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items tagged with Tracy Letts

Her and Her and Her and Her and Her and Her and … : "Her" and "August: Osage County"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-01-13 03:28:27

Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams in HerHER

Her, writer/director Spike Jonze’s tale of a man who falls in love with his computerized operating system, and “she” with him, casts a weirdly hypnotic spell. Although billed as comedy (as least by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association), you don’t really laugh much, and when you do, the laughter generally sticks in an odd, uncomfortable place in your throat; marveling at the unbridled sincerity of the thing, your chuckles are laced with a slight hint of mockery. Yet damned if Jonze, star Joaquin Phoenix, and the film’s superb supporting cast and designers don’t make this improbable project pay off in spades. Thoughtful, haunting, and perceptive, and at all times wickedly clever, Her is like a sci-fi Lost in Translation with a Scarlett Johansson you never get to see.


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Digging Deeper: “August: Osage County,” Through October 24 at the Village Theatre
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2010-10-18 18:34:43

Jessica Flood and Patti Flaherty (foreground) and Leah Otting, Jason Platt, and Kassy Caldwell (background)The language of playwright Tracy Letts’ August: Osage County is loaded with layers of emotion underneath its dialogue. During New Ground Theatre’s opening performance on Friday, a few actors neglected the dark undertones, reciting their lines as if Letts’ words held nothing below the surface. Most, however, got to the heart of the script, impressively revealing the richness of the work through performances that ranged from subtle to over-the-top. While not perfect, the show deserved the standing ovation it got from the audience.


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Mike's Online-Only Movie Reviews - 2007
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-10-30 00:41:02

Eduardo Verastegui and Tammy Blanchard in BellaBella (PG-13) - Alejandro Monteverde's drama, which concerns the friendship between a chef and a newly pregnant, newly unemployed waitress, received the People's Choice Award at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival. Um... who are these "people," exactly? Space people? Because I can see how Bella might be confused with a great movie if you didn't understand a word of human conversation. Even then, of course, you might still be put off by the film's bizarre editing (with flash-forwards routinely, meaninglessly interrupting scenes-in-progress) and lackluster photography; Montevrede shows more interest in food than in his stars. And then there's that baffling ending, which seems to set the film up for a sequel - one that fills in that massive "Huh?!?" of a climactic plot hole. But it's still the mawkish, maudlin screenplay that does it in; Eduardo Verástegui (looking uncannily like Jim Caviezel as Christ) and Tammy Blanchard (as ever, looking uncannily like Judy Garland) are stuck with unplayable dialogue and baldly written characters, and the movie shamelessly plies on the merely-functional supporting stereotypes. The movie is pro-life and pro-family with a vengeance, which might account for its (limited) popular success. I just wish it were also a little pro-brain, and a lot anti-cliché.


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