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A terrific popcorn movie!
As a big fan of Renner, I had to see this. While it's not deep social commentary, it was entertaining as hell, and well done. There are far far worse ways to spend a couple hours than watching terrific actors demonstrate a group of friends' love for each other that spans decades. Make a big bowl of popcorn, log into your Amazon prime or whatever, and enjoy the craziness.
The Nice Guys (2016)
Bad acting, unlikable characters
Nothing else was on, so I gave this movie a shot. Ryan Gosling's character purports to love his daughter, but is a complete screw up of a drunk father, barely coherent, stumbling through life and death situations and making it out by dumb luck. Russell Crowe's character is somewhat better, but is the stereotype of tough guy with a soft spot for the kid. The two of them, especially Crowe, commit violence that should land them in prison for life, but face no consequences. Barely even a 'don't do that' from police. There's big corruption supposedly being done, that will be revealed in a supposed porn film. Truthfully, the kid Holly is the best thing in the film, and even that is a stereotype -- smart kid who does everything she's told not to and saves all the adults... Billed as hysterically funny, I found it just incredibly stupid, nothing but bad writing and bad acting.
Miss Julie (2014)
Compelling Performances of brilliant writing
(possibly Mild Spoilers) I am not a fan of Chastain at all, but she was well cast with the ethereal elegance she brings to Julie's madness, her seeming lucidity only when she is growling and snarling in anger and frustration at John (Farrell). Farrell is a chimera of resentment, hope, sociopath behavior and tender confession. He moves from trying to stop the disaster he foresees, to active participant and then tries to deny his own desires. When he finally agrees to take Julie, to make a run for a new life with her, she cannot let go of the bird that represents herself, her privileged life... And the symbolism of John's response is brilliant; Farrell displays the complicated emotions at war with each other that his character feels with astonishing depth. Morton was brilliantly solid, her understated portrayal of the character making Kathleen all the more real amidst the madness.
Unlike other critics, I found the "opening up" of the play into other areas and venues to be done very well. We step into Julie's 'garden' which is really as much in her mind as real, it's her view of life as she'd have it be. Kathleen is equally trapped as Cook and then in the small rooms of the house, as she is in her existence. Only John, who can see better things for his life, moves freely throughout the house, as he wants to do between the classes of Irish society.
The incredible depth of human psychology, the love hate relationships with each other, their own lives, the class system, is explored both in action, dialogue, and in the settings chosen for each part of the play. The viewer feels both sympathy and revulsion for the characters in turn. The nuances that these three actors brought to the characters, and the narrow focus of the film over the play, add to the intensity.