Nocturnal Animals is a slick, good-looking, well-performed movie that intrigues, but adds up to less than the sum of its parts.
Verdict: Powered by some ingenious scripting, this is as intriguing and relevant a work as you’re likely to see this year.
Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) is a sensitive, poetic soul who makes a living writing personal letters for others. Lonely and hurting from a long-term relationship breakup, he seeks solace in late-night internet dalliances. When he hears about a new computer operating system, intuitive, intelligent and individually customised to the user, he is intrigued and purchases one. The OS is ‘female’, names itself Samantha (Scarlett Johansson), and in empathically responding to Theodore rapidly develops an integrated personality that seems a perfect fit for his. When things turn ‘physical’ and their companionship enters the realm of love, Theodore goes with the flow, but where will it lead him – and where Samantha?
You’ve gotta love the premise: a guy falls in love with his computer OS. But where to go with it? You can imagine it being a jumping off point for a madcap sci-fi farce, or a 30-minute futuristic TV fantasy a la The Twilight Zone, but a feature movie? It would take a zoned-out and insanely abundant imagination – a Philip K Dick – to sustain the idea dramatically for 100+ minutes.
Well yeah, if you’re stuck in the sci-fi genre. But although Her is set in the future (one that may well be not far away from where we are now), it is not really sci-fi. Rather, it’s a bona-fide tragi-comic romance with its social context essentially of the now. Continue reading Her Movie Review
Featuring: Garrett Hedlund, Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart, Viggo Mortensen, Tom Sturridge, Kirsten Dunst, Amy Adams
Director: Walter Salles
Writer: Jose Rivera (based on Jack Kerouac’s novel On The Road)
Australian release date: Thursday, 27th September 2012
Review 1: rolanstein (one-word verdict: great)
Review 2: Karen (one-word verdict: pointless)
In late 40s America, young aspiring writer Sal Paradise hits the road in search of inspiration and adventure. His hipster travelling companions include the magnetic Dean Moriarty, hyperactive ex-jailbird, mad genius driver, sex fiend extraordinaire. Embracing black jazz culture and the dissolute lifestyle that goes with it, Sal, Dean, wife/ex-wife/lover Marylou (Kristen Stewart) and crew criss-cross the country as their fancy takes them, plunging with reckless and initially joyful abandon into a drink, drug and sex-fuelled odyssey of sensual excess.
Review 1: (rolanstein)
Apparently Francis Ford Coppola bought the movie rights to On The Road decades ago, intending to write and direct the film himself. He made several false starts over the years, eventually abandoning taking on the crafting aspects. His efforts to handball the writing and directing to others almost came off several times, but obstacles kept popping up. Finally, he found his man, Walter Salles (director of The Motorcycle Diaries). Sucked in, Walter. Continue reading On The Road Movie Review