Tagged: Ann Dowd

St. Vincent

Summary: When Maggie (Melissa McCarthy) is forced to move house with her son Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher) due to a divorce she doesn’t count on the fact that her new next door neighbour is going to be someone that she will never forget.

On the outside Vincent (Bill Murray) is a grump who has let his house go to ruin, wastes all of his money at the track (which is just one of his many vices), never has a kind word to say to anyone and is usually in the company of his ‘good friend and companion’ stripper-turned-prostitute Daka (Naomi Watts). But when Oliver one day returns home from school after bullies have stolen his key and turns to Vincent for help Maggie finds herself hiring the ‘neighbour from hell’ as her babysitter, something that can only lead to trouble or so it seems.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: TBA

Australian DVD Release Date: 19th December, 2014

Country: USA

Director: Theodore Melfi

Screenwriter: Theodore Melfi

Cast: Scott Adsit (David), Dario Barosso (Ocinski), Reg E. Cathey (Gus), Amber Clayton (Amber), Nate Corddry (Terry), Sade Demorcy (Keesha), Ann Dowd (Shirley), Emma Fisher (Bridgette), Niles Fitch (Brooklyn), Alexandra Fong (Rachele), Terrence Howard (Zucko), David Iacono (Jeremiah), Ray Iannicelli (Roger), Jaeden Lieberher (Oliver), Melissa McCarthy (Maggie), Ron McLarty (Principal O’Brien), Donna Mitchell (Sandy), Bill Murray (Vincent), Deirdre O’Connell (Linda), James Andrew O’Connor (Antwan), Chris O’Dowd (Brother Geraghty), Kimberly Quinn (Nurse Ana), Maria Elena Ramirez (Amelda), Lenny Venito (Coach Mitchell), Naomi Watts (Daka), Brenda Wehle (Judge Reynolds)

Runtime: 102 mins

Classification: M

 

OUR ST. VINCENT REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Greg KingYou can check out Greg’s St. Vincent review on www.filmreviews.net.au

Stars(4)

 

Nick GardenerYou can check out Nick’s St. Vincent review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #110

Stars(4)

 

David Griffiths:

Over recent years acting legend Bill Murray has become an actor who really knows how to pick a decent script. Sure he will always be remembered for cult classics like Groundhog Day or Ghostbusters but back then Murray also delivered up a dog of a film quite regularly. Flash forward to recent years when Murray has taken chances on films such as The Darjeeling Limited, Get Low, Zombieland and Moonrise Kingdom and they have resulted in him appearing in some of the top films of the years they were released. Well it seems that Murray’s knack of picking the right script has worked again with a role in new comedy St. Vincent.

There haven’t been many comedy highs over the last year or so, and to be honest Melissa McCarthy has sadly been involved in some of the worst of those but St. Vincent is the one comedy that should remind people that every now and then America still knows how to hit an audience right on a funny bone. Add that to the fact that this film also delivers some thought pondering drama and it is easy to see why St. Vincent should be considered one of the films of the year.

The most surprising thing about St. Vincent is that it comes from a relative newcomer to the directing/screenwriting game. Aside from short films the only time that Theodore Melfi has ventured into feature film territory was to deliver the very average Rachel Hunter led Winding Roads back in 1999. Just one viewing of St. Vincent will quickly tell you that the fact that Melfi has delivered a film in the fifteen years since is an absolute crime because this is a gem.

Melfi’s screenplay is clearly one of the best of the year as it makes a completely unlikable character literally a saint. A brief look at Vincent and you would think that he has all the merits to make him a ‘bad guy’ in a film like this. A foul-mouthed and dirty living old man who is prepared to sue a single, struggling, divorced mother over a small amount of damage to a car and a fence is not the kind of character an audience will normally warm to, but such is the power of Melfi’s script that soon you find yourself laughing out loud at Vincent’s crassness and even ‘barracking’ for him as he tries to outrun the loan shark who is desperate to get his money and break some knees. The fact that Melfi has the sense to use his screenplay to give Vincent real characterisation and not just make him a one dimensional character also goes a long way to making this film work.

Supported by such a well written screenplay it is hardly surprising that the cast also comes to the fore in St. Vincent. Melissa McCarthy puts outside some recent poor performances to put in a credible performance in a role where she isn’t called upon to deliver a laugh a minute. Murray is at his exceptional best mixing comedy and drama into a character that seems like he will become a cult cinema favourite.

Young Jaeden Lieberher also puts in a stunning debut, he certainly seems to be an actor who his acting well above his age range, while the film is further enhanced by good acting performances by actors in the smaller roles. Naomi Watt’s is a standout as European prostitute Daka while Chris O’Dowd also puts in a warm, nice performance even though he is skirting thin ice but almost becoming type cast to play Catholic priests in films these days.

There is just so much to love about St. Vincent that this review could go on forever. From its beautifully written script to the fact that it bravely decides to be different to most either comedies on the market, to the fact that Bill Murray puts in a truly memorable acting performance there is just no weakness with St. Vincent at all. Clearly one of the better films of this year St. Vincent also announces the arrival of a filmmaker who is well worth watching in the future.

Stars(4)

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(4)

 

IMDB Rating: St. Vincent (2014) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment St. Vincent reviews: For our full Keep On Keepin’ On review make sure you check out The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #110. You can also read our review on The Book The Film The T-Shirt.

Trailer:

Compliance

Summary:  On a particularly busy day at a suburban fast food restaurant, high-strung manager Sandra (Ann Dowd) receives a phone call from a police officer reporting that a young employee, Becky (Dreama Walker), has stolen money from a customer. Commencing an investigation, Sandra follows instructions from the policeman no matter how invasive they become. Director Craig Zobel (Great World of Sound) explores a riveting true story in which the line between legality and reason is blurred by the best of intentions. Delving into the complex psychology of real-life events, Zobel shows that truth really is stranger than fiction.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 17th January, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Craig Zobel

Screenwriter: Craig Zobel

Cast: Michael Abbott Jnr. (Officer Jimmy Palmer), Ashlie Atkinson (Marti), Desmin Borges (Officer Morris), Bill Camp (Van), Ann Dowd (Sandra), Philip Ettinger Kevin), Amelie Fowler (Brie), Pat Healy (Officer Daniels), Nikiya Mathis (Connie), James McCaffrey (Detective Neals), Stephen Payne (Harold), Ralph Rodriguez (Julio), Matt Skibiak (Robert Gilmour), Dreama Walker (Becky)

Runtime: 90 mins

Classification:M

Dave Griffiths’s ‘Compliance’ Review: 

When cinema goers at the Melbourne International Film Festival walk out of a film you know it’s a hardcore watch, after all people that attend a festival like that are serious movie fans not just families cruising in to watch a film while they munch on some popcorn.

The thing about ‘Compliance’ is it might be a confronting watch that won’t be everybody’s cup-of-tea but it is still a well written and brilliantly acted crime drama/thriller that the serious cinema goer is going to be really impressed with.

Based on actual events ‘Compliance’ sees fast food restaurant manager Sandra (Ann Dowd – The Discoverers, Bachelorette) under intense stress. It is a busy Friday night, her restaurant is understaffed and one of her inept staff members left the freezer ajar the night before meaning they are fast running out of ingredients for a lot of their menu.

In the middle of it all Sandra takes a phone call. A call from a man identifying himself as Officer Daniels (Pat Healy – The Innkeepers, When You Find Me) who claims that he is currently investigating a report that a staff member called Becky (Drema Walker – Vamperifica, The Kitchen) has stolen money from a customer. He orders Sandra to conduct a strip-search on her and as the night goes on Daniels also incorporates other staff members including Kevin (Philip Ettinger – Sleepwalk With Me, Brooklyn Brothers Beat The Best) and Marti (Ashlie Atkinson – He’s Way More Famous Than You, TV’S 30 Rock), as well as Sandra’s fiancee Van (Bill Camp – Lincoln, Lawless) into his perverse game. Each person completely obeys Daniels orders and the degrading experience eventually turns into Becky being sexually assaulted.

What makes ‘Compliance’ such a gripping watch is the fact that director/screenwriter Craig Zobel (Great World Of Sound) has done his job extremely well. Both the screenplay and style of the film are so naturalistic that it feels like you are a fly-on-the-wall rather than someone watching a film. To his credit however Zobel never glorifies any of the things that are occurring on the screen

At times the audience may find themselves thinking ‘would anybody really fall for this prank’ or ‘has Zobel exaggerated what really happened’, but perhaps the most scary thing is that the prank at hand was used 70 times in real life and people fell for it each time, you can’t really criticise Zobel when he is just following what really happened.

The naturalistic style of the film also carries over to the performances of the lead actors. Ann Dowd is brilliant as the flustered Sandra while Dreama Walker really announces herself as a young actress with a lot of talent.

However, the actor that really stands out is Pat Healy who gets to be ‘Compliance’s’ bad Guy. He plays the evil ‘Officer Daniels’ with eerie realism and is certainly an actor to watch in the future. ‘Officer Daniels’ is easily one of the evilest characters to ever grace the screen and Pat Healy pulls off the role with ease.

‘Compliance’ is at times a hard watch, but it is also one of the best written films that you are likely to see this year.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Compliance′: Check Episode #16 of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘Compliance’. Dave’s other review of ‘Compliance’ can be found on the Helium Entertainment Channel

Rating: 4/5

IMDB Rating: Compliance (2012) on IMDb

 

Argo

And the winners are:

BEST PICTURE

Winner: Argo

Other Nominees: Beasts Of The Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Life Of Pi, Lincoln, The Master, Moonrise Kingdom, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty

BEST ACTRESS

Winner: Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)

Other Nominees: Marion Cotillard (Rust & Bone), Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook), Emmaunelle Riva (Amour), Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts Of The Southern Wild), Naomi Watts (The Impossible)

BEST ACTOR

Winner: Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)

Other Nominees: Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook), John Hawkes (The Sessions), Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables), Joaquin Phoenix (The Master), Denzel Washington (Flight)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Winner: Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master)

Other Nominees: Alan Arkin (Agro), Javier Bardem (Skyfall), Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook), Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln), Matthew McConaughey (Magic Mike)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Winner: Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)

Other Nominees: Amy Adams (The Master), Judi Dench (Skyfall), Ann Dowd (Compliance), Sally Field (Lincoln), Helen Hunt (The Sessions)

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE

Winner: Silver Linings Playbook

Other Nominees: Argo, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Les Miserables, Lincoln, Moonrise Kingdom

BEST DIRECTOR

Winner: Ben Affleck (Argo)

Other Nominees: Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty), Tom Hooper (Les Miserables), Ang Lee (LIfe Of Pi), David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook), Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Winner: Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained)

Other Nominees: John Gatins (Flight), Rian Johnson (Looper), Paul Thomas Anderson (The Master), Wes Anderson/Roman Coppola (Moonrise Kingdom), Mark Boal (Zero Dark Thirty)

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Winner: Tony Kushner (Lincoln)

Other Nominees: Chris Terrio (Argo), David Magee (Life Of Pi), Stephen Chbosky (The Perks Of Being A Wallflower), David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Winner: Wreck-It Ralph

Other Nominees: Brave, Frankenweenie, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, ParaNorman, Rise Of The Guardians

BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS

Winner: Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts Of The Southern Wild)

Other Nominees: Elle Fanning (Ginger & Rosa), Kara Hayward (Moonrise Kingdom), Tom Holland (The Impossible), Logan Lerman (The Perks Of Being A Wallflower), Suraj Sharma (Life Of Pi)

BEST ACTION MOVIE

Winner: Skyfall

Other Nominees: The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, Looper

BEST ACTOR IN A ACTION MOVIE:

Winner: Daniel Craig (Skyfall)

Other Nominees: Christian Bale (The Dark Knight Rises), Robert Downey Jnr. (The Avengers), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Looper), Jake Gyllenhaal (End Of Watch)

BEST ACTRESS IN A ACTION MOVIE

Winner: Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games)

Other Nominees: Emily Blunt (Looper), Gina Carano (Haywire), Judi Dench (Skyfall), Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises)

BEST COMEDY MOVE

Winner: Silver Linings Playbook

Other Nominees: Bernie, Ted, This Is 40, 21 Jump Street

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY

Winner: Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook)

Other Nominees: Jack Black (Bernie), Paul Rudd (This Is 40), Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street), Mark Wahlberg (Ted)

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY

Winner: Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)

Other Nominees: Mila Kunis (Ted), Shirley MacLaine (Bernie), Leslie Mann (This IS 40), Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect)

BEST SCI-FI/HORROR FILM

Winner: Looper

Other Nominees: The Cabin In The Woods, Prometheus

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Winner: Amour

Other Nominees: Intouchables, En kongelig affaere, Rust And Bone

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEAUTRE

Winner: Searching For Sugar Man

Other Nominees: Bully, The Central Park Five, The Imposter, The Queen Of Versailles, West Of Memphis

BEST SONG

Winner: ‘Skyfall’ – Adele/Paul Epworth (Skyfall)

Other Nominees: ‘For You’ – Monty Powell/Keith Urban (Act Of Valor), ‘Learn Me Right’ – Mumford & Sons (Brave), ‘Suddenly’ – Claude-Michel Schonberg/Alain Boubil/Herbert Kretzmer (Les Miserables), ‘Still Alive’ – Paul Williams (Paul Williams Still Alive)

BEST SCORE

Winner: John Williams (Lincoln)

Other Nominees: Alexandre Desplat (Brave), Mychael Danna (Life Of Pi), Jonny Greenwood (The Master), Alexandre Desplat (Moonrise Kingdom)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Winner: Claudio Miranda (Life Of Pi)

Other Nominees: Danny Cohen (Les Miserables), Janusz Kaminski (Lincoln), Mihai Malaimare Jr. (The Master), Roger Deakins (Skyfall)

BEST ART DIRECTION

Winner: Sarah Greenwood/Katie Spencer (Anna Karenina)

Other Nominees: Dan Hennah/Ra Vincent/Simon Bright (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey), Eve Stewart/Anna Lynch-Robinson (Les Miserables), David Gropman/Anna Pinnock (Life Of Pi), Rick Carter/Jim Erickson (Lincoln)

BEST EDITING

Winner: William Goldenberg/Dylan Tichenor (Zero Dark Thirty)

Other Nominees: William Goldenberg (Argo), Melanie Oliver/Chris Dickens (Les Miserables), Tim Squyres (Life Of Pi), Michael Kahn (Lincoln)

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Winner: Jacqueline Durran (Anna Karenina)

Other Nominees: Kym Barrett/Pierre-Yves Gayraud (Cloud Atlas), Bob Buck/Ann Maskrey/Richard Taylor (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey), Paco Delgado (Les Miserables), Joanna Johnston (Lincoln)

BEST MAKEUP

Winner: Cloud Atlas

Other Nominees: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Les Miserables, Lincoln

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Winner: Life Of Pi

Other Nominees: The Avengers, Cloud Atlas, The Dark Knight Rises, Teh Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey