Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (18)
| Top Critics (9)
| Fresh (9)
| Rotten (9)
For much of the early going it's the burdened physicality that Keener brings to the role that tells us everything we need to know.
Jackson's spare, quietly powerful sophomore feature demonstrates an impressive control of mood and tone and the ability to tell a story largely without words.
There's minimalist filmmaking that's quietly intriguing, and then there's emotional detachment that's stultifying to the point of being nap-inducing. War Story falls into the latter category.
In Keener's hands, the collapse feels urgent but not unhinged, and Lee's trajectory from steely and determined to openly distraught lends an otherwise meandering film a strong core.
Catherine Keener rarely gets the chance to grab the spotlight all for herself. That makes this turgid drama especially disappointing.
So often does Catherine Keener play snappish or smart-mouthed characters that it's startling to see her behaving so tired and ragged throughout much of War Story.
War Story provides a refreshingly specific, restrained story of loss and recovery in the boundaries of battle.
Indie dramas don't get much more oppressively dreary than War Story, a film every bit as distinctive and exciting as its generic title suggests.
Infuriatingly slow, enervating and basically empty contemplation of war's impact, and a waste of the formidable talent of a gallant Catherine Keener.
Mark Jackson's direction strips much of the agency from any character's grasp by insisting that their dilemmas can only be revealed with stone-faced austerity.
Exemplary actress Keener, through no fault of her own, is stuck in this sulky melodrama as a photographer scarred in war torn Libya. As for that conflict, forget about it. This could just as well be about deep depression brought on by a bad hair day.
Mark Jackson's War Story functions as a languid visual essay that passively contemplates Lee's warped psychological state, while avoiding any exposition of the events that triggered her present state of mind.
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