Rust and Bone captures much of the
dynamic between Ali and Stephanie without excessive dialogue; there are
few situations where they feel the need to explain themselves. They are
creatures of action, full of passion, which at times, results in
unintended emotional carelessness.
'Inception' finds writer/director Christopher Nolan in familiar territory as his previous reality-bending works ('Memento,' 'The Prestige,' 'The Dark Knight'), and the result is something almost as thrilling to contemplate as it is to watch. Even if you now know a little about what 'Inception' is about, you don’t even know the half of it. Grade: A.
Academy Award-wining director Rob Marshall unfortunately succumbs here to the influences of the cut-and-paste aesthetic of music videos. The show tunes are wannabe 'VH1 Countdown' hits, all style and flash rendered with a sure hand, offering little to truly deepen the emotional arc of individual characters or the story as a whole. With a lead performer like Daniel Day-Lewis, we expect the feral magnetic intensity of Bill the Butcher or Daniel Plainview, but it's not to be. Grade: B.
'Coco Before Chanel' is like 'La Vie En Rose' without the self-destructive bent. Edith Piaf (Marion Cotillard) and Gabrielle Chanel (Audrey Tautou) are street urchins, original old-school hustlers who survive by their seemingly meager charms (at least in relation to those of their bustier and broader competition) and their wiles, both feminine and performative (which the terribly cynical might say are the same thing). Grade: B-.
While rife with period detail and often shot at authentic locations, 'Public Enemies' doesn't possess the visceral jolt of director Michael Mann's best films, all of which pulsate with the technologically informed rhythms of modern life. Yet Mann almost makes us believe that Public Enemy No. 1 John Dillinger (Johnny Depp) will live forever. And, in a sense, he has. Grade: B-.