Saturday, November 25, 2017

Tag: Greta Gerwig

Lady Bird (2017)

Title: Lady Bird
Rating: R
Directed by: Greta Gerwig
Written by: Greta Gerwig
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Timothée Chalamet, Beanie Feldstein, Stephen McKinley Henderson, and Lois Smith
Release Date: 11/3/2017
Running Time: 93 minutes

Official Site
IMDb
Buy on Amazon

What did you think of this film?
Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) fights against but is exactly like her wildly loving, deeply opinionated and strong-willed mom (Laurie Metcalf), a nurse working tirelessly to keep her family afloat after Lady Bird’s father (Tracy Letts) loses his job. Set in Sacramento, California in 2002, amidst a rapidly shifting American economic landscape, Lady Bird is an affecting look at the relationships that shape us, the beliefs that define us, and the unmatched beauty of a place called home.


Are There Any Extras During The Credits? No

Are There Any Extras After The Credits? No


20th Century Women (2016)

Title: 20th Century Women
Rating: R
Directed by: Mike Mills
Written by: Mike Mills
Starring: Annette Bening, Elle Fanning, Greta Gerwig, Lucas Jade Zumann and Billy Crudup.
Release Date: 1/20/2017
Running Time: 118 minutes

Official Site
IMDb

What did you think of this film?
Set in Santa Barbara, the film follows Dorothea Fields (Annette Bening), a determined single mother in her mid-50s who is raising her adolescent son, Jamie (newcomer Lucas Jade Zumann, in a breakout performance) at a moment brimming with cultural change and rebellion. Dorothea enlists the help of two younger women in Jamie’s upbringing – via Abbie (Greta Gerwig), a free-spirited punk artist living as a boarder in the Fields’ home, and Julie (Elle Fanning), a savvy and provocative teenage neighbor.


Are There Any Extras During The Credits? No

Are There Any Extras After The Credits? No

Note: at the very end of the credits we see the text “J.M. + K.M. + M.A. + M.J. + H.M.”.


Jackie (2016)

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Title: Jackie
Rating: R
Directed by: Pablo Larraín
Written by: Noah Oppenheim
Starring: Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard and Greta Gerwig
Release Date: 12/2/2016
Running Time: 99 minutes

Official Site
IMDb
Buy on Amazon

What did you think of this film?
JACKIE is a searing and intimate portrait of one of the most important and tragic moments in American history, seen through the eyes of the iconic First Lady, then Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (Natalie Portman). JACKIE places us in her world during the days immediately following her husband’s assassination. Known for her extraordinary dignity and poise, here we see a psychological portrait of the First Lady as she struggles to maintain her husband’s legacy and the world of “Camelot” that they created and loved so well.


Are There Any Extras During The Credits? No

Are There Any Extras After The Credits? No

Special thanks to Javier for this submission


Wiener-Dog (2016)

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Title: Wiener-Dog
Rating: R
Directed by: Todd Solondz
Written by: Todd Solondz
Starring: Greta Gerwig, Charlie Tahan and Danny DeVito
Release Date: 6/24/2016
Running Time: 90 minutes

Official Site
IMDb

Welcome to the doghouse: the latest hilariously biting comedy from Todd Solondz is a twisted Lassie for misanthropes. It follows the wayward adventures of a dachshund who passes from oddball owner to oddball owner—including the world’s worst mom, a beleaguered screenwriter, and the grownup incarnation of Welcome to the Dollhouse’s Dawn Wiener—whose radically dysfunctional lives are all impacted by the pooch.


What did you think of this film?

During Credits? No

After Credits? No


Maggie’s Plan (2015)

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Title: Maggie’s Plan
Rating: R
Directed by: Rebecca Miller
Written by: Rebecca Miller
Starring: Greta Gerwig, Ethan Hawke, Julianne Moore, Bill Hader and Maya Rudolph
Release Date: 5/20/2016
Running Time: 98 minutes

Official Site
IMDb

In Rebecca Miller’s witty, modern romantic comedy MAGGIE’S PLAN, Greta Gerwig portrays Maggie Hardin, a vibrant and practical thirty-something New Yorker working at the New School who, without success in finding love, decides now is the time to have a child on her own. But when she meets John Harding (Ethan Hawke), a “ficto-critical anthropologist” and struggling novelist, Maggie falls in love for the first time, and adjusts her plans for motherhood. Complicating matters, John is in a strained marriage with Georgette Nørgaard (Julianne Moore), a brilliant Danish academic. With a Greek chorus of Maggie’s eccentric and hilarious best friends Tony and Felicia (played by Bill Hader and Maya Rudolph) observing wryly from the sidelines, Maggie sets into motion a new plan that catapults her into a nervy love triangle with John and Georgette, intertwining their lives and connecting them in surprising and humorous new ways. Maggie learns that sometimes destiny should be left to its own devices. MAGGIE’S PLAN is a sweet, sophisticated and funny exploration of the unexpected complexities of modern romance, mixing heart and humor in a story of the delightful variability of relationships over the course of time.


What did you think of this film?

During Credits? No

After Credits? No

Dedication: For Gary Winick


Mistress America (2015)

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Title: Mistress America
Rating: R
Directed by: Noah Baumbach
Written by: Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig
Starring: Greta Gerwig, Lola Kirke and Seth Barrish
Release Date: 8/14/2015
Running Time: 84 minutes

Official Site
IMDb
Amazon

A lonely college freshman’s life is turned upside down by her impetuous, adventurous soon-to-be stepsister.


What did you think of this film?

During Credits? No

After Credits? No


Mistress America Review – 4 out of 5 Stars

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Many of you may know Noah Baumbach for his previous films like Frances Ha and The Squid and The Whale. Over the past couple of years, he’s been making these fantastic comedies with stunning screenplays packed with riveting, gorgeous banter between these real yet humorous characters. Mistress America is no exception as it proves to possibly be Baumbach’s funniest film to date, a short, entertaining movie with endlessly rich jokes, memorable characters and an amazing performance from Greta Gerwig.

Tracy (Lola Kirke) is a lonely college student failing to get into a relationship and failing to get into an exclusive club at her school for authors. When she finds out that her mom is getting married again, she starts to meet up with Brook (Greta Gerwig), her new stepsister. They start to hang out together in New York and Brook’s eccentric life inspires Tracy in her writings. When Brook starts to lose investors for a restaurant she’s creating, they go visit her rich ex to receive some funding.

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The reason this film is fantastic is so simple in comparison to recent great movies. This is one of the funniest movies I’ve seen all year. Go figure that the best comedies this year are the independent ones that no one will see. Case and point, go see What We Do in The Shadows, it’s as incredible and hysterical as you’ve heard it to be. That other film aside, the pleasures of Mistress America are in Baumbach and Gerwig’s screenplay. The movie is a treasure chest of hilarious lines, biting satire and this high energy that keeps the film watchable from start to finish. The 2nd half of the movie takes place in this house and it’s never boring because he fills it with all of these wonderful, strange people playing off of each other in the setting.

There’s Brooke’s rich, humorously arrogant ex-boyfriend (Michael Chernus). There’s the socially awkward, likable guy (Matthew Shear) that Tracy is trying to get with. Then you have his ridiculously paranoid girlfriend(Jasmine Cephas Jones). And then there’s this quiet, pregnant accountant (Cindy Cheung) who’s waiting at their house to get picked up by her husband after book club. And despite this craziness, I still haven’t even gotten to all of the characters. What’s most impressive is that there isn’t a weaker one in the lot of them. They are given these great scenes that are all really funny to watch and you’re just watching all of them bounce back and force between each other in this confined space for an hour and 30 minutes. Yet despite its small story, it still manages to be one of the shortest film experiences I’ve watched in months.

In comparison to Me and Earl and The Dying Girl, the previous film I reviewed for SIFF. I appreciated how well this movie was able to blend comedy and drama. Even though the movie tends to be mostly played for laughs, there are a few scenes here and there where the film attempts to be a little serious like in one where Brooke and Tracy get into a fight when Brooke finds out that Tracy has been writing these stories about her. What this movie gets right that the previously mentioned film didn’t is that serious scenes in a comedy don’t have to bring the movie to a dead halt or feel weirdly handled. Even though these scenes are dealing with actual problems, it doesn’t feel out of place and these scenes still manage to get in a lot of sharp and laugh out loud lines regardless. There isn’t that strange feeling that you’ve some stepped into a vastly darker and unneeded film. For example, the previously mentioned fight still contains of the best moments in the movie with all the people in the room criticizing her story for a variety of wacky and peculiar reasons.

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All of the performances here are excellent and Baumbach picked perfect actors to breathe life into his characters. I’ve never seen lead actress Lola Kirke in anything before this but she does a great job playing the more realistic, died down character to the wilder figures we see throughout. And again, Baumbach still makes her a really funny character despite that and Kirke does a good job presenting her. In terms of the supporting cast, I thought Michael Chernus was hilarious as the goofy, out of touch ex-boyfriend and Matthew Shear did an excellent job playing the other realistic person in the film other than Tracy.

Of course, this discussion would be incomplete without talking about the amazing performance by Greta Gerwig as Brooke. Thanks to the screenplay and Gerwig’s performance, Brooke is one of the funniest characters I’ve seen in years. She’s this over confident, aimless loser who manages to make the failures and the problems of her life seem extravagant and gorgeous. She has an endless knowledge of people and a somewhat charming ego that annoys a lot of people and allows her to keep her cool in tense situations. The reason that character works so perfectly is probably due to Gerwig’s part in writing the screenplay for this movie. All of the awkwardness and shyness of the character she played in Frances Ha are gone for this almost crazy, person who never seems tired or bored. Gerwig put so much energy and power into Brooke that I would totally be down for watching a show made off of her character, it cannot be understated how tremendously, hysterically good she was in the part.

Mistress America won’t end up being the most powerful or moving film of the year, but it sure as hell will end up being one of the funniest of the year. This movie has everything a great comedy should have, riveting dialogue, a great supporting cast and a brilliant lead performance. This is such a tight and perfectly fit together 90 minute experience that it never seemed to contain a dull moment. I frankly found this movie to be highly engaging and I cannot wait for you guys to check this one out when you get the chance.

Rating:(4/5)

Review by: Ryan M.

Release Date: 8/14/2015

Rating: R

Cast: Seth Barrish, Juliet Brett, Michael Chernus, Cindy Cheung, Shana Dowdeswell, Joel Marsh Garland, Greta Gerwig, Charlie Gillette, Rebecca Henderson and Jasmine Cephas Jones

Directed by: Noah Baumbach

Screenplay by: Noah Baumbach

Humbling, The (2014)

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Title: The Humbling
Rating: R
Director: Barry Levinson
Writer: Buck Henry and Michal Zebede
Stars: Al Pacino, Greta Gerwig and Kyra Sedgwick
Release Date: 12/31/2014
Running Time: 112 minutes

Official Site
IMDb

An aged and addled actor has his world turned upside down after he embarks upon an affair with a lesbian, in this acidulous adaptation of the Philip Roth novel.


What did you think of this film?

During Credits? No

After Credits? No

Special thanks to Frank S. for this submission

Frances Ha (2012)

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TITLE: Frances Ha

RELEASE DATE: 6/19/2013

RATING: R

A story that follows a New York woman (who doesn’t really have an apartment), apprentices for a dance company (though she’s not really a dancer), and throws herself headlong into her dreams, even as their possible reality dwindles.

What did you think of this film?


Official Site

Amazon

IMDb


During Credits? No

After Credits? No

NOTE: “For Harris”.


Lola Versus (2012)

TITLE: Lola Versus

RELEASE DATE: 6/8/2012

RATING: R

Dumped by her boyfriend just three weeks before their wedding, Lola enlists her close friends for a series of adventures she hopes will help her come to terms with approaching 30 as a single woman.

What did you think of this film?


Official Site

Amazon

IMDb


During Credits? No

After Credits? No

NOTE: In memory of Elizabeth Marie Glotzbach.


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