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3 items from 2015


Mistress America | 2015 Sundance Film Festival Review

23 February 2015 9:30 AM, PST | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

Sister, My Sister: Baumbach’s Energetic Return to Facades of NYC

The latest in Noah Baumbach’s prolific slew of projects, Mistress America is the follow-up collaboration between the director and actress/muse Greta Gerwig. Though it isn’t as fine-tuned and charmingly buoyant as their 2012 feature Frances Ha, it’s an intelligently droll counterpart to the pleasant yet painstakingly glossy While We’re Young (which reaches theatrical release this coming spring). Witty and well-written, Baumbach’s tone is influenced by a slew of transmogrifying 1980s American films, though the dialogue heavy banter recalls everyone from Howard Hawks to Woody Allen sidestepping on slapstick. Though Baumbach isn’t covering new ground, his post-collegiate privileged characters still inveigled with the paralyzing ennui of adult prospects that graced his lovely 1995 debut, Kicking & Screaming, he hasn’t lost his knack for portraying disillusioned lives lost hopelessly in their own sea of problems.

Entering Columbia as a college freshman, »

- Nicholas Bell

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Movie Poster of the Week: “The Private Life of Henry VIII” and Charles Laughton in Posters

21 February 2015 6:00 AM, PST | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

Above: Us three-sheet poster for The Private Life of Henry VIII (Alexander Korda, UK, 1933).

The great Charles Laughton may not have been the prettiest of movie stars, but he had a presence that many matinee idols would have killed for (as the current retrospective running at Film Forum will attest). In an era in which glamor was everything, studio marketers may have struggled with how to present Laughton’s unconventional looks and his larger-than-life portrayals of larger-than-life characters (so many monsters, murderers,  tyrants, or simply overbearing fathers) to the public. In most of the posters for his most famous film, The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939), he is all but a silhouette, a spoiler alert to his monstrous transformation as Quasimodo. And in some posters for The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933), the film for which he won his first Oscar, Henry is made to look more like the Hans Holbein »

- Adrian Curry

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Sundance Film Review: ‘Mistress America’

25 January 2015 2:13 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Midway through Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig’s “Mistress America,” the movie arrives at a long, zany setpiece so inspired and brilliantly sustained that it alone would be worth the price of admission (or the wait in a long Sundance queue). But there’s much else to admire in “Mistress,” which finds the crown prince of New York intellectual self-loathing and his ebullient co-writer/muse returning to the terrain of their 2012 “Frances Ha” — intense female friendships and eager young people trying to find their places in the world — while pushing even closer to full-tilt screwball farce. One of Baumbach’s warmest and purely funniest films, this Fox Searchlight pickup may lack the name cast of the filmmaker’s other 2015 release, “While We’re Young,” but positioned properly it could reach Baumbach’s broadest audience since 2005’s “The Squid and the Whale.”

If nothing else, “Mistress America” confirms Gerwig as one of the great, »

- Scott Foundas

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3 items from 2015


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