2022年1月28日 3:53 AM #17067madelainesunderlゲスト
Cold Pursuit (15)<br>Verdict: Violent and misconceived <br>Rating: <br>Cold Pursuit is about revenge.
You might have followed the brouhaha that erupted when its star, Liam Neeson, admitted in an interview to publicise the film that he once sought vengeance in real life, prowling the streets seeking to attack a black man — any black man — after a friend was raped by a dark-skinned assailant.<br>This admission would count as the biggest misjudgment of Neeson’s illustrious career were it not for a bigger one: accepting the lead in Cold Pursuit. <br>It must have seemed like easy money; yet another wearily familiar role for him as a father bent on tracking down the villains who have wrecked his happy family life.<br> Cold Pursuit, speedrun.splashthat.com starring Liam Neeson, is all about revenge. It’s a deeply unpleasant picture, all the more offensive for its veneer of comedy, stretched ever-more thinly over a carnival of brutality<br>But this isn’t a new take on the increasingly preposterous Taken films.
It’s a deeply unpleasant picture, all the more offensive for its veneer of comedy, stretched ever-more thinly over a carnival of brutality.<br>Humour and homicide have always rubbed along well in movies; almost 60 years separate two great examples, the classic Ealing comedy Kind Hearts And Coronets (1949), and Martin McDonagh’s deliciously dark In Bruges (2008).<br>But the writing and plotting have to be spot on. When they are as clunky as this, the attempts at whimsy seem desperately forced. <br>In Cold Pursuit, the name of the victim appears on screen after each murder, under a cross (or in one case a Star of David). <br>The long-running TV drama Six Feet Under used exactly the same device, but there it worked perfectly.
Here it just feels laboured.<br>Cold Pursuit is director Hans Petter Moland’s remake of his own 2014 Norwegian film, In Order Of Disappearance.<br> Neeson, admitted in an interview to publicise the film that he once sought vengeance in real life, prowling the streets seeking to attack a black man — any black man — after a friend was raped by a dark-skinned assailant<br>Neeson plays Nelson Coxman, a humble snowplough driver who for no remotely explicable reason lives in a $2 million house overlooking the ski resort of Kehoe, Colorado. <br>Laura Dern plays his loving wife, but not for long.
She has the good fortune to walk out of his life, and out of the script, when Coxman metamorphoses from solid citizen to ruthless vigilante after the sudden death of his son from an apparent heroin overdose.<br>Coxman doesn’t buy that explanation, and duly begins to dispatch one drug-dealer after another in a variety of blood-splattered ways.<br>Neeson, a fine actor with a high threshold for poor material, plays it straight throughout. <br>His character carries out killings and disposes of bodies with such chilling efficiency you would swear he was the world’s greatest assassin in a former career.<br>But no.
He just likes crime novels. And frowning. If they gave out Oscars for furrowed brows, Neeson would be a six-time winner.<br>When Coxman does overlook the need for discretion, blasting one baddie to death in a bridal shop, in broad daylight, with a shotgun, nobody up to and including the Kehoe police department pays the slightest attention. <br>Like the corpses, the clichés begin to pile up.
There are a couple of cops and — guess what? One is a jaded veteran, the other an eager rookie.<br>Coxman, meanwhile, unwittingly ignites a feud between two local cartels, one run by Native Americans, the other by a parody of a sociopathic drug lord, who, when not ordering hits, obsesses about the e-numbers his young son is consuming.<br>This is meant to be funny.
It’s not. All the gangsters have silly nicknames. That’s not funny, either.<br>The son moves centre stage when the Native Americans try to kidnap him, but Coxman abducts him first, awakening his fatherly instincts. <br>Happily, the boy doesn’t mind being snatched, or should I say taken, by this frowning snowplough driver.<br>That’s the kind of movie this is — one that doesn’t respect its audience enough to inject its narrative with the vaguest believability.
So why anoint it with even one star? <br>Well, the snowy scenery is lovely. And there’s some terrific music, although why it marries Brass In Pocket by The Pretenders to a blizzardy corpse-disposal scene is anybody’s guess.<br> On The Basis Of Sex<br> Verdict: Worthy Biopic <br>Rating: <br>The choice of music in On The Basis Of Sex is questionable, too.
A jaunty soundtrack doesn’t always fit this likeable film’s remit.<br>This is to tell the true story of how brilliant Brooklyn-born law professor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg (splendidly played by Felicity Jones), who had herself been forever thwarted on account of her gender, helped to overturn routine sex discrimination enshrined in the U.S.
Constitution.<br>She did this with her lawyer husband Martin (Armie Hammer) by championing, in 1970, the case of a Denver man refused a tax deduction for the nurses he needed to help him care for his aged mother.<br> Felicity jones plays brilliant Brooklyn-born law professor, Ruth Badger Ginsburg, who helped to overturn routine sex discrimination enshrined in the US constitution with the help of her lawyer husband Martin (played by Army Hammer, left) <br>Had he been female, he’d have received it, so the Ginsburgs cleverly used apparent discrimination against men to undermine the bias against women. <br>It’s not exactly a sexy subject and this might be the first film in history to crank up the narrative tension with a shot of a building housing the Department of Justice’s Tax Division.<br>At least 2017’s Battle Of The Sexes, which covered similar territory in the world of sport, pivoted on a tennis match.<br>Nevertheless, despite using some hackneyed biopic devices, director Mimi Leder does a fine job. <br>She is aided by very good acting (Kathy Bates, Justin Theroux and Sam Waterston lend strong support), and a sometimes stolid but always compelling screenplay by Daniel Stiepleman.<br>Neatly, and rather movingly, he is Ginsburg’s nephew, while she, at 85, is now a Supreme Court Justice and the grande dame of the U.S.
legal system.<br>A recent documentary, RBG, told her story more forensically, but hers is a life worth celebrating anew, and this is a film worth seeing.<br> Capernaum <br>Verdict: Classy drama<br>Rating: <br><br />But amid the hoopla, hardly anyone seems to have noticed that the list of films in this year’s Foreign Language category at the Academy Awards, which also includes Roma, is considerably classier than the list of nominees for Best Picture.<br>One of them is Capernaum, an intensely moving Lebanese drama about a small delivery boy living on his wits in frenetic, war-ravaged Beirut (Capernaum means chaos).
This is Zain, wonderfully played by Zain Al Rafeea, a newcomer to acting and a Syrian refugee in real life.<br>Zain is 12 but looks no older than nine. He lives with his poverty-stricken parents and numerous siblings, but is especially close to his sister, and is aghast when his father arranges to marry her off to a businessman. She is barely pubescent.<br> Capernaum is an intensely moving Lebanese drama about a small delivery boy living on his wits in frenetic, war-ravaged Beirut (Capernaum means chaos)<br>Cheeky, tough, resourceful and relentlessly foul-mouthed, Zain runs away from home, and befriends an Ethiopian cleaner who starts to rely on him to look after her own toddler while she is at work.<br>The irony is clear: Zain is much better at parenting than his own parents.
In fact, the film is framed by a courtroom sequence in which Zain sues his mother and father for bringing him into this wretched world.<br>For some, Zain’s legal challenge adds a discordant note of fantasy to a film that otherwise pulsates with realism.
But not for me. I loved every minute of this movie, which seems largely improvised, yet is brilliantly crafted by director and co-writer Nadine Labaki.<br>She probably won’t walk away from the Oscars with a gold statuette, but in most other years, she surely would.<br> Will Netflix pick up an Oscar for Roma?
Don’t count on it <br>Can a film made primarily for TV possibly triumph at an event intended, for the past 90 years, to be the ultimate celebration of cinema? That is the biggest question of all going into the 91st Academy Awards on Sunday.<br>Will the Netflix drama Roma, already anointed as Best Film by the Baftas, bag an even more coveted Oscar?<br>My own hunch, even though Alfonso Cuaron’s semi-autobiographical, Spanish-language masterpiece is a hot favourite to beat The Favourite, among other nominees, is that it won’t.<br> Will the Netflix drama Roma, already anointed as Best Film by the Baftas, bag an even more coveted Oscar?<br>For all Roma’s classiness, I’m not sure Hollywood’s movers and shakers are ready to reward those upstarts at Netflix with a Best Picture statuette, although I do think Cuaron will get Best Director.<br>That could leave The Favourite in pole position — and I’d love it to win. But the Academy might just spring a real surprise and choose A Star Is Born or even Black Panther.<br>As Best Actor, I think (and hope) they will overlook Bafta winner Rami Malek in favour of Christian Bale. <br>Malek’s performance as Queen’s Freddie Mercury didn’t wow me as it did many others. <br>He never seemed quite comfortable with those prosthetic gnashers.
But Bale (right) was brilliant in Vice as U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney, a portrayal that will certainly have chimed with all those West Coast liberals.<br>Best Actress will surely be Glenn Close, not just for her powerful, nuanced performance in The Wife, but also because she’s been nominated six times before and Hollywood loves to turn a bridesmaid into a bride.<br>Bafta and Golden Globe winner Olivia Colman (The Favourite), I fancy, will have to settle for smiling broadly and magnanimously in her seat.<br> As Best Actor, I think (and hope) they will overlook Bafta winner Rami Malek in favour of Christian Bale.
Bale was brilliant in Vice as U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney, a portrayal that will certainly have chimed with all those West Coast liberals<br>Mahershala Ali will more than likely get his second Best Supporting Actor gong for his turn as a prissy pianist in Green Book, two years after his first (for Moonlight).<br>I think Richard E.
Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?) is more deserving, and featured in a better film, but how can Hollywood possibly resist Ali’s character: a gay African-American man not only subject to the prejudices of others, but also big enough to conquer his own?<br>Another film about racial prejudice will probably yield Best Supporting Actress.
I think it will go to Regina King for her moving performance in If Beale Street Could Talk, though my choice would be Amy Adams, who was superb in Vice as the scheming and ambitious Lynne Cheney.<br> <br> <br> <br>