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This is a completely atypical coming of age story, since the protagonist is violently and swiftly forced out of her childhood. Saskia Rosendahl gives a compelling debut performance as Lore, as she constantly confronted with things she learned as a child being challenged and we see her start making her own opinions and decisions. The movie overall is simple, sparse. We only see what we need to. There is no exposition or filler, we just see their journey. As with most movies of this nature, it does drag a little bit, especially in the middle, but this is still a really interesting character study, as well as a look at a side of history we don't normally see.
Here's the thing. The plot is formulaic and predictable. It gets sickeningly sweet and sentimental. But. This is still an adorable movie nonetheless. I think the acting really elevates the slightly better than average script. Vanessa Redgrave and Terrence Stamp are wonderful, their scenes together are great. Gemma Arterton and Christopher Eccleston also are great as the choir director and the couple's son, respectively. Honestly, the movie in general is nothing to write home about, but it's great for a Netflix night in.
So the thing that's weird for me while I was watching this was that I essentially knew the entire plot already because I watch Agents of SHIELD. I won't ruin it for anyone that doesn't know what happens, but it was like watching backstory. Nevertheless, this movie is awesome. The banter is fun, the fights and special effects are badass, and its always fun to have the Marvel gang back together. What I particularly liked about this one was that it takes a bit more of a political take instead of just the action/adventure. Don't worry, things blowing up is still all over this, but there is a whole other layer, which is really nice. Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Hayley Atwell, and Sebastian Stan are always on it. No complaints about the returning cast. Also, Anthony Mackie and Emily VanCamp are great additions. Basically, this just gets me more amped for the next Avengers movie. Can't wait.
I'm a little bit familiar with the book, and was wondering how it could be adapted into a movie, considering it's more of a narrative than a plot. But this worked. Utilizing flashbacks and even just flashes that come off as stream-of-consciousness musings, paired with her walking the trail, this whole movie is interesting and engaging from start to finish. Reese Witherspoon is fantastic, definitely a new level for her in terms of her performance. Laura Dern is also wonderful (and heartbreaking) as her mother. This movie comes off as more of a journey than a biopic. We don't know every detail of what led Cheryl to the trail, and we didn't need to know everything. We just know the important things, and at the end, when she steps onto the bridge, we feel as if we've gone on that journey with her.
I'm kind of on the fence on this one. In terms of plot, this wasn't exactly anything revolutionary. The acting does elevate it a little bit, but the characters are also nothing new. Robert Downey Jr. is quite good, but at the beginning, he's basically lawyer Tony Stark. His character does develop nicely though as the movie goes on. Robert Duvall also does a nice job, but to be totally honest, I don't quite know if it was Oscar worthy. He plays a stubborn old man. The script only gives him a few places for vulnerability, which I would have needed more of. The first half hour is really slow, but starts to pick up and become more interesting as it goes on. Overall, this isn't bad and by the end, you see what they were going for, it just takes a really long time to get there.