Tag: Marisa Tomei


The Ides of March

October 30th, 2011 — 8:30pm

****

Ides of March- rm-  It is not a coincidence that this movie opens in the US as there is a hotly contested primary race in one of the political parties prior to the 2012 Presidential Election.The stories that emerge from behind the scenes of these campaigns usually mesmerizes the public. The people running these campaigns have to be the brilliant tacticians who understand politics and the power of the press. They encounter nosey reporters exemplified in this story by NY Times reporter Ida Horowicz (Marisa Tomei). They play a complicated chess game as they present their candidates. Everything and everybody is expendable including the campaign leaders themselves. Steven Myers (Ryan Gosling) is  the idealistic very smart staffer working for Governor Mike Morris (George Clooney) under very wise campaign director Paul Zara (Phillip Seymour Hoffman). The campaign manager for the oppositional candidate is a very crafty (Paul Giamatti). The Governor while politically very principled has some Clintonesque weaknesses and we should mention there is a pretty young intern (Evan Rachel Wood). Mix these ingredients together and you get a suspenseful fast moving screenplay by Grant Heslov with contribution from Clooney who also directed the film. It was based on a play, Farragut North,  by Beau Willimon which having seen it in Los Angeles, we felt the suspense and surprises of the story were slightly muted. In real life, reading the newspapers and various biographies, we get snippets that makes us understand that in big time politics  there can be  deception, lying and compromising of principles. This movie gives us a depressing view how it might go down. This isn’t a pretty picture but it is a great story and an effective movie (2011)

Comment » | 4 Stars, Drama

Crazy, Stupid, Love

July 28th, 2011 — 7:18pm

****

Crazy, Stupid, Love, sp  Dan Fogelman, who wrote Cars and other successful animated movies wrote this well thought out comedy about all too human relationships. He wrote it having  Steve Carell in mind  as Cal , the middle age guy around whom all the actions swirls as his marriage suddenly falls apart. Carell loves the project and decides to produce it with Warner Brothers coming on board to make it a big studio film. The team of Glen Ficarra and John Requa are brought in to direct it. They have been working together since their college days at Pratt in New York City. They have written Bad Santa and  Bad News Bears as well as  recently directing I Love You Phillip Morris with Jim Carrey. After meeting these three talented people at our screening we can see how their chemistry worked for this character driven comedy with a wonderful cast. Ryan Gosling played Jacob, the cool single but obviously complex guy who takes the recently jilted Cal under his wing.  Julianne Moore is Emily, Cal’s wife who is going through what she describes as a mid-life crisis. Emma Stone, Marisa Tomei and Kevin Bacon round out this all star cast with each putting just the right touch on their characters. Special mention should be made about young Jonah Bobo who plays Robbie, the 13 year old son of Cal and Emily whose emotional experience helps all the characters and the audience understand the essence of the movie. The result is not only a funny comedy but a touching story which examines love that  can start as teenagers and sometimes be destined to last a life time with trials and tribulations. It also looks at teenage “love” that may only just feel like love. The story line is close to being brilliant as the characters evolving relationships are charming, touching, surprising and fun to watch as well as being easy to identify with. (2011)

Comment » | 4 Stars, Comedy, Romance

Salvation Boulevard

July 12th, 2011 — 7:06pm

***

Salvation Boulevard-sp   If you are not part of it – what could be a better subject for satire than a big Texas like Evangelical Church? Director and co-writer George Ratliff did just this thing and interestingly enough he told us that the previews are doing well in the midst of the bible belt. In addition to a well-written story with some good comedy and many surprise twists, this film project pulled together a great cast who created the zany characters who are up on the screen for 95 minutes. Dan Day (Pierce Brosnan) the church leader who is on the verge of building his Christian City on the Hill with a medical school, a law school and everything else when something happens that make him respond in not the most holy manner. Carl Vandermeer (Greg Kinnear), a former Deadhead (follower of the Grateful Dead) has settled into a clean life as a family man and a regular church goer  when he gets tested and then can’t believe he had been a follower of the good Dan Day. His journey is the heart of the film and the center of most of the comedic moments. Then there is his wife Gwen (Jennifer Connelly) who is hilarious as the dyed in the wool follower of Dan Day and his movement as well as being a weird artist. Honey Foster (Marisa Tomei) is a security guard with a heart of gold and she herself is former Deadhead who still likes to smoke her pipe. Ed Harris gets into the character of Dr. Paul Blaylock who in many people’s opinion ( but not the Evangelical crowd ) would be the voice of reason, but he gets a bullet in his head which does slow him down. Most people in the theatre seemed to have had a good time. There were a lot of laughs and the satire was as expected but the story was not predictable. So a good time was had, but it probably won’t be very memorable.  (2011)

Comment » | 3 Stars, Comedy

Cyrus

September 8th, 2010 — 5:38am

* *
CyrusCyrus
– sp – Brothers Jay and Mark Duplass are the screenwriters/directors of this movie which is their first relatively big budget independent film and it has been picked up by Fox for distribution. This skillful duo has a knack for providing interesting characters with very realistic dialog. They discourage rehearsal and let their actors work using the script but improvising to bring out their interpretation of the their characters. In this case they had John C. Reilly and Marisa Tomei playing two somewhat awkward people in their mid 40s who seem to be falling in love shortly after meeting and hopping into bed. Tomei’s character has a 22 year old son, Cyrus well captured by Jonah Hill who appears to be a regressed mama’s boy who is joined at the hip with his mom but yet has a cold calculating almost evil side who will do whatever he can to prevent John played by Reilly from taking her away. This is essentially the plot . As John gradually becomes aware of the intense relationship between his new girl friend and her son he seeks the advise of his ex-wife played by Catherine Keener . He ultimately tries to confront Cyrus which leads to some intense and comedic moments. The Duplass brothers acknowledge that they do not provide much back story so we see these weird but appealing characters as they are, without knowing how they got to be this way or why they undergo some change. Therefore the result is a “Johnny one note” film with a simple story. Despite the talented expressions and sensitivity of the actors, we are not greatly moved or enlightened. There were a few somewhat disorienting brief scenes in the movie where the characters were talking without moving their lips but yet it did not appear to be a representation of internal thinking. When we asked the directors about this, they acknowledged that in one case they were trying to correct and shift the dialog which they were doing in the editing room. They then decided to use this motif in a few other scenes. While we did not feel the net result of this film merited our recommendation, we will look forward to future work by these talented brothers. (2010)

Comment » | 2 Stars, Comedy, Drama, Romance

The Wrestler

September 6th, 2010 — 2:52am

* * *
The Wrestler
–sp – Marisa Tomei plays a pole dancer with a heart of gold and Mickey Rourke plays a washed up wrestler with a broken heart. No doubt that the movie was very well directed and acted. Rourke, a former boxer, bulked up 40 pounds to realistically play this role and Tomei learned how to pole dance without her clothes. However the script was very predictable and the story failed to give us the depth of understanding of the characters that might have made this a great movie. 2008

Comment » | 3 Stars, Drama, Sport

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