Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Refractions of Reality

Clint is working on a Hoover movie at the moment so I thought I'd check out Larry Cohen's little biopic The Private Files of J Edgar Hoover. It's not bad but it attempts to cover Hoo's entire career in under two hours so there's little time for detail and it plays out more like a docudrama than anything else. None the less there's two solid performances from Broderick Crawford & Rip Torn that help ground the relentless sprint through some momentous events in US and it's a nicely frank run through given it was made just 5 years after he's popped his clogs.

Animal Kingdom is a Aussie crime drama about a teenager forced to live with his cousin and his bank robbing family after his junkie mum carks it. Unfortunately the locals police are keeping close tabs on the bunch and they seem to prefer shooting first so life gets messy pretty quick. It's pretty good, with bags of tension and it's apparently (loosely) based on some Pettingill family from 80's Melbourne anyways it's a tad flat footed and the sluggish, no blinky central performance didn't help but it's got a nice, Wire-ish naturalism to the criminal life and the rest of the acting was strong.

The King's Speech was actually better than I expected - sure it's one of those Monarchy rimming period dramas our film industry relies on but at least it's well made and has a few laughs to lighten the sycophancy. Firth is good but I thought Rush was better, playing the vocal coach trying to cure the future King of his stuttering. If you were cynical you might suggest it was deliberately crafted to be awards bait - disability? check, period drama on the cusp of historical event? check, glorifies the media? check blah blah blah. It's competent and will do for lazy Sunday but it's so bland it's bound to make big money.

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