Santa is so severely excellent (it has replaced Frank Capra’s It’s A Wonderful Life as the traditional Christmas Eve movie in my family).

I Love You Phillip Morris is a film that lives up to the promise shown in that previous work. It begins by assuring us that “This really happened … No, really, it did,” a disclaimer that becomes increasingly necessary as the story unfolds. Jim Carrey plays Steven Russell, whose book I Love You Phillip Morris: A True Story of Life, Love, and Prison Breaks provided the source material for the film, and it is quite possibly the very best performance of his entire career. Carrey, who was always known as an energetic physical comedian but not really seen as a seriously good actor until the late ’90s when he began tackling weightier roles in films like Peter Weir’s The Truman Show (1998) and Milos Forman’s Man on the Moon (1999), dips into his whole repertoire here, employing his trademark grinning facial contortions and manic slapstick while also tugging the heartstrings with a portrayal of surprising emotional depth. This variety of technique is perfectly suited to the character of Steven, a con artist who is never quite what he seems and constantly pulls from a huge bag of manipulative tricks to get what he wants and needs, first because, as he puts it, “Being gay is really expensive,” and later in doing whatever it takes to be with the love of his life. Read More