The Meddler (2015)

LORENE SCAFARIA Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB.  USA, 2015.  Anonymous Content, Stage 6 Films.  Screenplay by Lorene Scafaria.  Cinematography by Brett Pawlak.  Produced by Joy Gorman Wettels.  Music by Jonathan Sadoff.  Production Design by Chris L. Spellman.  Costume Design by Annie Bloom.  Film Editing by Kayla Emter.   Recently widowed Susan Sarandon (her finest performance in years) finds herself with plenty of time and money…

Rate this:

Speed Racer

B (out of 5) A strong contender for Most Annoying Film Of All Time, adapted from the popular Japanese television series by the Wachowskis to look like a cartoon in live-action form.  What it actually looks like is a late-night commercial that you cannot escape, with constantly overlapping imagery, intentionally false backdrops and queasily colourful interiors occasionally…

Rate this:

Mothers and Daughters

BB (out of 5) The relationships between generations of women is explored by a stunning cast in this sappy melodrama. Christina Ricci has found out a hard truth about her family that has made her stop talking to her sister Courteney Cox; Sharon Stone is a fancy editor who is at odds with her rebellious daughter;…

Rate this:

Pretty Baby

BBB.5 (out of 5) Brooke Shields has spent all her twelve years growing up in a World War I-era New Orleans brothel, her mother (Susan Sarandon) a seasoned professional who has just given birth to her second child. Given that Shields is a beauty before having even reached puberty, it’s no surprise that the madam of…

Rate this:

The Last Of Robin Hood

BB.5 (out of 5) Errol Flynn was already a notorious ladies man with a few statutory rape trials under his belt when he met teenager Beverly Aadland, beginning an affair with her that took up the last two years of his rather short life. Following his death was an eruption of scandal and gossip, criticized…

Rate this:

The Calling

BB.5 (out of 5) Susan Sarandon plays a broken, alcoholic police chief whose inability to give a damn about her job causes little interruption of the running of affairs in her posting in Fort Dundas, Ontario.  She spends her days barely keeping it together and her nights going home to her concerned, nosy mother (Ellen…

Rate this:

Tammy

BB (out of 5) Melissa McCarthy plays a mouthy, unkempt fast food employee whose day begins badly when she hits a deer on the road, her boss (Ben Falcone, McCarthy’s real life-husband who directed the film and with whom she co-wrote the script) fires her and sends her home to her husband (Nat Faxon), who…

Rate this:

Cloud Atlas

BB.5 (out of 5) A scientist in the late nineteenth century is beset by illness while on an ocean voyage; a composer in England in the 1930s becomes assistant to a cantankerous legend in his field; a reporter in 1970s America investigates the shady dealings of a nuclear power corporation; a struggling publisher in 2012…

Rate this:

Illuminata

BB (out of 5) Too strange to be memorable, this odd mess of a film concerns a nineteenth-century minor theatre group putting on an opera. An A-list cast that includes John Turturro (who also directed), Susan Sarandon, Beverly D’Angelo, Katherine Borowitz (Turturro’s real-life wife) and Aida Turturro  (his sister) are all wonderful, but clearly the script they…

Rate this:

Joe Gould’s Secret

BBB.5 (out of 5) Pleasant tribute to Manhattan life in the 1940s, with Stanley Tucci (who also directs) playing New Yorker columnist Joe Mitchell. Mitchell comes upon the story of the decade when he meets Joe Gould (Ian Holm), a wildly passionate, manic and emotional vagrant who has no set purpose in life except for the…

Rate this:

Anywhere But Here

BB (out of 5) The presence of at least one happy scene would have done much for this overly melodramatic film about a young woman (Natalie Portman) being dragged across the country by her ambitious and, she thinks, selfish mother (Susan Sarandon). The performances by the two ladies couldn’t be better, but Wayne Wang’s direction…

Rate this:

Igby Goes Down

BBBB (out of 5) Kieran Culkin gives a fine performance as Igby, a troubled teenager who constantly infuriates his socially upstanding mother (Susan Sarandon) by getting himself kicked out of every prep school on the eastern seaboard. He eventually decides to strike out on his own, quitting his latest scholastic institution and becoming an independent man…

Rate this: