Thursday, January 16, 2014

Week of January 17 to January 23 (Rhoades)

Tropic Overview

Golden Globes Ain’t Got Nuthin’ on the Tropic

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Golden Globe winners and nominees abound at the Tropic Cinema. You saw all these stars on the televised awards show. Now go see their filmed performances.

Opening at the Tropic is “August: Osage County,” featuring Golden Globe nominated performances by Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts. Based on the Pulitzer-prizewinning play by Tracy Letts, this is a high-intensity drama about an Oklahoma family reeling over the death of its patriarch. The difficult, drug-addled wife (Streep) squares off with her three daughters (Roberts being the dominant one). The Austin Chronicle notes that “the film’s acting ensemble really kicks out the jams.” And Screen It! calls it “an engaging drama filled with terrific dialogue as well as strong to brilliant performances.”

“Saving Mr. Banks” gives us Tom Hanks as Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as P.L. Travers, author of “Mary Poppins.” We last saw Emma on the Golden Globes with her shoes in one hand and a martini in the other. Minneapolis Star Tribune describes it as “a shameless wad of corporate PR, a feel-good, self-serving Disney film about the making of a Disney film.” But the St. Louis Post-Dispatch warns you’ll “leave the theater humming the iconic songs.”

“Philomena” stars Judi Dench as an Irish woman searching for the son she gave away 50 years ago, while Steve Coogan plays the disgraced journalist who’s helping her. Yes, we saw Coogan on the Golden Globes accompanied by the real-life Philomena Lee. Cleveland Plain Dealer calls it “a story of hope and faith that survives awful challenges.” And Daily Express opines, “You are unlikely to see a better British film this year.”

“Her” is rom-com about the relationship of man vs. machine. Joaquin Phoenix is a lonely guy who falls for his smart phone, as huskily voiced by Scarlett Johansson. Phoenix was on hand at the Golden Globes too, clapping politely as Leonard DiCaprio aced him out for an award. Entertainment Spectrum says, “It's a far cry from your typical relationship, but it is one that will prove how blind love can be and that it truly can make you do crazy things.” And the Popcorn Junkie proclaims, “There just aren’t enough rooftops to shout my love for this film.”

And “The Wolf of Wall Street” features Leonardo DiCaprio as a penny-stock swindler who lives the high-life with his ill-gotten gains. At the Golden Globes Tina and Amy gave DiCaprio a raunchy “supermodel” welcome. As for Martin Scorsese’s film, Passionate Moviegoers calls it “a modern operatic debauch that leaves its viewer is woozily addicted.” New Yorker describes the film as “exquisitely controlled, kinetic energy, complete with a plunging and soaring camera, mercurial and conspicuous special effects, counterfactual scenes, subjective fantasies, and swirling choreography on a grand scale.” And sees it as “a vigorously stylish epic.”

So turn off your TV and head down to the Tropic Cinema to see what all that Golden Globes hoopla was about. And just off the newswire: "Her," "Philomena" and "The Wolf of Wall Street" all have been nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award.

No comments: