The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
The Walking Dead
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All Critics (22)
| Top Critics (10)
| Fresh (20)
| Rotten (2)
| DVD (1)
Whenever "Guy and Madeline" becomes a musical, it soars.
"Guy and Madeline'' is the work of an artist - Damien Chazelle - you want to know better. It's whimsical and winsome and a touch quaint.
This is a story of few words, a lot of great music and countless emotional shadings.
Guy and Madeline is a decidedly modern film, whose frightened, impulsive, charming characters could walk into our lives tomorrow.
[An] extraordinary black-and-white retro dream of a feature debut...
Evokes a time when every love affair came with its own soundtrack, and every song seemed to be written only for us.
...has more ambition than its talent can possibly live up to.
A tribute befitting Boston, readily comparable to Woody Allen's bittersweet homage to his own beloved Manhattan. Appreciate Damien Chazelle now and avoid the rush!
Chazelle is an exceptionally talented filmmaker. Let's hope the independent film world has enough life left in it to do him justice.
A celebration of cinephilia and music and dance
Chazelle is more interested in having fun with this witty melange than in hammering home a filmic style lesson. So enjoy.
Strongly influenced by Demy's Umbrellas of Cherbourg.
Damien Chazelle's first feature length film isn't an easy one to dissect. Filmed like an early John Cassavetes' movie and told with little to no dialogue at all, Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench is much more so an exploration into how difficult it is to maintain love than it is a musical like Chazelle's latest feature, La La Land. But it's Chazelle's grasp on the ups and down's of relationships that make this yet another interesting directorial effort from him. All 3 of his films to this point have involved Jazz, and all 3 of them have also dealt with characters trying to balance their love life with pursuing their Jazz related dreams. 'Guy and Madeline' isn't as intense as Whiplash nor as viscerally memorable as La La Land, but for a first-time feature, it definitely impresses. An occasional dance number, unique camera movement, and long unedited takes make for quite the viewing experience. Again, there's little dialogue, so I can't say I was as invested in the characters as I should have been, but sometimes scenes are more powerful when less is said (see: the final scene). If anything, this was an interesting watch considering all we know about Chazelle's career up to this point.
Look, I have a soft spot in my heart for any movie made nowadays in black and white. And it helps that "Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench" has a certain retro charm with its keenly styled musical numbers. But those oh so brief interludes cannot make up for the muddled narrative of the break up of Guy(Jason Palmer), a trumpet player, and Madeline(Desiree Garcia), as they go their separate directions. That's not to mention the amateurish camerawork.
Mixing two separate yet compatible elements, Guy and Madeline fuses the cinema verite style of a gritty black and white documentary and the brash tones and rising melodies of an MGM musical, all in one sitting. Though the full impact of said MGM style was lost in the fray of tying the stylings together, the overall effort was astounding. The numbers had an originality that was more Miles Davis than Irving Berlin, which flowed well with the grainy shots of Boston. Threaded into the romantic entanglements of the two main characters was a deep love and appreciation for jazz, fueling the storyline forward by making some of the musical numbers performances that could indeed happen in real life, including a party scene and a jam session. Madeline's two songs on the other hand take place as she walks the streets, and my all-time favorite "When I Kissed the Boy in Park" while closing down a diner she waitresses in. There were some great scenes, including a game of 20 Questions between Elena and a strange old man, and Guy trying to track down Madeline. Altogether, it was confusing when addressing the dying relationships that lead to a reunion of the musicians, but the cute factor kept me watching.
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