IR Interview: Joel Edgerton For “Boy Erased” [Focus]

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IR DVD Review: DESTINATION WEDDING [Regatta/USHE]

The texture of “Destination Wedding” works on the element of taking two stars that are in a later apex of their life who starred together previously in an auteur movie but letting their craft with dialogue here burgeon into an almost twilight version of “Before Sunrise”. Even though it ends mostly with a resolution, the aspect of Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves sparring but with a sense of experience is quite intriguing. Reeves is much more comfortable in his skin and with dialogue than ever before. There is a lyricism to the way he delivers his lineS and Winona Ryder seems comfortable as well and makes one very nostalgic for the years we missed of her acting. She is no longer an ingenue but her sense of life experience is quite palpable. Shot in mostly single shots, the body language plays with such a sense of knowing that despite how black and white the conversations become, there is always a sense of levity. The release of this film in the theaters was low key but its impact is quite inviting much like “Sideways” but without the cultural phenomenon. It is an exercise of two actors who know what they are doing but don’t need to anything more than to let their auras flow. The only trailer on this disc was “Serenity” which is again two actors like McCoughney and Hathaway playing against type for the texture of entertainment.

B+

By Tim Wassberg

IR Film Review: THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB [Sony/Columbia]

The essence of Lisbeth Salander is in her ability to be almost detached from her emotional state. Her effectiveness is based on her coldness. “The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo” operated in this world in an almost uncomfortable way, as is the nature of David Fincher’s approach in many of his films to human behavior. “The Girl In The Spider’s Web” is a much more mainstream approach and, while not as starkly original as the previous entry, is nevertheless very effective in its point. Claire Foy, mostly known recently for her work on “The Crown”, obviously does a 180 pivot but her Salander never feels as lived in as Rooney Mara’s version. She is nonetheless again very specific and effective in the role but in a more mainstream way. The triggers of the script especially in the logistics of certain sequences are quite good. Even though this film was made for a price versus “Dragon Tattoo” including lesser known actors, the script doesn’t betray that. Like the vastly inferior “Snowman”, “Web” does capture Stockholm & Scandinavia quite well. The only idea that has a little bit to move on is the assumption that most of the audience knows some of the story with Mikael Blomquist (played by Daniel Craig in the previous version) which came before.

The focus here is family and a NSA defense mechanism that offers a good amount of power to whoever possesses it. The mechanics of how that is revealed and tested is both sloppy and oddly consistent at the same time. Director Fede Alvarez, who directed the “Evil Dead” remake and “Don’t Breathe” has a steady hand and doesn’t move away from the grotesque but also plays for the most part within the lines which should provide some response from audiences. The stand out simply because she can disappear so well is Sylvia Hoeks who was undeniably luminous in her darkness within “Blade Runner 2049”. Here she plays the sister of Lisbeth: Camilla through which there is undeniable pain and darkness which makes itself known as the story progresses (while also being its framing mechanism). Hoeks will eventually be given her own platform in the next couple years because her character work can be stunning. “The Girl In The Spider’s Web” is effective and offers a more accessible vision into the Lisbeth Salander universe with a paced and detailed story and some good character turns despite some lapses in progression.

B-

By Tim Wassberg