Saturday, September 4, 2010
Guillaume Canet's Tell No One is that rarest of cinematic beasts, a thriller that actually thrills. It's an efficient and intelligent entertainment, expertly balancing a labyrinth plot, genuine suspense, and an "innocent man wrongly accused" narrative that Hitchcock would have been proud of. It is, simply speaking, a crackerjack picture.
Friday, September 3, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
When Truman Capote's In Cold Blood was published in 1966, it created a sensation in literary circles for its innovative style, resulting in a work dubbed by the author as the "nonfiction novel"--the storytelling techniques of fiction, applied to a factual narrative. These days, the form goes by a less reputable moniker: "true crime." Richard Brooks' 1967 film adaptation is a similar marriage of distinctively different approaches, combining a flat, documentary-style realism with stylized neo-noir photography. The resulting picture hasn't lost any of its power in the forty-plus ensuing years; it has a cold, chilling immediacy, while feeling simultaneously like pages ripped from an aged, lurid tabloid.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
There’s so much of Paul and Sandra Fierlinger’s My Dog Tulip that is so lovely and memorable, I’d like to just call it a treat and be done with it. But it’s an oddly misshapen picture that shambles along agreeably for a good chunk of its running time, only to take an odd left turn in its third act that throws off the equilibrium of the entire enterprise. It is based on a memoir by British writer J. R. Ackerly, and while it has some lovely passages, the filmmakers might have been wise to second-guess their absolute fidelity to the source material.
Monday, August 30, 2010
White Chicks), lesser Stiller vehicles, and quickly-declining Sandler pictures. But that summer, two comedies came right out of left field--the low-budget indie oddity Napoleon Dynamite, and Anchorman, a period comedy from a first-time filmmaker that was basically a parody of, um, '70s newsmen. Not exactly a sure-fire recipe for either hilarity or big box-office, to be sure. But it was a surprise hit, with both critics and audiences; more importantly, from a standpoint of style and personnel on both sides of the camera, Anchorman pretty much set the comedic table for much of the rest of the decade.