Assorted mini film reviews
Here are some films that I've seen recently that I haven't had time to post a review on. Not because they're bad films but my lack of time.
The Square - C+
Rated R, 142 minutes
"The Square" is a Swedish film from "Force Majeure's" Ruben Ostlund that satirizes art and the people who make the art. It stars Claes Bang, Emmy-winner Elisabeth Moss, Dominic West and Terry Notary. Absurd, bizarre and at times, strangely compelling, it's a watchable piece if you're really, really into art. A curiosity piece for sure, at nearly 2 1/2 hours, it may be a bit much for some.
Jane - B
Unrated, 90 minutes
"Jane" is an absorbing documentary on legendary anthropologist Jane Goodall, who studied chimpanzees in Tanzania in the '60s and '70s. Compiled from hours of hours of archival footage on Goodall, it's a fascinating look at Goodall's remarkable work, made even more interesting given she was largely untrained before she went in. This comes recommended, and it's starting to appear on short lists for many awards, so you might more about it in the near future.
Dina - B
Unrated, 103 minutes
"Dina" is another compelling documentary that's getting some awards consideration. It tells the story of Dina Buno, an eccentric autistic woman, and her relationship and marriage to Scott Levin, an autistic Wal Mart greeter with little experience with women. This is a different, real kind of romantic comedy that's funny, touching and heartwarming. Dina's ongoing fascination with celebrities (namely the Kardashian's), is one of the treats about this charming doc.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer - B
Rated R, 121 minutes
The thriller "The Killing of a Sacred Deer" is one of the most bizarre yet original films of the year, directed and written by Yorgos Lanthimos, who directed and wrote one of 2016's most intriguing films, the very dark comedy "The Lobster." This is a highly unconventional yet well-acted revenge tale, as a creepy teen (Barry Keoghan of "Dunkirk") who avenges his father's death on the doctor ("The Lobster's" Colin Farrell), his wife (Oscar-winner Nicole Kidman) and his family. Slow-moving, strange and strangely watchable, there are some genuinely haunting moments in Lanthimos' film.
Loving Vincent - B
Rated PG-13, 95 minutes
The lovely but downbeat "Loving Vincent" is also one of the year's most unique films, as it is the first fully painted animated film, and it tells the story of legendary artist Vincent Van Gogh. The film has 65,000 frames and each frame was fully painted by a team of 115 different painters. That in and of itself makes it an intriguing viewing, given that Van Gogh's life was a rather depressing one. British actor Douglas Booth is a compelling Van Gogh, and it also features Helen McCrory, Saiorse Ronan and Chris O'Dowd. Definitely worth a look and on many short lists for animated film awards.
Wonderstruck - B-
Rated PG, 120 minutes
The slow-moving but poignant new drama "Wonderstruck" is from "Carol" director and writer Todd Haynes, based on Brian Selznick's (who also pens the screenplay here) book of the same name. The film interlaces two stories, 50 years apart, as it follows the stories of two children, Rose (Millicent Simmonds) and Ben ("Person of Interest's" Oakes Fegley), who we eventually find out are connected in a special way. Also starring Oscar-winner Julianne Moore and Oscar-nominee Michelle Williams in supporting roles, it's peppered with some sweet moments as it deals with the love, loss and imagination we all face as children. Haynes' story has some slower, uneven patches, but the ending is satisfying and Simmonds and Fegley are both excellent.