November has six films in the fight…
First up, 1922 is another Stephen King adaptation which, as always, could be great or terrible. Set on a farm in Nebraska, Thomas Jane plays a farmer who connives to kill his wife (played by Molly Parker) for her money. Jane puts in an excellent performance, the character’s quietness meaning he has a lot of work to put in with just his face and posturing. Visually, it’s beautiful, with some fantastic shots. Very watchable. (See my 1922 Twitter review)
Wheelman is a surprisingly good action film, despite its modest budget. A heist gone wrong sees the driver extorted to complete certain tasks, while trying to figure out what happened. Frank Grillo does well in the lead, creating a believable but sympathetic criminal. The action itself is tense and claustrophobic, and cleanly shot. This is as solid as anything you’d get in a larger cinematic release. Worth seeing. (See my Wheelman Twitter review)
It’s hard to watch the films of Yorgos Lanthamos. The Killing of a Sacred Deer is no exception. His style strips the delivery of dialogue of all emotion and presupposition. We’re forced to deal with the reality of the story and the movements of the characters without being allowed to take sides based on their inner state. That’s very weird and uncomfortable. The story itself is familiar but the telling drives us into an unreality. Slow and difficult, but decent. (See my The Killing of a Sacred Deer Twitter review)
The Florida Project is a sad story that is far too close to reality for far too many people. It follows a young girl and her (young) mother as they scrape by in a motel in Florida. The bright palette used throughout is in stark contrast to the dark story. Willem Dafoe is great as a motel manager, who tries to do his best to help. Equally heartbreaking and beautiful. The story ends just at the right moment, on an idea rather than an answer. Must see. (See my The Florida Project Twitter review)
After Wonder Woman managed to do well for the DCEU earlier in the year, how will Justice League fare? Eh… not well. There are some decent action moments and funny bits (mostly revolving around The Flash), but what we get is vapid and awful. It’s expositional, incoherent, and cliched. While it’s not as egregiously bad as, say, Suicide Squad, it’s probably best to just avoid it. (See my Justice League Twitter review)
Finally, Jim & Andy is about what Jim Carrey put himself (and the rest of the production) through to become Andy Kaufmann for the biopic, Man On The Moon. Given it was Carrey who captured the footage, it’s a little one-sided and uneven, but he doesn’t paint himself in a glorious light. It’s interesting enough as his perspective, though. Decent. (See my Jim & Andy Twitter review)
The winner for November is The Florida Project, for its fantastic portrayal of some very real problems.