Admin
Wednesday, 09 January 2019 13:51

Royal rumble – ‘Mary Queen of Scots’

There are few things that grab the attention of film award voters quite like royalty. They LOVE prestige fare about kings and queens; can’t get enough of it. Crowns and capes and thrones, palace intrigue and clanging swords and righteous rhetoric. These movies are almost always good, but to be better they need … something.

Maybe it’s a killer cast. Maybe it’s a filmmaker with a unique, unconventional perspective. Maybe it’s particularly compelling source material.

Or maybe, like with “Mary Queen of Scots,” it’s all three at once.

You’ve got two of Hollywood’s most talented young actresses leading the way in Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie, with four Oscar nominations between them. You’ve got a director in Josie Rourke who has never directed a film before but has extensive and acclaimed experience as a stage director of work both classic and contemporary. And you’ve got the story of the titular queen’s life as adapted from John Guy’s pioneering biography “Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart.”

And yet … it never manages to quite get over the top. While the performances from both Ronan and Robbie are outstanding and the look and tone of the film are suitably epic in scope and scale, the narrative is a bit overstuffed and lacking in specificity. Too often, things happen because they’re simply next on the list, rather than with any sort of agency or urgency behind them, which leads to more story-borne borderline-soapy melodrama than you might hope for in a film like this.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 07 February 2018 14:55

Ice ice baby - 'I, Tonya'

There are relatively few truly shared experiences anymore. The proliferation of the internet has led to a cultural splintering that largely prohibits the grand-scale zeitgeist moments that we all witnessed together.

To anyone possessed of even a modicum of awareness in 1994, the name Tonya Harding was a familiar one. She was at the center of one of the most bizarre incidents in sports history when she was involved (or not involved) in the planning of an assault on Nancy Kerrigan, her fellow figure skater and major rival in the 1994 Olympic Games.

“I, Tonya” means to tell that story. And it does, after a fashion, by embracing the strangeness of the situation. Rather than trying to piece together the truth from a collection of wildly differing accounts, director Craig Gillespie and screenwriter Steven Rogers lean into the disparities, bouncing from POV to POV and producing a story that is utterly compelling even as it utterly lacks consistency.

Published in Sports
Friday, 05 August 2016 09:47

'Suicide Squad' goals

Latest DC effort can't quite pull it together

There's no disputing that when it comes to making the leap from comic book pages to the big screen, Marvel has got it all over DC right now. For any number of reasons, Marvel and its Avengers have basically worked out a way to delight fans and critics alike.

Published in Movies

Blockbuster treatment of beloved character a flat, generic bore

Few fictional characters are as ingrained in the collective consciousness quite like Tarzan. From his first appearance in Edgar Rice Burroughs's 'Tarzan of the Apes' back in 1912, the story of a man born and raised in the African jungle a man who learned to live among the animals by becoming one with the animals has resonated.

Published in Movies

Advertisements

Website CMS and Development by Links Online Marketing, LLC, Bangor Maine