An ambitious and brilliantly realised film biography of the American artist Jackson Pollock, Ed Harris stars, directs and paints on-screen. Harris’ performance is a tour de force, superbly portraying a challenging (and challenged) individual, and Marcia Gay Harden is excellent (and rightly recognised by the Academy) as his wife, artist Lee Krasner.
It’s apparent from Mr. Harris' portrayal that Pollock was a difficult person to deal with and it seems clear that he had mental health issues – quite possibly being bipolar, in spite of his talents as an artist he is not a likable character for whatever reason.
But despite the fact that neither Pollock’s art nor his personality do anything for me, Mr. Harris’ film is absolutely compelling and a very rewarding watch. The painting scenes are remarkable, they have a hypnotic quality and in their raw creativity are a stark counterpoint to the destructive tendencies that the man exhibited at times. They also present moments of calm in the alcohol-fuelled whirlwind that apparently surrounded Pollock for periods of his life.
If you like biography I think you will enjoy this piece, it’s a career-topping performance and a brilliant portrayal of an intriguing talent and the people around him.
Sunday, 17 June 2012
Beautifully constructed morality tale from Rupert Wyatt with some really remarkable visuals. The effects work and the actors’ interactions with their 'props' are so assured that the outcome is highly convincing to the point that you won’t notice the join, and it's a huge accomplishment that will (if there's any justice) deservedly catapult Mr. Wyatt into the big leagues.
It’s a good if rather predictable story, but satisfying to spot the delicately placed traces of continuity that link to the later phases of the PotA franchise. In the first half at least John Lithgow is the emotional heart of the film and his performance is extremely touching and effective. James Franco’s is a strong turn too and Freida Pinto provides a powerful counterbalance to Franco's character’s increasingly reckless pursuit of a cure. It’s also good to see Tom Felton casting off his robes and discarding his wand (although just as nasty as ever).
In relation to Caesar and the other apes it is difficult to comprehend the skills that must be necessary to perform effectively with what must be highly invasive technology. Andy Serkis is obviously a highly skilled actor in his own right, as evinced by his performances as Ian Dury and in The Prestige, Brighton Rock and Little Dorrit (tv) to name a few, but is he really the only guy who can play these marquee motion capture roles? I don't mean to be critical, far from it, I think Mr. Serkis will be remembered as the first and possibly greatest exponent of this newest branch of thespian-ism, but only because of making the transition to 'live action'. I find it interesting to consider whether any of Serkis's fellow mocap-ers will ever have the profile that he has deservedly achieved.
|Andy Serkis - I still say Bluetooth is yesterday's technology|
In the end RotPotA is highly enjoyable effects romp but is best, perhaps unusually, not in its big set pieces but in the personal interactions at the film’s heart.
All four thumbs up - bring on the Dawn...
There is a resonance in the central theme of lost childhood and the simplicity of bygone days that speaks to our need for friendship and simple pleasures, and that enables me to forgive a lot of this film’s lazy failings. For me there was one reluctant laugh for every two inward groans, and shakes of the head were often followed by a nod of recognition and possibly even a smile.
There are some moments of effective slapstick and as we know from his better moments Sandler is capable of being likable. His posse of Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade and the ubiquitous Schneider have an easy camaraderie that is watchable, and their significant others Salma Hayek, Maria Bello, Maya Rudolph and Joyce Van Patten provide effective foils for all the nonsense. Ultimately there is a sound message at the heart of Grown Ups and this is what redeems it.
Infantile, misogynist, heart-warming fun for all the family.
Tuesday, 5 June 2012
Sunday, 3 June 2012
|Chris & Haley|
|One cube to rule them all... Hugo Weaving|
Friday, 1 June 2012
|Elias Koteas - Kodi Smit-McPhee|