Tropic Gives Us a Lineup of Interesting People
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Film Critic, Key West Citizen
People real, fictional, historical, murderous, and odd are featured in the films playing this week at the Tropic Cinema.
Tom Hanks is an “everyman” who portrays good decent people by slipping into their skin. A recent example is “Sully,” the story of the heroic pilot who safely put his US Airways Flight 1549 down on the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 passengers. Even so, he was challenged by a review board for not diverting to an airport -- with no engines. The Nation notes, “This is pretty much the truth of New Yorkers’ feelings about the landing on the Hudson -- and Director Clint Eastwood brings them back with a crisp, unmannered efficiency of which few other moviemakers are capable.” And Japan Times surmises, “This is not blockbuster material but it’s a delight to spend time in the company of Eastwood and Hanks.”
“Author: The JT Leroy Story” goes behind the pseudonym. JodieGug2 tells us, “He wrote bestselling books, made numerous public appearances, became a Hollywood ‘it’ boy and befriended a slew of A-list celebrities, but author JT Leroy never actually existed. Laura Albert shocked the literary world and Hollywood alike when she revealed that she was the person behind the beloved and celebrated young author -- supposedly a HIV-positive transgender ex-prostitute who chronicled his troubled upbringing” And CineVue calls it “a work steeped in the ambiguity, opacity and unreliable narration of the masterful Italian auteur Jeff Feuerzeig.”
“The Birth of a Nation” takes us back to 1831 when a rebellion was led by a slave named Nat Turner. First-time filmmaker Nate Parker also takes the lead role as the man behind this momentous uprising. Cinemixtape says, “‘The Birth Of A Nation’ might well be a milestone of indie cinema; one that, on its own merits, is deserving of any awards attention that comes its way.” And TonyMacklin.net calls it “a harrowing, human testament.”
Emily Blunt is “The Girl on the Train,” an ex-wife who can’t let go, at the same time spying on an idealized couple next door as the train rumbles by on her daily commute to NYC. And then the wife she’s been watching disappears. Whodunit? HollywoodinToto.com observes, “Emily Blunt is fabulous before the story embraces its inner 'Gone Girl’.” And News.com tells us: “‘The Girl on the Train’ isn't going to blow your mind but there's enough in it to enjoy a tense trip with some pretty strong performances.”
Finishing off with fantasy, “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children" gives us an odd collection of kids with strange powers. Rolling Stone says director Tim Burton is “repeating tricks from his greatest hits (think Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands). But stick with it just for those times when Burton flies high on his own peculiar genius.” And Globe and Mail concludes that the film is “supremely silly and filled with crater-sized plot holes, but it's a profoundly moving film, too - about trauma, about loneliness, about aging and family.”
People, people, people -- they fill the Tropic’s screen.