The Good Place
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A very good, B-thriller. It makes perfect use of its small budget. I loved the shadows and the little details the film makes good use of. I also loved the realistic setting of a poor, rundown apartment building. The last 15 minutes are the most thrilling moments in the film. The performance by Bobby Driscoll is quite memorable. He does a great job playing his restless, curious character. Overall, the film is a good companion piece with Hitchcock's REAR WINDOW.
I was left unimpressed for the most part. I felt like instead of just telling a simple story of a family the film was more concerned with proving that lesbians can raise kids when no proof needs to be given. Keeping it natural would have worked better. Some scenes were pretty lame and corny - again they seemed forced. I also didn't like how Mark Ruffalo's character was not better written or given a chance to flesh out more. He comes in the film and goes...just felt like it was pointless bringing him into the film in the first place. The film could have gone in better directions than it did. The whole cheating part was just so predictable and boring. The film does have some strong points. It's enjoyable. It never really dragged. The actors had great chemistry. The chemistry between Julianne Moore and Annette Bening was especially good. Overall, I think its worth watching for you are looking for an entertaining, family drama but don't expect anything like the director's previous films.
You can see the influence of films like LE SAMOURAI but DRIVE still comes off as fresh and exciting. It starts off mellow and slow but it soon goes in a different direction. Theres constant tension seething underneath. The violence is unsettling and shocking. The story is pretty standard but DRIVE works because all the elements come together well. The action sequences are excellent. Ryan Gosling gives a wonderful performance. You can never figure out his character - why he does what he does but you can sense what hes feeling at any given moment. I felt like the film was missing something that would gave elevated it to a greater level. Maybe a more complex narrative structure but as it stands DRIVE is a good watch.
WENDY AND LUCY is a somber film about a woman and her dog. We don't really know much about this woman but we soon realize she has been through a lot. Perhaps a victim of the failing economy? A bad marriage? Whatever the reason she decides to take a tough journey to Alaska but after stopping in a small town she encounters a few problems. I guess this is the kindof film where 'nothing' happens but I found the film to be very engaging. I felt like my own struggles were being put for me on screen, like the director was holding up a mirror to my face and the rest of the country. I guess if you can't relate to Wendy's plight - and if you are a pet owner you can atleast relate to her love for her dog. The film works because it takes place in a real American town deals with real issues and our character gets caught realistic situations. The lonliness. The desperation. Everything is painfully real. I admit I haven't seen much of Michelle Williams aside from her work in Brokeback Mountain. She has surely won me over with her performance in this film. She basically had to carry the whole film. I also think Reichardt is a director to watch out for. I liked her OLD JOY as well. Can't wait to see more from her.