Anthony Chiarella

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Anthony Chiarella Posted: Aug 27, 2014 0 comments
“Toto… We’re Not in Montana Anymore!”

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We’ve all received “You’ve Won a Million Dollars” junk mail, and some of us have even responded, but naïve old Woody Grant (Bruce Dern) actually drags his son David (Will Forte) on a thousand-mile road trip from Billings, Montana, to Prize Headquarters in Lincoln, Nebraska, to claim his cash. By the time they arrive, David has come to understand and appreciate the father he’d only known as a tight-lipped alcoholic. Dern’s filigreed interpretation of Woody—the crowning achievement of a brilliant career—slowly allows the kindness, complexity, and depth of his seemingly two-dimensional character to unfold. In this, he is aided by a meticulously chosen ensemble cast who bring humor and heartache to a screenplay whose dry, deadpan dialogue is relentlessly hilarious.
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Anthony Chiarella Posted: Aug 13, 2014 0 comments
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Increasingly depressed and agoraphobic since her divorce, Adele (Kate Winslet) relies upon her doting son, Henry (Gattlin Griffith). At the start of the 1987 Labor Day weekend, mother and son are confronted by escaped convict Frank (Josh Brolin), who demands their assistance in eluding the authorities. Over the next few days, Frank’s kindness and innocence are manifest, and the trio has become a family—almost. Confused by conflicting emotions and threatened with the prospect of a competitor for his mother’s love, the awkward adolescent facilitates Frank’s capture. Adele has loved and lost again. Or has she?
Her
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Anthony Chiarella Posted: Jul 29, 2014 0 comments
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One of our most visionary filmmakers, Spike Jonze delights in showing us the unexpected. In Her, his most daring script to date (he won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar), Jonze imagines a future in which romantic relationships no longer require two humans. Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), a writer of other peoples’ love letters, acquires a cutting-edge operating system. Possessed of artificial intelligence, his OS assumes the female persona “Samantha” (Scarlett Johansson), with whom Theodore falls in love. Phoenix is brilliant in what amounts to a one-man show, delivering a richly detailed character study of the dark, introverted geek. In many ways, Johansson has the more difficult task, portraying a new and constantly evolving being, who, lacking physical substance, must define herself through words alone.
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Anthony Chiarella Posted: Jul 01, 2014 0 comments
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Perhaps America’s greatest working filmmaker, Martin Scorsese continues to refine his stream-of-consciousness directorial style, a motif that reached its zenith in 1990’s Goodfellas. His latest film, which chronicles the rise and fall of stock shark Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), might lack the depth and poignancy of Scorsese’s gangster classic, but it takes his staccato storytelling techniques to an even higher level of commercial appeal. Starring in his fifth Scorsese film, DiCaprio interprets the larger-than-life Belfort with essential hubris, though his portrayal sometimes strays into heavy-handedness. Not so Jonah Hill, who, as DiCaprio’s lieutenant, delivers the best performance of his meteoric career, not to mention this movie. (Both DiCaprio and Hill were nominated for Oscars.) Matthew McConaughey and Rob Reiner conjure delightful caricatures in their supporting roles, endowing Wolf with the dimensionality that has become a Scorsese trademark.
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Anthony Chiarella Posted: Jun 04, 2014 1 comments
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Interactivity
When six-year-old Anna Dover and her neighbor disappear, father Keller (Hugh Jackman) tramples the law to find her. While Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) methodically investigates, the impatient Keller kidnaps his daughter’s alleged kidnapper and attempts to extract a confession through torture. Prisoners is a perfectly paced psycho-drama that engrosses and rewards its audience.

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