Tag: Mark Duplass


Tully

April 13th, 2018 — 7:57am

Screened at 2018 San Francisco Film Festival

Opens in United States on May 4, 2018

*****

Tully

We saw this film at the San Francisco Film Festival where there was a special tribute paid to Charlize Theron for her body of work. Subsequently, this movie was shown.

In the film, we meet Marlo (Charlize Theron) as she is in the late stages of her third pregnancy while dealing with the trials and tribulations of raising two children and allowing her husband to sleep through the night and get on with his job. Her rich brother (Mark Duplass) offers to get her a night nanny to help with the new born. This nanny, Tully, (Mackenzie Davis) symbolically happens to have her maiden name, Tully, that she had when she was young and free.

Screen writer Diablo Cody collaborated with writer-director Jason Reitman who helped to provide the symbolism and synergy to show the struggle that a young woman might have in moving from a young, free as a bird, woman to a nursing, dedicated, but overwhelmed and depressed mother. The movie reminds us of the need to “let go” sometimes in order to “move on” as well as a hint of some issues involved in post partum depression. Theron leads an outstanding supportive cast, which includes a great script and a very competent director (2018).

 

Comment » | 5 Stars, Drama

The One I Love

July 31st, 2014 — 7:22am

 

 

**Screen Shot 2014-07-30 at 10.48.22 PM

The One I Love- sp- This is another example of an Independent movie put together by a small creative team. In this case it is Mark Duplass (co-star of the movie)  who co-produces with Charlie McDowell (who also directs the film) with other co-producers, brother Jay Duplass along with Mel Eslyn and of course writer Justin Lader. This is part of new wave of films which pays all the cast and crew $100/day but gives everyone a certain amount of points which will determine how they will share the profits from the film which in this case will be through a game plan involving combined theatrical releases with television, Netflix and Video on Demand. They used a detailed script that had everything but the dialogue which the actors improvised within the framework of the story. There were essentially only two actors on the screen and that was Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss (known best for Mad Men). We shouldn’t give away the storyline which has a twist. Suffice it to say that Ethan and Sophie are having trouble with their marriage and they go to see a therapist (a brief role by Ted Danson) who sends them to an isolated vacation retreat where they are supposed to find out who they really are and fix their marital relationship. They and the audience are in for a confusing surprise. The problem is that we didn’t feel it really worked. We got a few smiles out of the story but felt that the story behind the twist could have been developed much better than it was done. We appreciated the creative attempt, You may end up seeing this one night on TV but we can’t recommend it. (2014)

Comment » | 2 Stars, Comedy, Drama

Darling Companion

April 22nd, 2012 — 6:48am

****

Darling Companion- sp  This is a wonderful “ feel good “ movie that everyone can enjoy. It will be especially meaningful to anyone who has been part of a family when the last child is married off and the parents deal with their  adult relationship  with each other and other members of their families. It was directed  and produced by Lawrence Kasden (Big Chill, Grand Canyon and many more big time hits) who also wrote the script along with his wife Meg Kasden . They  put together an honest story that showed love, romance and  every day comedy in a way that most people should be able to relate to and immensely enjoy. They assembled a cast of actors who were able to embody the characters they created in a skillful and very authentic manner. Beth (Diane Keaton) and Joseph (Kevin Kline) are the newly “empty nested” parents  as their daughter Grace (Kate Moss of “Mad Men” fame) ,the youngest of their children, finally finds Mr. Right and gets married. Joseph  is a spine surgeon whom Beth acknowledges may have always been a little full of himself but is shown to ultimately be a good guy. Penny is Joseph’s divorced  sister (Diane Wiest) who has found her new love Russell  (Richard Jenkins) who is a bumbling guy who wants to marry Penny and open an English pub in Iowa. Bryan (Mark Duplass) is Penny’s son who is also a spine doctor and  has a touching flirtation with a gypsy like housekeeper (Ayelet Zurer) of the family’s vacation house in the beautiful Colorado mountains (which was filmed in the beautiful Utah mountains) . Sam Sheppard is Sheriff Morris who adds further warmth to the already tender story. What we haven’t told you yet is that the story is tied together by a loveable  dog – that almost magically appears and then disappears ! The movie is the story about the search for the dog which occurs while the characters are finding themselves and their own bearings. The story is just right at 103 minutes . The acting is perfect-Diane Keaton is at her mature best, the country type music hits the spot and the film features a a dog! How can it go wrong? (2012)

1 comment » | 4 Stars, Drama, Romance

Cyrus

September 8th, 2010 — 5:38am

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– 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

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