And the Oscar Goes To… Not a Clue

Currently browsing the "Blake Lively" tag.

Review: The Rhythm Section

Think of your heart as the drums, your breathing as the bass. That’s pretty much my only takeaway of note from The Rhythm Section and I’m still not sure how it works. Then again, I’m no musician. Or assassin.

The film, based on the popular novel by Mark Burnell, stars Blake Lively as Stephanie Patrick, a broken young woman bent on revenge and craving redemption after she learns that a plane crash that killed her entire family was no accident. I’ve heard the book was quite good. Unfortunately, the movie is not. The ‘rhythm’ is off on everything – from the plot, to the editing, to the music and the casting.

Review: A Simple Favor

A Simple Favor is a tough one to process and define.  It’s a quirky crime drama that goes quite dark, but in a relatively light way. As weird as it is, it somehow works, because it pairs Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively. Kendrick (Pitch Perfect, Mr. Right, Up in the Air) plays a goody-two-shoes single mommy vlogger named Stephanie who becomes besties with a sly and stylish PR executive named Emily (Lively, The Age of Adeline, “Gossip Girl”, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants). The two have very little in common, except they both have young sons who attend the same school and clamor for a playdate. Whip up a few afternoon martinis, engage in some gal-pal chat about deepest, darkest secrets, and throw in a cute husband (Henry Golding, Crazy Rich Asians), and you’ve got the makings of a stylish, twisty thriller moored in Emily’s sudden and mysterious disappearance.

Cafe Society

Woody Allen’s latest feels very familiar and not terribly original. It’s like he has a drawer full of ideas for film scenes and he just grabbed a hand full and shot. It has a bittersweet love story at the center, set in Golden Age Hollywood and New York, and the usual Woody stand-in character. This time it’s Jesse Eisenberg playing Bobby Dorfman, a nice Jewish boy from the Bronx who comes to LA to work for his “Agent to the Stars” Uncle Phil (Steve Carell) and falls for his beautiful secretary Vonnie (Kristen Stewart), but eventually returns heart-broken to New York, takes a job with his mobster brother, and marries shiksa goddess Veronica (Blake Lively). The first part in Hollywood is kind of fun, but sadly it runs out of steam when it gets back to New York, almost like it’s two different movies.

The Age of Adeline

The Age of Adeline is a satisfactory romantic drama that is best enjoyed by those who can suspend all sense of logic and tolerate a bit of an ‘ick’ factor for reasons that are implied if not fully explored, or exploited, onscreen. More on that later. The lovely and talented Blake Lively plays Adeline Bowman, a young widow and mother in San Francisco who stopped aging after a freak car accident in the 1930s. An overlong voiceover narration explains, in flashback, how it all happened… something about a confluence of events involving water, lightning, and shifting molecular structure. Anyway, to avoid being labeled a freak or subjected to secret government testing, Adeline goes on the run for decades – constantly moving, and changing her identity, to hide her bizarre immortality from the world, including potential suitors. And there are plenty of those, because whatever name she goes by, Adeline presents as a beautiful old soul with a soft, lilting voice, a throwback wardrobe, and a phenomenal knowledge of modern history (go figure). The only one who knows Adeline’s secret is her daughter, who ages at a normal pace and could easily pass for Adeline’s mother or grandmother.

The Town

Okay, I think it’s time that we all forget about Gigli and admit that Ben Affleck is one very talented guy. Returning to his working class Boston roots with The Town, he has stepped to the top of the ladder both with his direction and his nuanced portrayal of the central character in the piece, Doug MacRay.

The Private Lives of Pippa Lee

The Private Lives of Pippa Lee is one of those small arty films starring an impressive roster of accomplished actors who probably took the gig for the love of the material rather than box-office glory. It’s a psychological drama tinged with wry humor and melancholy. So if you like that sort of stuff, you’ll probably like this film.