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Jennifer Lawrence delivers an outstanding, oscar-worthy performance. The film is more of a drama than a comedy. I will say, I felt Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper's roles were forgettable, but not Lawrence's. A funny, heartfelt, and daring film.
Writer and director, Kenneth Lonergan brings a struggled film to be extremely devastating, yet vivid. It stars Anna Paquin (as Lisa Cohen), J. Smith-Cameron (as Joan Cohen), Jean Reno (as Ramon), Jeannie Berlin (as Emily), Allison Janney (as Monica Patterson), Matthew Broderick (as John), Mark Ruffalo (as Maretti), and Matt Damon (as Mr. Aaron). In Lonergan's second film for directing and seventh film for writing, he planned to have "Margaret" released in 2007. That goal was not complete because Lonergan spent an extra four years fighting with Fox Searchlight Pictures since the film had a short-cut and a long-cut and that resulted in several lawsuits.
The film is about a girl named Lisa Cohen, she is a seventeen-year-old high school student that feels she played a role in a bus accident. The bus driver is Maretti, and the lady that was hit is Monica Patterson. This accident leaves Lisa to be in horrid frustration; she emotionally argues with her mother Joan and Joan's boyfriend, Ramon; she tries to impress her two teachers John and Mr. Aaron; and above all she is hard on herself. When a lady named Emily helps to try and solver her case, it leads Lisa with a basic truth: that her youthful ideas are on a collision course against the realities and compromises of the adult world.
"Margaret" is not a feel-good movie, but it is one of the most important films around. In today's society, depressing events happen all the time and sometimes people do not admit that they are responsible for something horrible. Paquin's acting and characterization of this dramatic accident makes me feel that telling the truth is always the right choice.
With numerous production conflicts, Lonergan did not give up with "Margaret." Lonergan delivered a one hundred and fifty minute version, but the original one he wanted was close to three hours. Director Martin Scorsese and Editor Thelma Schoonmaker were chose to put the film in order. Their task was not finished, since the funds ran out. What was good though, was that Fox Searchlight released the one hundred and fifty minute draft (limited). The film began to receive many positive reviews and made Top 10 Films of the Year lists.
"Margaret" will make you cry. I cried watching both versions, which were the theatrical and extended cut. I can even remember the sad moments and can think to myself how the emotions of Lisa compares to others that struggles with emotions. Will Lisa ever be relieved? Will the teachers forgive Lisa for her bizarre behavior? Or why was this this film not a landmark masterpiece? And why did I not see it on the big screen? The questions will be waiting for anyone who has not seen "Margaret." Three stars.
Note: No one is named "Margaret," it is a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins and is mentioned at some point in the film.
With "Ruby Sparks" it is common for someone like Paul Dano to play the writer, and the character that is desperately seeking the girl of his dreams. To have this happen, Dano always goes into being dorky to the fullest. I can see why he has perfect chemistry with the girl he is in love with. That is because in real-life they live together.
Dano plays Calvin Weir-Fields: a novelist that has many encounters with writer's block. The cause of his writer's block is because he is desperate to find romance. In his story, he creates a girl and she is "Ruby Sparks" (Zoe Kazan). For Calvin, things look up. All of a sudden, a cute girl is in his home and is exactly how Calvin wrote about her. Her hair, her clothes, her personality, you name it.
For Calvin, this miracle is beneficial. At times when Ruby is not meeting his expectations, but he can change that in a heartbeat. All Calvin has to do is simply type words on his typewriter, and Ruby's actions will change immediately.
This film is a joy to watch. I enjoy writing and being creative where I can captivate my readers. Its creativity with characters can be quirky, but it is also light-hearted, and makes you wonder how you can create someone for a story.
Director Jonathan Dayton: who directed one of my favorite films "Little Miss Sunshine" (which was a film that Dano also starred in when he was not really famous yet) worked with Kazan on the script. Kazan wrote the screenplay and gave it to Dayton. Kazan's talent of this script comes from the people in her family that have talent in film. Her grandfather Elia Kazan directed "On the Waterfront" (1954), her mother Robin Swiscord wrote the screenplay for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), and her father Nicholas Kazan wrote the screenplay for "Reveals of Fortune" (1990). With her background in writing, Kazan brings us a film that has perfect characterization.
Does Calvin leave happily ever after with Ruby? Does Ruby realize she is just a creation? Best for viewers to find out with "Ruby Sparks." It has many moments that are climatic when Calvin is use to being in control and it is captivating, given that nothing like this kind of relationship cannot happen in real-life. The question of Ruby's turnout or attitude leaves me to ask myself this...is it worth to be in control of her?
The only funny moment in "Tammy" is the scene I saw in the commercials for it numerous times. "Tammy," who is loud and uninviting, robs a fast food joint asking for money and pies. I know that scene very well, where I could have passed on seeing it in the cinema. This was the only moment where I was expecting to laugh. Melissa McCarthy is satirical. As soon as robbing a fast food joint comes into the picture, I realized this film is literally a repeat of "The Heat."
In the beginning, "Tammy" loses her job (at the fast food joint she ends up robbing). More drama hits her as she finds out her husband has been cheating on her. "Tammy" has very little money but decides to drive to Niagara Falls with her alcoholic grandmother Pearl (Susan Sarandon). But Pearl gets arrested for her use of alcohol with teenagers.
With Pearl in jail, "Tammy" decides to rob a fast food joint (an easy choice on her part, given that she was previously employed there). Pearl is not going to quit her lewd behavior. And director Ben Falcome (Writer of "The Looney Tunes Show") makes a comedy that has a hysterical setup, but is just pure boredom.
There is only one reason why this "Tammy" earns some attention: because it stars Melissa McCarthy that delivered a knockout performance in "Bridesmaids." That film was a comedic genius, and grossed $32,500,000 (estimated). With "Tammy" having McCarthy as the lead, it is obvious what her viewers expect. You know her characters right from the moment you realize she is starring in a new film.
"Finding Vivian Maier" Review:
Vivian Maier was a nanny that had 100,000 photographs that caused her to receive dramatic reputations as a talented street photographer.
Writer and director, John Maloof looks through Maier's images and makes a long discovery of them. He goes through the huge quantity of negatives, and he elaborates on how Maier's quality of pictures impressed him. Maloof believes that Maier's photos' was his motivation to setup a dark room and do many hours of shooting. In the process, he picks 100 images, puts them online, and hoped that the feedback would confirm his judgment as to the strengths of the images.
This film was done well, but at times, it was going back and forth too much. Due to Maloof's discovery, he does countless interviews. Various facts and information regarding Maloof and Maier are mentioned. That makes it difficult for viewers to understand what the focus of the film is. Vivian Maier was brilliant, unless you want to know more about Maloof's talent. Maloof does a tremendous job at shooting images of his life and work in photography, however it takes away the focus of Maier. "Finding Vivian Maier" is a film with an unorthodox discovery, based on its lack of attention on the main subject.