Jo March reflects back and forth on her life, telling the beloved story of the March sisters – four young women each determined to live life on their own terms. (IMDb)
The timeline hopping is cleverly and masterfully executed (see the warm vs. cold tones, mirrored shots) and adds remarkable emotional depth (see Jo walking down the stairs x2) to what is an already extremely well-written (and acted) web of characters (to the big emotional moments are added many brilliant little overlapping quips and quibbles). Often hilarious (“I’m making a mould of my foot for Laurie to remind him I have nice feet!”) and always heartfelt, with a delightfully cheeky ending.
As an investment banker struggles after losing his wife in a tragic car crash, his increasingly confessional series of letters to a vending machine company catch the attention of a customer service rep with whom he forms an unlikely connection. (IMDb)
“Everything is a metaphor,” says our lead early on, setting a tone uniquely free of pretentious subtlety for this intriguing, well-acted study of grief ripe with satisfying symbolism (the recurring dancing and demolition are two highlights), artistically crafted with a great soundtrack and sharp editing. Davis’ meandering, deeply personal journey at the center of it all evokes both titters and tears, despite a few unnecessary tangents (his happenstance graveyard meeting comes to mind).
A former Weather Underground activist goes on the run from a journalist who has discovered his identity. (IMDb)
A stacked cast does not disappoint here; LaBeouf is particularly electric as the savvy journalist uncovering for us a fascinating web of former radicals still on the lamb. The past-present element is compelling and produces a refreshingly old and textured cast of characters, while the cat-and-mouse game is exciting without resorting to cheap action. The underlying themes of truth and justice aren’t given quite enough oomph but the movie remains an engaging thriller that looks great to boot.
A nice-guy cop with dissociative identity disorder must protect a woman on the run from a corrupt ex-boyfriend and his associates. (IMDb)
The film starts off shaky; pointless narration overlays contrived risque humour that’s more discomforting than funny and you’re left waiting for the story to begin. Eventually it finds its groove as a decent road trip/crime comedy, with Carrey’s excellent turn as the two-person Charlie (one scene in which his two personalities are fighting is particularly brilliant), whose gangsta genius sons also provide lots of laughs. It’s the unique characters that spice up a mediocre plot in this film.
A lovelorn screenwriter becomes desperate as he tries and fails to adapt The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean for the screen. (IMDb)
A film about its own screenwriter (Kaufman, played by Cage) trying to write its own screenplay: It’s head-spinning-ly brilliant and fascinating to watch, and is propelled forward by a wonderful double-turn by Cage (his self-deprecating internal monologues are priceless), along with solid support from Cooper and Streep. The action-packed final few scenes seem a bit out of place in what is mostly a mellow film, but they do offer a fittingly odd climax to the twisted character interplay throughout.