Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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Although sumptuously produced and costumed, Lillie doesn't do its namesake justice. The movie makes it seem as if all Lillie had to do to rise from obscurity to the pinnacle of society was to walk into a room, stare vacuously into the middle distance, and all the men would instantly fall in love with her. Although she was considered a beauty in her time (though her photos fail to show what the fuss was), there was far more to her than that. Mark Twain remarked that she was very smart and well-read --qualities that the movie doesn't show at all, but would have been necessary to keep the interest of wits like Oscar Wilde and bon vivants like the Prince of Wales. After a while, it becomes tedious to watch rich men fall at her feet just because she glanced in their direction; especially since, as she aged, the movie Lillie just became more self-absorbed and self-satisfied.
Thanks to the exuberant and natural performance of Lily James, this movie is saved from the fake and cloying bonhomie of the original. Still, the whole franchise, while fun, seems like an overproduced high school musical.
Pretty men vie for the hand of a pretty woman. But they get tripped up by standard male movie distractions--war, father-loved-you best issues, sibling rivalry, PTSD, illicit booze,guns, knives, magical Indians and a grizzly bear. Testosterone overload! But I did like Bart the bear.
Bill Murray is a tiresome ham of a grouch, and Melisa McCarthy is wasted as a bewildered and overworked mom (who really is the true saint in the story, though she gets no acknowledgment for it). It's billed as a comedy, with two terrific comedic stars, but I found it unfunny--except for the Moose-and-Squirrel accent of Naomi Watts, who gives a shot of much-needed verve to the film as a pregnant Russian prostitute.