Tag: Stanley Tucci


The Children Act

August 29th, 2018 — 4:26am

****

The Children Act-sp

This is one of those films in which everything seems so well done from the story line, the mood background music and the outstanding acting. It is based on a novel by Ian McEwan, who also wrote the screenplay, with direction by veteran director Richard Eyre.

The setting is in London and the main character Fiona Maye (Emma Thompson) is a judge in the British Judicial System. When she is working, she wears the traditional judicial garb and she is referred to as “My Lady.” She is very dedicated to her work and appears to frequently handle sensitive ethical issues. Her childless marriage to her husband Jack (Stanley Tucci) is not going well as he tells her that he is planning an affair.

The film then focuses on one very delicate legal case that Judge Maye must opine upon which deals with a 17-year-old boy with leukemia who needs a blood transfusion to save his life. He and his parents are devoted Jehovah’s Witnesses where blood transfusions are forbidden and the patient and the parents are refusing that he should have one. “My Lady”, the Honorable Judge becomes ultra involved with his case as she feels she must visit him in the hospital and try to understand him.

The success of the film is not only the interesting storyline, but it is the very sensitive and well done performance by Thompson who emanates her pain and turmoil as she changes the life of the boy (who is played by newcomer Fionn Whitehead). There may not be any ultimate satisfaction at the end but you come away feeling you have been through the painful experience that the characters on the screen have been going through, and the questions raised will stay with you long after the film ends. (2018)

Comment » | 4 Stars, Drama

Margin Call

October 6th, 2011 — 7:08am

 

****

Margin Call sp     Early in this movie, we see that a brilliant junior member of a Wall Street brokerage team has pieced together information that allows him to realize that derivatives that they had put together from which lots of money had been made for their firm have fallen apart. After taking the information to their bosses up the line, the head honcho has to make a decision whether to try to sell everything although they know it has little value. To execute this would mean that supervisors and brokers alike would have convince other brokers to buy what they had figured out was essentially “garbage”. This fairly succinct plot has captured the Wall Street debacle which involved a few brokerage houses, the results of  which we are still struggling with today. J.C. Chandor, whose father apparently had been a big time broker, pulled together the story and wrote the brilliant script. It was the strength of this story and the vision which Chandor had for the film which convinced Zachary Quinto who also acted in  the movie to sign on with his first time producing team to make the movie . The plot is really actor driven as the overwhelming majority of the film takes place in one floor of an office building with a good deal of talking. However, the actors obviously liked the opportunity that the script gave them as they couldn’t have signed on for the money. The total budget to make this independent film was about 3 million dollars and it was done in 17 days facilitated by the use of digital photography and the “Red Camera.”.  J.C. Chandler executed his story quite well in his first feature film. The all star cast who joined him consisted of  Kevin Spacey, Paul Betany, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto, Penn Badgley , Simon Baker, Stanley Tucci and Demi Moore. The photography, lighting and the subtle musical score complements the undercurrent of the story. You may not understand some of the financial issues which brought about the crisis but the ethical and personal decisions  that emerged were crystal clear and makes for a riveting movie.  (2011)

Comment » | 4 Stars, Drama

Julie and Julia

September 7th, 2010 — 1:22am

Julie and Julia* * * * *
Julie and Julia
– rm – Two women on separate continents also separated in time by more than a half of a century are both trying to find themselves. Once they see their goal they pursue it with dedication and determination. One of them is Julia Child (Meryl Shreep), wife of an American diplomat in Paris who becomes passionate about French cooking and becomes involved in trying to write book in English about it. The other is Julie Powell (Amy Adams), a young wife and government worker who becomes passionate about the now famous Julia Child and decides to try out all 524 recipes from her cookbook in 365 days while reporting regularly in a new blog that she has started. The film was directed and produced by Nora Ephrom who also wrote the film script based on a book recently written by Ms. Powell .It moves back and forth in time following the struggles of both of these women. The support and love of both their husbands, played by Stanley Tucci and Chris Messina are an important part of this story. We don’t usually hear the out loud laughter that we heard in the movie theatre several times during the humorous moments. We felt the tug of heart strings in the difficult trials and tribulations along the way of their journeys. The movie also conveyed the jubilation of their ultimate successes. Julia Child’s cookbook is now in its 49th printing and it has found a way on to the bookshelves of a few generations of young households. Many people have had a glimpse into Ms. Child’s personality by her pioneer TV cooking show where she showed everyone that it isn’t so terrible to pick your prize cooking off the floor when it accidentally lands there. This film will further humanize this American icon and give insight into her inspiring story. (2009)

Comment » | 5 Stars, Biography, Comedy, Drama, Romance

The Lovely Bones

January 16th, 2010 — 2:44am

The Lovely Bones* * *
The Lovely Bones
– sp – Early in the film, narrator of the story tells you what everyone who has read the book already knows and that is that she has been murdered at age 14 and she will not get a chance to live out the life to which she was looking forward. The movie shows her in the space between living on earth and heaven while she waits for things to be resolved. It was very easy for us to identify with 1970s family and watch the unimaginable horror that they felt after the disappearance and evidence of the killing of their daughter and then to see it dissolve into what we shrinks call complicated grief. The young girl played by Saoirse Ronan an Irish actress with no accent at all who was 13 during the making of the film radiated all the freshness and anticipation that you would hope a youngster would have at that stage of life. That made the tragedy of her murder all the more difficult as we saw the glimmers of her first love never to be realized during her lifetime. However Director and Producer Peter Jackson was intent on making this more than just a good 10 pm Special Victims Unit or CSI TV show. The script that he, his wife Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens wrote based on the popular novel by Alice Sebold created a beautiful ethereal existence for our lost soul where she observes the struggles of her family and the mystery of her unsolved murder. Jackson then brings the special effects for which he is known as other characters in this special place are also introduced. Mark Wahlberg and Rachel Weisz are on the mark as the parents and Stanley Tucci is the villain that is any parent’s nightmare. Executive Producer Ken Kamins related that to his surprise the movie “tested off the charts” with young teenage girls who obviously identified with the 14 year old victim and her aspirations and maybe even more so with her younger sister who we see grow to age 18 and become a heroine in her own right. While the movie provided suspense and held our interest, we were too much in pain to even be happy when she eventually makes it to heaven. (2009)

Rachel Weisz

Comment » | 3 Stars, Action, Crime, Drama

Back to top