Posts Tagged ‘Sarah Gadon’

IndignationWith the 2015 Oscar season and show mercifully behind us, now seems an appropriate time to consider the film Indignation, which had its premiere at Sundance in January and then screened in the loaded Panorama section of the Berlinale Film Festival in February. It says here that with the proper handling and a fair bit of luck, Indignation could be next year’s Brooklyn – a “small” film that goes big and ends up with a Best Picture nomination. Both films are set in the United States in the early 1950’s; both have roots in the greater New York City area. But whereas Brooklyn tells the tale of the wonderful things that happen when a young Irish immigrant woman arrives, Indignation is the tragic story of what occurs when an unprepared young Jewish man leaves. (more…)

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5_thumbUntil its last 20 minutes, Dracula Untold is as much a vampire movie as World War Z was a zombie movie. That is to say, not very much at all. The majority of the film plays out as a PG-13 Game of Thrones episode with a nod toward the Lord of the Rings movies. While entertaining enough despite some slow patches and predictable plot points, the horror lite flick, as constructed, calls into question recent press reports that Dracula Untold is one part of a classic Universal monsters reboot with Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, the Mummy, and perhaps even the Creature from the Black Lagoon to follow. The inchoate title – (couldn’t go with Dracula: The Untold Story or maybe even just Dracula?) – does not ring of a franchise launch pad, although it does lead to mirthful speculation about what the sequel will be called: perhaps Dracula Told, with the final chapter of the trilogy coming in as Dracula Told Off. The eccentricities of this production bolsters the notion that Universal was simply being opportunistic in tying this to a potential renaissance of the beloved black-and-white horror icons. However fans and critics view this film as standalone entertainment, Dracula Untold is simply not good enough on its own merits to justify expectations that the studio has a supernatural Avengers on its hands. (more…)

Maps to the StarsMaps to the Stars premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in April of this year, competing for the Palme d’Or as best picture and earning a best actress award for Julianne Moore. The takeaway from that success for the casual filmgoer may be somewhat misleading. Just as many went to see Black Swan after hearing of Natalie Portman’s performance as a troubled ballerina only to be shocked that director Darren Aronofsky had used horror film conventions to tell his story of a dancer descending into a hellish madness, so, too, may some viewers be lured into this movie by incorrect expectations. Maps to the Stars is not a mainstream motion picture. Director David Cronenberg was, is, and always will be, a genre director. That is not intended as an insult or a limitation. Is it a knock on Hitchcock to say he was a director of thrillers? The brilliance of Cronenberg’s filmography is self-evident; his influence on the industry well documented. From the venereal horror productions of They Came From Within and Rabid through the sci-fi mind screws of Videodrome, The Fly, and eXistenZ with stops along the way to look at the outcasts on the fringes of society in Naked Lunch, M.Butterfly, and Crash, Cronenberg has been directing the most demanding, challenging, and prophetic of genre films for almost 40 years.

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