Stardust has a really good idea for a movie: the rise of an insecure musician who strives for fame but, at the same time, is scared of how his lack of identity will ruin him. If the movie was about an ambiguous celebrity, director Gabriel Range (Death of a President) could’ve had a lot of room to explore the anxieties of fame. Unfortunately, he’s desperate to crowbar these dilemmas into an unqualified and unauthorized biopic…
In Canada, the only film that dares to go toe-to-toe with Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame is a limber, well-meaning flick named The Public, a star-studded drama written and directed by Emilio Estevez. If only it was a little bit more mature, then it would’ve been the right pick to counter program against the blockbuster juggernaut.
Nicolas Winding Refn makes something out of nothing with his subversive satire The Neon Demon. Most movies do the same, but Refn’s latest grabs ahold of seemingly vacuous source material and manages to build a world within it where decisions are outrageously vain and scary but oddly comprehensible.
There’s not much that can be said about recurring themes in Nicolas Winding Refn’s films that hasn’t been said before, but here’s a recap: self-indulgent, hyper violent, misogynist, pretentious, shallow.