Tag: Michelle Williams

After The Wedding

August 7th, 2019 — 8:49pm


After the Wedding-sp

This movie deals with hidden secrets and family relationships, a topic that has been dealt with from time to time in a variety of films. In this case, it is about a woman (Michelle Williams) who is confronted with her long-lost relative and her parents (Julianne Moore and Billy Crudup). Hidden secrets emerge including a fatal one. The setting of the film ranges from a poor orphanage in India to a posh office in New York City and a mega mansion in the suburbs. Julianne Moore (who in real life is married to the director of this film Bart Freundlich) is at the top of her game with a full range of emotions from the very subtle to the near hysteria. Michelle Williams, we thought was somewhat constrained but perhaps, that was hers or the director’s interpretation of her role. The film was well done on a delicate topic but we felt it fell short in believability and realism. (2019)

Comment » | 3 Stars, Drama

Wendy and Lucy

July 16th, 2017 — 7:17am


Wendy and Lucy-nf

We saw this 2008 film recently listed on somebody’s list in the New York Times as one of the the best 25 movies, so we gave it a try on Netflix. Michelle Williams plays Wendy, a young girl with short hair who was driving in her old car with her trusty dog, Lucy, from Indiana to Alaska when her car breaks down in a small town in Oregon. She then loses her dog who was tied up outside a grocery store when she was picked up there for shoplifting. We will leave you in suspense whether she finds her dog for that is the essence of this film.

Director Kelly Reichardt who co-wrote the screenplay with Jon Raymond keeps the focus on Michelle Williams throughout the film. She is magnetic. We feel for her and we care for her. Whether we are dog lovers or not, we know what Lucy means to her. However, we essentially do not know anything about Wendy’s background or what makes her tick. She could be an abused child, a high school dropout, an autistic genius or even a serial killer or anything else. Perhaps the film is a Rorschach ink blot test for the audience since we are barely given a clue.

This is one of those movies that doesn’t go anyplace. The question is whether the ride was worth it. We thought not. (2008)

Comment » | 2 Stars, Drama

Manchester by the Sea

January 13th, 2017 — 7:53am


Manchester by the Sea-rmScreen Shot 2017-01-12 at 9.42.35 PM

As mental health professionals, we have seen our share of tragedies and human misery, but usually perhaps because the patients are at the point of seeing us, there is usually a ray of hope for reaching to the future for a better life. There was very little optimism in this very well-done portrait of a man who is deeply and continually in psychological pain.

Kenneth Lonergan, playwright, now turned director in his previous writings (You Can Count On Me and Margaret) has mastered the writing of tragedies that may befall anyone of us.

In this film, Casey Affleck plays Lee Chandler who lives a life overwhelmed with guilt for what happened to his family. He then is faced with the responsibility of caring for his teenage nephew (Lucas Hedges) whose father recently died and whose mother has not been sober or on the scene for many years. The details of the story unfold with a series of well-done flashbacks which not only framed the story but also introduced bleak but atmospheric life in a New England fishing village. The classical musical score in the background defined the sad somber mood of the story. There were some somewhat lighter moments as we glimpsed at interactions of the teenage boy and his multi-girlfriends.

Casey Affleck deserves the accolades that he is getting for his performance in this movie. His facial expressions, voice and mannerism convey what his character has gone through and also the empathy that he has for his nephew. Michelle Williams as his ex-wife has a relatively small role but she is superb in her one important scene.

Perhaps we have conveyed that there is little positive hope in this film and it will be a depressing experience (which it will be) but we could not help noting there was a symbol of hope in a tangible object that is important in this village . That would be the family’s small fishing boat. We gleam a shred of optimism as we see how this small boat is resurrected as we hope will be the characters in this film. (2016)

1 comment » | 5 Stars, Drama

My Week With Marilyn

December 13th, 2011 — 8:53am


My Week With Marilyn rm– If you grew up in the 50s, you no doubt recall the actress Marilyn Monroe as the ultimate sex symbol. If you know anything about her life you probably know that she was married at least three times to  husbands including Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller. She was rumored to have had an affair with JFK and she died of an apparent accidental overdose of barbiturates although it may have been a suicide. It is also known that she was in psychiatric treatment with the well-known Los Angeles psychoanalyst Ralph Greenson and apparently had a very strong attachment to him. This movie has very little to do with any of these things but nevertheless presents a very realistic picture a beautiful young Monroe (Michelle Williams) who while very talented and able to project her personality effectively on the silver screen, is a very immature and troubled young women. It is based on the diary of Colin Clark who at the time was a 3rd assistant director (meaning a gofor) working  for  actor and director Lawrence Olivier on the set of the movie The Prince and The Show Girl being filmed in England in 1957. Clark (Eddie Redmayne) who ultimately became a successful filmmaker is shown in his  apprentice first job as he develops a short lived relationship with Monroe where she reveals her insecurities, childlike and yet remarkably seductive qualities. All this is in the atmosphere of being surrounded by Olivier (Kenneth Branagh), Vivian Leigh (Julia Ormond) who was Oliviers’ wife and a movie star and other experienced actors and actresses who were there to make this movie. Director Simon Curtis tells this beautiful, fanciful yet apparently true story in a relatively succinct manner (99 minutes). Williams has captured the essence of  Monroe  in a very accomplished performance. She may very well may get those prize winning nominations by the film industry who love it when silver screen legends are brought back to life. Redmayne is quite believable as the young man who cannot resist the playful charms of Monroe who desperately needs reassurance that she is loveable. Branagh who is an Englishman and Shakespearean actor himself fits very well in the Olivier part and is the perfect supporting actor for this movie. A good job is done by all for a very delightful movie experience.(2011)


1 comment » | 4 Stars, Drama

Blue Valentine

January 10th, 2011 — 12:50am


Blue Valentine rm-  An in depth study of two people in a marriage that breaks apart. Cindy (Michelle Williams)  a confident, somewhat ambitious  young woman who didn’t see much love between her parents but finds herself very attracted to and does seem to fall in love with Dean (Ryan Gosling), a very appealing young man who never made it through high school, who is content to work for a moving company and would be equally content to ultimately accept a job assisting to paint houses and hanging around with his kid. Director Derek Cianfrance through a series of alternating views of his two main characters in the present time and at an earlier time during their courting period shows how their relationship developed and is now falling apart. Their marriage follows on the heels of an accidental pregnancy that almost ends in an abortion but Cindy backs out at the last minute for what reason we are never sure. It appeared that if she had better abortion counseling the marriage might never have happened. Dean drifts into what seems to be alcoholism  but we are never shown whether this because his marriage isn’t working out or if the marriage isn’t working out because of the drinking. In fact, despite good literal and figurative close-ups of these two main characters, there are some loose ends in the plot. We certainly don’t get to know Dean and what makes him tick as well as we understand Cindy,  which is a short coming of the movie. All we see is a guy who has some stunted emotional growth despite his apparent sensitivity to his young 6 year old and an older man that he moves into a nursing home. The film under the direction of  Cianfrance provided a wonderful showplace for the talents of Williams and Gosling who may deserve Oscar considerations for  this movie but the script in our opinion didn’t provide enough internal consistency for this movie to deliver a knockout punch. Special kudos do belong to the make up and styling people for creating a realistic difference in the appearance of the characters during the 10 or 15 year time span in which they are shown. (2010)

Comment » | 3 Stars, Drama

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