By: Jessica Goddard The Hero is a fine movie, but nothing particularly groundbreaking. Sam Elliott stars as the lonely, burnt-out actor Lee Hayden, who deals with his pancreatic cancer diagnosis by avoiding it completely. He spends his days smoking pot with his dealer (Nick Offerman) and standing at the ocean shoreline, brooding. His relationship with his daughter (Krysten Ritter) is awful because he was “always away”, and his life is completely devoid of romantic love…
We’re halfway through the year, which means it’s time for Wylie Writes’ recap of the best and the worst films of 2017. Don’t forget to click the coloured titles to read a more detailed write-up about the film!
By: Jessica Goddard Directed by Roger Michell (Notting Hill, Changing Lanes), My Cousin Rachel is a mysterious, ambiguous, and appropriately moody adaption of the 1951 Daphne du Maurier novel of the same name.
By: Jessica Goddard If you were ever particularly curious about the founding and history of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), The Founders is an inviting and well executed documentary.
By: Jessica Goddard A movie packed with subtlety and nuance, Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women both wrenches the heart and flexes one’s critical capacities. Do we have sympathy for this character because we authentically suspect they’re a good person in spite of their actions, or do we desperately want them to be a good person because we feel so deeply sorry for them?
By: Jessica Goddard The Belko Experiment, directed by Greg McLean (Wolf Creek) and written by James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy), is a cruel, manipulative, needless exploit into pure violence and gore.
Do Donkeys Act? (DIR. David Redmon, Ashley Sabin) Do Donkeys Act? takes an animal that is not usually afforded much dignity – the donkey – and gives movie goers an opportunity to let the animals speak for themselves (without speaking). The film takes its audience to visit various donkey sanctuaries around the world, where donkeys that have been subjected to abuse or neglect are cared for, healed, and allowed to relax and retire.
By: Jessica Goddard Gifted is contrived, tired, and – frankly – just plain boring. This story shamelessly and lazily recycles almost every component of its plot to the point where you’re left wondering why you’re not the one making millions writing such basic, formulaic scripts.
Obit opened last week at Toronto’s TIFF Bell Lightbox to warm reception. The documentary features the obituary department at The New York Times, and deconstructs the writing craft of an obituarist.
By: Jessica Goddard Obit is an irresistibly insightful film that completely delivers on its implicit promise to answer every question you ever had about obituaries (plus the questions you didn’t know you had).