Tag Archives: Catherine Keener

Get Out (2017) Film Review

Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) is being taken by his girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) back home to her folks place, a sprawling estate next to a forest in a very wealthy part of the world.  He’s black and is quite concerned about how the family will react to their daughter’s new black boyfriend. It’s ok though – Dad (Bradley Whitford) would have voted for Obama for a third term. Mum’s a psychologist (Catherine Keener) and bro Jeremy (Caleb Landry Jones) is a bit of a freak, but surely it’s ok? Oh, no. That’s when you need to remember that this is a horror film and things just are not going to be that straightforward.

It’s been talked about as a film where the horror is being a young black man surrounded by well-meaning white folks, and that’s pretty reductive. Yes, there is a lot of fish-out-of-water humour, but there’s a lot more to it than that. I only really discovered Key and Peele over the last year or two (I’d suggest if you have not seen the show, get onto it. It’s hilarious, often also very clever, and all on Netflix. Get Out is by Jordan Peele, and thus it’s funny and clever. Get onto it – and don’t stress out too much by the horror side. You’ll only scream a few times.

 

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Capote (1959) Film Review

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Truman Capote (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is riding high his waves of success in New York, wooing the world with his humour and loving life. Then he hears about the murder of a Kansas family and decides to write a book about it. In real life, this is considered to be one of the first examples of a non-fiction novel – researching the men convicted and others. This film looks at the potential toll it took on Capote.

It’s an interesting film – the era is captured beautifully, including things like the difference between the high life in New York to the small town life in Kansas. It’s made me want to read the book again. I think I enjoyed it, though I wouldn’t be racing to see it again.

Capote won an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and was nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Catherine Keener), Best Achievement in Directing (Bennett Miller) and Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay (Dan Flutterman)

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Being John Malkovich (1999) Film Review

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Craig Schwartz (John Cusack) is a puppeteer who lives with a menagerie and his wife, Lotte (Cameron Diaz), but he is depressed, he is unemployed, and he ends up taking a job for filing in a strange office on the 7½th floor. Here, he discovers a small door that leads him into a portal that goes directly into the brain of John Malkovic (played by himself). Then there is Maxine (Catherine Keener)who is out to make a buck and maybe fall in love.

Such a strange film – I loved it so much when I first saw it, and seeing it again now probably fifteen years later, I’m surprised at how much I had forgotten. I think I enjoyed it even more on the re-watch – it is just so very, very strange. The group of elderly folk who need the portal, or the woman in the office who constantly mishears people but blames it on them – magnificent. If you haven’t seen this, and you’re up for a strange movie adventure, here you go!

Being John Malkovich was nominated for Oscars for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Catherine Keener), Best Director (Spike Jonze) and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen.

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The Croods (2013) Film Review

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Meet the Croods – father Grug (Nicholas Cage), mother Ugga (Catherine Keener), Gran (Cloris Leachman) and the kids, including the eldest, daughter Eep (Emma Stone). After seeing many of the families around them killed through a variety of factors, Grug keeps them safe most of the time in a cave. But Eep is not happy with this, and wants to be free. Then she meets Guy (Ryan Reynolds), a different kind of person who showed then a different way to life their lives, and after their cave is destroyed, they need to follow him or meet their end.

I loved that the women in this film were not drawn as spindly, crazy-skinny stick figures, but had some shape and spunk. It’s a fun film, yes the morals are pretty stock standard for a kids animation – parents need to let their kids make mistakes and cannot protect them forever no matter how dangerous the world may be. But it was fun, with a good sense of humour and just a lot of good, nice stuff going on.

 

The Croods was nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film of the Year, as well as a Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature Film and a BAFTA for BAFTA Kids Vote – Feature Film.

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What Just Happened (2008) Film Review

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Ben (Robert De Niro) is a film producer whose latest film, staring Sean Penn (playing himself) tests poorly – especially the killing of a dog at the end. He needs to fix it, which takes all kinds of maneuvering. On top of this, he is dealing with the end of his marriage with Kelly (Robin Wright), his teenage daughter Zoe (Kristen Stewart). Plus, the star of his next film, Bruce Willis (also playing himself) has grown an ugly beard and will not listen to pleas to sort himself out before shooting. Even his manager, Dick Bell (John Turturro) cannot sort it out (in-between his serious stomach issues).

It’s a film that is full of stars and Hollywood inside stuff, and I reckon that it is entirely possible that people within the industry would relate to it a lot, even if they may not like it. Me? I found it a bit interesting, and somewhat entertaining, but it didn’t totally grab me.

 

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Enough Said (2013) Film Review

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Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is a divorced woman who is kind of looking for love. Her work is as a freelance masseuse, lugging her table from house to house for work. At a party with her mate Sarah (Toni Collette) and Will*** (Ben Falcone), she meets a new client, Marianne (Catherine Keener) and then a bit later, meets Albert (James Gandolfini). Despite not feeling immediately attracted to this large man, she goes on a date, and pretty soon, things are going well. But the **spoiler alert** she discovers that Marianna is Albert’s ex-wife. Rather than informing either of this, she pretends that she doesn’t know, and uses Marianne’s complaining to define her relationship, and things get pretty nasty.

I can see why the film was as popular as it was, despite the really crap  poster. It was real; things like the first kiss between Eva and Albert is awkward, but in a real, romantic and lovely manner. I wasn’t over keen on any of it, really. There were funny moments, and I suppose the characters were mostly likable, but I just didn’t feel any real investment, and couldn’t care less about what happened to them. I wanted to; I just didn’t. But geez, it was nice hear Toni Collette speaking Aussie.

Enough Said was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical.

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