Almost three hours long, a lugubrious sludge of mud soup called Cloud Atlas deserves a limp nod for pure guts, I suppose, but what I’d really like to do is burn it. Based on a genre-switching, era-hopping, style-abusing, tempo-thumping novel by David Mitchell that everyone has always labeled “unfilmable,” the labyrinthine, ridiculously bloated—$100-million, anybody?—head-scratcher of a movie is the mess that proves it.
Coming at us in sections like an exploding garbage truck, this adaptation is a single film that weaves an incomprehensible literary gumbo of unrelated stories in multiple time frames over a span of 500 years. Whew!
Critically-beloved David Mitchell novel Cloud Atlas, with multiple storylines all set in different centuries and locations but retaining consistent characters and motifs, seemed unfilmable. And it may very well have been! We’ll have to wait until October 26 to find out, when the film adaptation is released in the U.S.
The directors are the Wachowskis Read More
Like prepping for a doctorate dissertation on historic genetics impersonation, another exhausting Meryl Streep research job with new facial prostheses, liver spots, dewlaps, wigs and lockjaw elocution lessons, makes her imitation of England’s longest-running prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, the only thing about The Iron Lady worth recommending. Critics are tossing around words like astonishing and incredible, and she stands a strong chance of winning another Oscar, but what’s so unusual about that? We’ve come to expect nothing less from the unimpeachable talents of a leading lady who only yesterday was doing such a spot-on (and, in my opinion, vastly superior) job of mimicking Julia Child. Otherwise, The Iron Lady is something of a bore. I found it dreary and pedestrian, her performance polished but predictable and almost two hours of Margaret Thatcher more than I could stand with my eyes open. There’s nothing even Ms. Streep’s craft and resourcefulness can do to make this cold, humorless woman of iron likeable, and the whole thing is too dry to sustain so much screen time.
From where I sit, The Iron Lady almost seems like an apology by director Phyllida Lloyd for making a fool of Majestic Meryl in their previous collaboration, the dismal Mamma Mia!
As it turns out, Meryl Streep must have a bit of Lost‘s John Locke inside her: Don’t tell her what she can’t do! The sixteen-time Oscar nominee and current box office titan (another reason this summer stinks: No Meryl Streep!) is in talks to star as Margaret Thatcher in a biopic about the Read More
The Young Victoria
Running time 100 minutes
Written by Julian Fellowes
Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée
Starring Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend, Paul Bettany, Miranda Richardson, Jim Broadbent, Mark Strong
In the otherwise somber The Young Victoria, vivacious Emily Blunt, who did so much for stiletto heels in The Devil Wears Prada, puts a modern spin Read More
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Running time 153 minutes
Written by Steve Kloves
Directed by David Yates
Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Michael Gambon, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Alan Rickman, Jim Broadbent
Am I the only person over 12 who truly believes the Harry Potter franchise has outlived its shelf life? Harry Potter and the Read More
When Did You Last See Your Father?
Running time 92 minutes
Written by Daniel Nichols
Directed by Anand Tucker
Starring Colin Firth, Jim Broadbent, Juliet Stevenson, Claire Skinner
Anand Tucker’s When Did You Last See Your Father?, from a screenplay by Daniel Nichols, based on Blake Morrison’s book of the same Read More