Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (31)
| Top Critics (14)
| Fresh (26)
| Rotten (5)
| DVD (1)
There is muscle and volume in the performances; but had Demme hung back, and kept things cooler and quieter, the mastery of what Ibsen built, and the agon of his extraordinary hero, would have cast a more looming shadow.
For a movie that lasts longer than two hours and is made up solely of talking, it's impressive that the story never seems to drag.
Though the film makes little effort to open up the play, letting it all unfold, as in the original, within Solness's house - if not his mind - Demme's version intensifies the drama into something oneiric.
Surprisingly engaging ...
A film that plays not as a theatrical antique, but as a crackling, profound entry in The Twilight Zone.
Shawn veers away from his usual nebbishy persona here and skillfully suggests a master manipulator and shrewdly controlling womanizer driven by insecurities and guilt.
Hagerty and Joyce are revelations; the beating hearts of the film.
[Jonathan] Demme sadly recognizes that the creative urge can't be extricated from sexual urges. Yet in the end, the performances are stronger than the film that contains them, as if art cannot come to grips with this conundrum.
If A Master Builder marks the weakest of the three Shawn-Gregory cinematic collaborations, the elegiac tone makes it a fitting conclusion.
even if it doesn't always work perfectly, it is never anything less than engrossing and perplexing, usually in equal measure
Gregory (credited as having 'created for the stage' this version), Shawn (the translator/adaptor), and Demme (the director) nobly pursue their solid, usually convincing, but rarely exceptional concept for a manifestly challenging symbolist play. [Blu-ray]
Demme doesn't add many visual flourishes, outside of his generous use of close-ups, but rather allows Ibsen's sharp-tongued dialogue to take center stage in a film that rewards patience.
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