Writer/director Michael Winterbottom and actor Steve Coogan have collaborated before in biopics (24 Hour Party People, The Look of Love) and straightforward comedies (Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story, The Trip franchise), but they haven’t tackled a movie like Greed. Greed binds those previously mentioned genres into a potently bitter, satirical tragicomedy – a fitting playground for Winterbottom and Coogan.
By: Jessica Goddard Touching, sincere, and surprisingly universal, Jon S. Baird’s Stan & Ollie is a sensitive look into the last tour of legendary comedy act Laurel and Hardy. Built on wonderful performances from Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly as Laurel and Hardy respectively, the biopic has wonderful range – from the tender or vicious exchanges to the subtle but magnetic moments when the pair perform on stage as a duo.
By: Jessica Goddard Kathleen Hepburn’s Never Steady, Never Still is a serious, greyscale, dragging meditation on subjects so inherently sombre, it’s practically masochistic to sit through the whole film without allowing yourself a break.
By: Jessica Goddard Bong Joon-ho’s Okja is not only packed with insight, imagination, and action, but mesmerizing visual effects. While this movie bounces around tonally, it’s consistently engaging and gripping. There are moments of camp and farce and exaggeration (cough cough – Jake Gyllenhaal – cough) but they are fun and mostly harmless. The premise is well-conceived, and the frequent use of subtitles under Korean dialogue is never fatiguing.
A racially-diverse group of children cause havoc until a teacher comes along and sets them straight. No, this isn’t about Stand and Deliver or Dangerous Minds. This is about Urban Hymn, yet another film which takes the familiar plotline and runs nowhere with it.