Tag Archives: Film critic

Writes reviews for many flicks!

House of Gucci Review

Director Ridley Scott released two films this year—The Last Duel and the recently-released House of Gucci. I love Scott’s directing, but despite the low box office numbers for The Last Duel, I actually preferred it over House of Gucci.

House of Gucci certainly has an all-star cast. Lady Gaga is Patrizia Reggiani, who marries Maurizio Gucci, played by Adam Driver. Jeremy Irons is Maurizio’s father, Rodolfo Gucci, and Al Pacino is Maurizio’s uncle, Aldo Gucci. Jared Leto plays Aldo’s son, Paolo Gucci. The film focuses on the breakup between Patrizia and Maurizio and the downward spiral of the Gucci family and brand.

House of Gucci is faithful to its story and its representations of the Gucci family seem accurate enough. My issue with the film is its sometimes flaky and inconsistent acting. And although makeup was no doubt a big part of the era in which the film was set, the makeup in House of Gucci was just over the top, particularly on Jared Leto as Paolo and Lady Gaga as Patrizia, if it’s possible for her to be over the top.

Despite its problems, House of Gucci has some impressive performances. It could also be a thrilling and daring ride, and at times just plain fun. But there is a limit to how much glamour, fashion, and wealth I can take. I just think the film was over-hyped and is overrated. Two and a half stars for House of Gucci.

C’mon C’mon Review

There are times where life seems unfair and too hard, and where navigating life’s struggles is a real challenge. Some issues in life may seem unresolvable. There are many of those scenarios in C’mon C’mon as director Mike Mills brings us a black and white film that is brilliant and touching, and relatable to life in so many ways.

Joaquin Phoenix delivers a knockout performance in C’mon C’mon, as does Gabby Hoffmann as his sister and Woody Norman as his nephew. Phoenix plays Johnny, an introverted radio journalist who is close with his sister Viv, played by Hoffman. Viv’s husband Paul, played by Scott McNairy, is having serious problems, and Viv is struggling to care for her son Jesse, played by Norman. To help out, Johnny takes Jesse on a cross country trip that becomes the focus of the film.

Joaquin Phoenix is one of those actors who can play all kinds of characters with interesting personalities and a wide range of emotions. The connections between Johnny and Jesse in C’mon C’mon are heartwarming, and though there are moments of grief and frustration between the two, Phoenix keeps a laid-back persona throughout the film. Mills use of monochromatic cinematography mirrors Phoenix’s persona.

I found C’mon C’mon relatable in many ways, and I loved the film. I believe this was a role for the ages for Phoenix, and his performance will draw Oscar buzz. And C’mon C’mon may be one of the best films yet for Mike Mills, who really knows how to direct films that centers on life issues. Four stars for C’mon C’mon.

The French Dispatch Review

Whenever I watch a film by Wes Anderson I ask myself several questions. Who is the antagonist? Who is the one with the ego? Who benefits from the inevitable conflict? Somehow, in Anderson’s films the answers to these questions always seem to come together in the most eccentric and artistic fashion. His newest film, The French Dispatch, is no exception.

The French Dispatch is set in twentieth century France and it follows several stories revolving around a newspaper of that name. It tracks the health issues of Arthur Howlitzer Jr., the editor of the newspaper, played by Bill Murray. There is a story about a cycler named Herbsaint Sazerac, played by Owen Wilson. Another story focuses on Moses Rosenthaler, played by Benicio Del Toro, who is an artist in prison. Rosenthaler is trying to work out a deal for one of his paintings with art dealer Julien Cadazio, played by Adrien Brody. Rosenthaler also has a secret relationship with prison guard Simone, played by Lea Seydoux. And there is a story about a student protest involving a woman named Lucinda Krementz, played by Frances McDormand, and student Zeffirelli, played by Timothee Chalamet.

These stories at first don’t seem related, but they somehow coalesce. The placement of the various characters creates strange illusions, but Anderson always helps his audience put together the pieces of where his eccentric world is going. He also gives us hints before his films are even released, via the trailers and advertisements. The worlds Anderson creates are ones of glamour, the wealthy, and criminals.

Anderson’s character development is unparalleled. He is brilliant, an auteur director of the highest order, and he digs deeper and brings more emotion than usual in The French Dispatch. It is a true masterpiece. I give The French Dispatch four stars.