6 items from 2017
Adrift in New York City, a recent college graduate seeks the guidance of an eccentric neighbor as his life is upended by his father’s mistress.
Thomas Webb (Callum Turner), the son of a publisher and his artistic wife, has just graduated from college and is trying to find his place in the world. Moving from his parents’ Upper West Side apartment to the Lower East Side, he befriends his neighbor W.F. (Jeff Bridges), a shambling alcoholic writer who dispenses worldly wisdom alongside healthy shots of whiskey.
Thomas’ world begins to shift when he discovers that his long-married father (Pierce Brosnan) is having an affair with a seductive younger woman »
- Michelle Hannett
A few years ago, filmmaker Jason Reitman could do no wrong. The man who made an impressive debut with Thank You For Smoking had followed it up with the Academy Award winning Juno and then the phenomenal Up in the Air, which for a brief moment was the Oscar frontrunner in Best Picture. Since then, Reitman’s movies have gotten a more mixed reception, between Young Adult, Labor Day, and the deeply divisive Men, Women, and Children. His films remain something to look forward to though, and his next one has found a home. Focus Features has announced that they’ve picked it up and will be putting it out next April. We’re less than a year out now from a new Reitman work. Fans should rejoice about that. His new movie is Tully, another collaboration with screenwriter Diablo Cody. Not a whole lot is known about it right now, »
- Joey Magidson
A mawkish coming-of-age story that marries Sundance vibes with a soft punk spirit, Peter Livolsi’s “The House of Tomorrow” never manages to flesh out its skeleton of quirks, but its heart is definitely in the right place.
Very faithfully adapted from Peter Bognanni’s 2010 novel of the same name, Livolsi’s directorial debut is — after “Brigsby Bear” and “The Space Between Us” — at least the third new film this year that falls into the beguiling sub-genre of movies about young men who’ve been raised in isolation from the rest of the world. The stranger life gets, the more we might be compelled towards portraits of people who can stand outside of civilization and offer a new perspective on the mess we’ve made (in which case, we ought to brace for this sub-genre to get a lot bigger between now and 2020).
This one begins in a geodesic dome in the woods of Minnesota, »
- David Ehrlich
In just a couple of days the Summer blockbuster season will get a big jump-start (hey Spring’s not yet a month old) when those magnificent men (and women) in their flying “muscle-car” machines start spinning their wheels and defying gravity at the multiplex. As they rev their engines here’s a quiet little “heart-tugger’ about family and kids that stars a guy that usually helps usher in the big popcorn flicks as Marvel Studios’ patriotic powerhouse. Like many “swinging” singles from TV (“Family Affair”) and cinema (Raising Helen), he’s tackling unexpected parenthood after the tragic demise of the birth mother. And things get even more complicated, when (as in other recent films like Little Man Tate) the child is a genius, brainy, or as the title proclaims, Gifted.
- Jim Batts
Yesteryear’s vision of the future proves poor preparation for present-day reality in “The House of Tomorrow.” Peter Livolsi’s first feature, adapted from Peter Bognanni’s novel, charts the first steps toward normal life for a sheltered youth raised by his elderly grandmother — a onetime acolyte of architect, inventor and theorist R. Buckminster Fuller. This tale of a shy teen loner using his newfound rebellious side to refigure peer and parental relationships occupies familiar seriocomic Amerindie terrain. But it’s a pleasing effort, with smart casting and a light touch that make the somewhat predictable story beats go down easily. Unlikely to create a major splash, the film nonetheless has the right stuff to attract older-skewing niche audiences in limited theatrical and ancillary release.
While Fuller’s long career (he died in 1983 at age 87) encompassed a wide range of ideas and achievements, the ever-forward thinker was most famous for »
- Dennis Harvey
The International Film Music Critics Assn. has announced nominations for the 13th annual Ifmca Awards for excellence in musical scoring in 2016. Leading the pack are Michael Giacchino and Justin Hurwitz with five nominations each, and Abel Korzeniowski, with four.
Giacchino is nominated for his work on comic book fantasy film “Doctor Strange” and the socially conscious box office hit “Zootopia.” In addition, his song “Night on the Yorktown” from “Star Trek Beyond” is up for film music composition of the year. A 36-time Ifmca Award nominee, Giacchino previously received score of the year honors in 2004 for “The Incredibles,” and in 2009 for “Up.”
Hurwitz’s “La La Land” work has already been a force this season, taking home two Golden Globes among countless other prizes. The contemporary homage to Hollywood movie musicals earned him Ifmca noms for score of the year, comedy score, and film music composition of the year. Hurwitz »
- Dani Levy
6 items from 2017
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