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I've always liked Steve Coogan as an actor and this movie is no exception. It's an interesting and touchinghing film about family and family problems from one generation to another and I liked it--the critics can go hang!
Predictable and mediocre, Hot Air is too simplistic for both the topics it tackles; dysfunctional family and political satire.
Good in parts not one of Coogan's Best
The parallels in Hot Air to our current administration are striking and painfully clear, making this a bold and courageous film. Surely there are plenty of people on the conservative right who will see their reflection in Steve Coogan's character. The filmmakers knew this but were steadfast in making their proclamation to the world about their beliefs. In my mind that is entirely commendable and demonstrates integrity to the highest degree.
At one point Neve's character says, "They just want to see you burn the house down." That's exactly what I felt when Trump was elected. He's not the only bad apple in Washington, there are tons more and I secretly hoped that he'd bring the entire regime--that which we call the Corporatocracy--down with him so we can start over from the beginning and build something that's actually sustainable. Imo, Trump and every President in recent memory before him only served to uphold the antiquated systems that continue to divide the country. Trump is a morally bankrupt figurehead--that much is obvious. But his antics are a mere distraction from the real problem of the ever-burgeoning health and income inequality. And everyone seems to take the bait every time he feeds it to the media.
That said, I somehow wish Hot Air came out two years ago while the talk of impeachment was strong. I believe it would have been even more polarizing then, which would've been a great thing for America, imho. Sad to say but I feel like America (or maybe just NYC where I live) has checked out of politics. Or maybe I live in a bubble in my wellness community. No one I know ever talks about anything remotely related to politics anymore unless it's about Andrew Yang, UBI, and automation. That seems to be the stuff that's on the forefront of intellectuals these days.
But overall, I thought the pacing was great and the soundtrack was fun! The cast did really well in their roles. Neve looks as great as ever and I loved the chemistry between her and Russie. I'm sure Russie will go on to do great things! I'm not sure if I ever felt anything positive for Steve's character, but the Asian guy was hilarious!
Watch this film!
Coogan is amazing as an outrageous and bigoted republican radio host (very different to Alan partridge!). There are many laugh out loud moments but what I didn't expect are the heartfelt moments between him and his estranged niece... Highly recommend this!
Coogan's performance of Lionel was right on the money, coming from a family that has political divide and deep conservative views, its not uncommon that the disagreements end up in painful outcomes. Hot Air got this right the complexity with the ones you love can cause absolute chaos. The movie is very relevant to today's political climate. The characters are diverse and interesting. Each scene keeps you wanting more. No matter your views, it will move you.
Are personal issues ever behind passionately-held political beliefs? Are they ever not? This movie dares to explore the question, and finds its hard-won way through the minefield between topical and heartfelt. Thought-provoking and moving.
Exactly what the world needs to hear! Great movie!
With cookie-cutter characters that stumble and trip their way through a cliched plot (tell me if you've heard this one: Smart and spunky teenager shows up on the doorstep of a stuffy conservative family member and makes them look inward for a better way to be), "Hot Air" is not insightful nor is it even that timely.
The characters are not relatable to the point of being reprehensible and feel like they lurch their way along like emotional Frankenstein's monsters in difficult or impossible to believe directions with little tangible and no believable character development. The only character that seems to derive any relatability is the teenage niece, Tess, but even she doesn't demonstrate much depth and can be very irritating. Steve Coogan's long-winded speech near the end seems to come out of nowhere with less provocation than he would have clearly had in the past.
Overall, you'll probably feel the same way if you just walk repeatedly into a closed door for a little while futily hoping to get to the other side, and you won't waste a 100 minutes doing it.
Fantastic film! Touching story. Humanized todays crazy world of politics. Great acting especially by the young female character Tess (Taylor Russell) and Steve Coogan. A real tear jerker.