Movie Reviews – September 2010 – Part I
John (John C. Reilly), divorced and lonely (he’s no great shakes in the looks department either), has a stroke of luck when he meets his dream lady, Molly (Marisa Tomei). The fly in the ointment is Molly’s 21-year-old son, Cyrus (Jonah Hill), who lives with mom and clearly won’t share her with anyone else. Brilliantly directed by Jay and Mark Duplass, Cyrus switches between comedy, drama and a certain something else that makes your skin crawl even while you’re enjoying a laugh. Jonah Hill, as the manipulative, creepy Cyrus walks away with the acting honours while Reilly as Molly’s simple, hesitant suitor comes a close second. Clever, funny and dark, Cyrus makes for fascinating cinema.
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Greed is good, said Gordon Gekko famously in the 1987 hit film Wall Street. Neither Michael Douglas who played Gekko nor director Oliver Stone expected their anti-hero to become a role model for finance types. Twenty-three years later, Stone’s sequel attempts a course correction. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is about two kinds of “greed” – one that drives growth and ultimately enhances society and the other about undiluted, unchecked avarice, the likes of which led to the recent global financial meltdown. Jacob Moore (Shia LaBeouf) plays an idealistic young trader in a reputed Wall Street firm. Winnie (Carey Mulligan), his girlfriend is the estranged daughter of Gordon Gekko, recently out from prison. Through Gekko, reprised brilliantly by Douglas, Stone delivers his message – that Wall Street should not be about a few, powerful investment bankers lining their pockets, but an instrument for public good. Stone skilfully crafts a complex, absorbing film, backed by Robert Prieto’s photography.
Nanny McPhee Returns
Emma Thompson rules again as Nanny McPhee, the slightly witchy and decidedly un-Mary Poppins like governess who wowed kiddie audiences in 2005. Isabel Green (Maggie Gyllenhaal) has her hands full bringing up three children on the family’s farm while her husband is away on military duty. The fun begins when her la-di-da nephew and niece from London come visiting; expectedly, the Green children don’t see eye-to-eye with their citified cousins. It takes Nanny McPhee to restore order and dish out stern lessons – learn to share, help each other and so forth. Plenty of action, Nanny’s magic and toilet humour should have kids and parents chuckling.