6 items from 2013
Inspired by a personal memory of writer and director Olivia Silver, her feature debut wistfully recalls the formative period between childhood simplicity and the painful awareness of adulthood. With redeeming moments of incredible warmth, Arcadia won Crystal Bear at Berlin Int’l Film Festival and Official Selection at Sarasota Film Festival, but tells the ultimately uninventive story of a family journeying 3,000 miles in an old station wagon to their new California home.
The grueling road trip, absent mother and flawed father may bring to mind, purposefully or otherwise, Wim Wenders’ Paris, Texas. Much like Harry Dean Stanton’s perfectly lined face, Academy Award nominee John Hawkes has a weathered look of experience – but drawing such a comparison to Paris, Texas’ profoundly enigmatic Travis only underlines the impenetrable surface and unexacting characterization in Arcadia. Rather than challenging expectations of paternity or embracing vulnerability, Tom is carefully rendered as the too-perfect balance »
- Caitlin Coder
Writer-director Olivia Silver's Arcadia is conveyed reflectively from the perspective of Greta (Ryan Simpkins), a 12-year-old who is being forcibly relocated from New England to California by her dad (John Hawkes). Greta shares the cramped backseat of her dad's beat up station wagon with her 9-year-old brother, Nat (Ty Simpkins), while her older sister, Caroline (Kendall Toole), rides shotgun and navigates. Despite their dad's repeated promises of sunshine, horses and swimming pools awaiting them in California, the kids are sad that they had to leave their mom behind; but after six months without a job, their dad just could not turn down a dream job offer, even if it meant relocating his family 3,000 miles across country. While the kids' dad promises that their mom will join them soon, Greta grows increasingly suspicious that he is lying to them. Greta overhears her dad engaging in heated arguments while noticing that »
- Don Simpson
When you’re a young teenager and your dad tells you that you’re moving across the country to California, you kind of have to listen. Even if your mother is mysteriously not joining.
In Arcadia, director Olivia Silver takes viewers on an atmospheric, sun-soaked road trip with Greta (Ryan Simpkins), Caroline (Kendall Toole), and Nat (Ty Simpkins) and their father Tom, played by Oscar-nominee John Hawkes. The reason for the move is cloaked in secrecy. There’s a job in California, and they have to go, but it’s not entirely clear why their mother isn’t there. As the middle child, »
- Lindsey Bahr
At 11 years old, Ty Simpkins already has quite a few credits on his resume. Simpkins has been in movies since he was barely 3 months old, and has roles in flicks such as Insidious, The Next Three Days, and Little Children. Maybe even more interesting is how many times he's been cast in films with his real life sister Ryan Simpkins - they play siblings in Revolutionary Road, Pride and Glory and Arcadia, among others.
Like many kids his age, Ty is a huge Iron Man fan. »
- email@example.com (Miranda R)
A critical digest of the week’s latest U.S. theatrical releases. Where applicable, links to longer reviews have been provided.
Distributor: Warner Bros.
The Jackie Robinson who titled his 1972 autobiography “I Never Had It Made” — and meant it — is scarcely present in “42,” a relentlessly formulaic biopic that succeeds at transforming one of the most compelling sports narratives of the 20th century into a home run of hagiography. Thick with canned inspirationalism and heroic platitudes, but only occasionally pushing past the iconic to grapple with the real human drama of Robinson’s life, this personal passion project for Legendary Pictures chairman-ceo Thomas Tull should enjoy a decent first inning with audiences, but won’t surpass Robinson’s famed jersey number in box office millions.
— Scott Foundas
Read the full review
- Variety Staff
The coming-of-age story is a well-worn, indeed over-familiar mode of narrative, especially in films, but director Olivia Silver's feature debut Arcadia overcomes this pitfall by bringing great sensitivity and a nicely-honed sense of poignancy, as well as some fine performances to the proceedings. Arcadia unfolds mostly through the eyes of 12-year old Greta (Ryan Simpkins) who, along with her older sister Caroline (Kendall Toole) and younger brother Nat (Ty Simpkins, Ryan's real-life brother), are woken up in the very early morning hours by their father Tom (John Hawkes). Tom piles them all in a battered station wagon, setting them off on a 3,000 mile journey from New England to their new home in California. Tom desperately tries to allay his children's fears about being so...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
6 items from 2013