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Posts Tagged ‘The Double’

January

 ‘Wild’ (Jean-Marc Vallée, 2015) 

Immediate flashbacks to Mia Wasikowska in Tracks about a year ago. Nick Hornby adapted this one, and its very much another performance vehicle with minimal thrills beyond Reese Witherspoon’s great central role and Laura Dern (flashbacky fun) – both deserving their Academy acknowledgment. Witherspoon’s having a killer year between this, Inherent Vice and the £££ of Gone Girl. Hooking up with a director as adept with actors as Vallée was a smart move, one hopefully to be repeated in the career of a slightly underrated performer guilty in the past of too regularly picking crap projects. 

‘The Double’ (Richard Ayoade, 2014)

I really fell for Richard Ayoade’s debut Submarine, so it’s frustrating that his follow-up is so flimsy on substance with humorous beats that just don’t hit their mark. There’s a relatively effective T.Gilliam feel to the office bureaucracy, production design is appropriately retro and the cast are game, but Ayoade’s tonal aim is off and the black comic edge + darker dramatic elements never quite align.

‘American Sniper’ (Clint Eastwood, 2015) 

Extraordinarily accomplished on a technical level, wonderfully acted and edited, somewhat troubling politically. Whilst never shying from the impact warfare has on its lead, Eastwood’s idolatry of Chris Kyle, dehumanisation of his Iraqi opponents, elimination of any content to challenge the consensus of those filling cinemas in the US and creepy, propagandist, flag-fetishising nonsense makes for an experience that frustrates as much as it entertains. There’s been a huge audience for this picture amongst the demographic flattered by its approach, a support I can’t really see crossing over into international markets less enamoured by red-state tunnel vision. The scene where Kyle and his wife watch the 9/11 attacks on television, the rage for REVENGE burning in his eyes = hilarity that should immediately discount Eastwood’s movie from any sort of awards contention.

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