By Sarah Payne
Tully – May 4th Charlize Theron gained thirty five pounds to play Marlo, an exhausted and overwrought mother of three who is gifted a night nanny named Tully. The film, directed by Jason Reitman (Young Adult and Juno), takes a very raw, unfiltered approach in its exploration of motherhood. What’s interesting is Theron herself is a mother of two adopted children, but she’s never actually given birth. In his review of the film, Owen Gleiberman from Variety writes, “Offhand, it would be hard to think of another movie that dug into the messy, overwhelming, how-the-hell-am-I-gonna-get-through-this? aspects of motherhood the way this one does.”
Life of the Party – May 11th Melissa McCarthy’s movies may not be indie or Oscar-worthy, but her physical comedy is unmatched. And I just love that her and her husband, Ben Falcone, work together so often. Life of the Party is actually the third movie they’ve co-written together (the other two were The Boss and Tammy), and I wouldn’t be surprised if Falcone makes a guest appearance in this one as well (as he often does). McCarthy plays a sheltered and recently divorced housewife who gets a second chance by going back to college – with her daughter. It’s bound to be silly, but McCarthy’s movies are the best kind of silly.
A Quiet Place Last month I previewed A Quiet Place, John Krasinski’s horror film and first big directorial debut. It got a ton of buzz and was so popular opening weekend that all the early showings were sold out locally, which meant I actually had to travel all the way to Providence to see it! So is the movie all it’s been hyped up to be? Yes and no. The idea that there are creatures (perhaps aliens, we never find out) who hunt humans based on sound alone is an interesting premise. Kraskinski makes it even more interesting by making Emily Blunt’s character pregnant, which adds a whole other level of anxiety for the viewer. How is she going to go through labor without making a sound? How will they keep the baby quiet and safe? Krasinski and Blunt (who are actually married) have great chemistry, even without dialogue. The plot isn’t without its flaws, though, and as with any horror flick, there’s a certain amount of suspension of disbelief needed on the part of the audience.
Movie on Demand
Downsizing For a movie that preaches about the evils of human excess, I find it just a bit ironic that Downsizing has a runtime of two hours and fifteen minutes. I’d say at least half of this movie should have been left on the cutting room floor. Starring Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig, and Christoph Waltz, Downsizing imagines a world where people can shrink themselves in order to live more comfortable, environmentally-friendly lives. It’s marketed as a comedy, but I can attest that laugh out loud moments are few and far between. Not even Wiig – the queen of comedy – can save Downsizing, mostly because she only appears in the first twenty minutes of the movie. After that, the plot meanders as Matt Damon’s character encounters different people all over the world on his downsizing journey. I can’t help but wonder what director Alexander Payne’s original intent was for the film. It doesn’t fit any genre, which may be why it’s so frustrating.