Posts Tagged ‘comedy-drama film’

Six Months On A Regimen Of Woman Filmmakers – Out The Gate With Diablo Cody

Posted 20 Jun 2012 — by contributor
Category Essay, Film Reviews, Member Movie Reviews, Movies I Didn't Get, Movies I Got

By Alice Shindelar

Diablo Cody has come a long way since Juno, her 2007 debut about a pregnant teenager who decides to give her child up for adoption. About a month ago, I made the dramatic decision to limit my film and television consumption to only women writers and directors. This isn’t out of distaste for male directors and writers. I love movies of all kinds, for countless reasons. I would never allow my opinion of a film or TV series to be influenced by the gender of the creative force behind it. That said, women writers and directors are few and far between. Their struggle for recognition in the industry and the funds to make their films is well-known (although, not well-known enough). Still, even the most ingenious amongst them tends to fade into the background before they’ve weathered a full career.

As an aspiring writer-director myself, I’ve always kept my ear closely trained on the life events that lead people in this field to success, or even just a career that pays the bills. I look for myself in their stories. I imagine how my flat feet could follow their huge strides. Or, at least, I try. It’s next to impossible to picture myself following in the footsteps of any Kubrick, or Coppola, or Scorsese. My inability to grow facial hair puts a stop to that. So I watch for the women, and this project is an attempt to do that more acutely. Read More

The Rum Diary – A Victim Of Diminished Returns

Posted 07 Nov 2011 — by Ezra Stead
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Didn't Get, Movies I Got

By Ezra Stead

The Rum Diary, USA, 2011

Written and Directed by Bruce Robinson

Based on the Novel The Rum Diary by Hunter S. Thompson

The Rum Diary i an underwhelming Thompon adaptation that may prove better over time. To begin with, let me just say that this is a rather difficult review to write. I don’t think I saw this film under ideal circumstances. There was something missing, you see – I had not a drop of alcohol in my system. This was not accidental; with the exception of midnight movies I’ve seen many times before, I generally hate to be drunk in a movie theater, in large part due to the uncomfortable necessities of an overly full bladder. I hate to miss a moment of a film I’ve never seen due to such petty inconveniences. However, in the case of Bruce Robinson’s adaptation of the great Hunter S. Thompson’s “long lost novel” The Rum Diary (written in the early 1960s but not published until 1998), I think bringing in a flask would have been appropriate. Not to get drunk, mind you, but just a nip now and then, to take the edge off. Read More

Julie & Julia

Posted 28 Jun 2011 — by contributor
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Scott Martin

Julie & Julia, USA, 2009 Julie and Julia isn't just a film about cooking.

Written and Directed by Nora Ephron

Based on the Books Julie & Julia by Julie Powell and My Life in France by Julia Child and Alex Prud’homme

Julie and Julia isn’t just a film about cooking. No, it’s much more than that. It’s a film about finishing whatever it is that you start, setting goals for yourself, and achieving those goals despite whatever it is that you may consider odds. Julia Child (Meryl Streep) worked as a government clerk before she discovered her flare and passion for cooking, and Julie Powell (Amy Adams) did the same. The similarities between the two leads are fascinating, so much so that you would almost expect Julie’s last name to start with a “C,” but, thankfully, real life isn’t so cliche. The actresses in the two lead roles each bring their signature styles to the forefront and flip them upside down to bring us not only two of the best performances of the year, but two of the best performances of their careers. Adams, who is generally extremely chipper and very upbeat, plays an utter bitch who becomes so involved in herself that she refuses to see how her actions raze the world around her, and Streep’s approach, while technically similar to her other lauded performances in that she adopts an accent and an obvious demeanor, is strikingly different. She doesn’t attempt to tone down the cartoonish nature of the larger-than-life Julia Child; rather, she celebrates the icon and gives new breath to someone who should be more prevalent in the public eye.

Julie Powell is a writer and a cubicle worker, who suffers from an all-too-human ailment: she doesn’t have it in her to finish what she starts; and Julia Child seems, early on, to have trouble finding something, anything at all, to start. Eventually, through a series of small failures, Julie decides to cook her way through Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking in one year. 365 days, 536 recipes. Can she do it? Only time (and an Internet connection, mixed with the curiosity of the user) can tell. Read More