Firstly, those who share my animation fandom will want to hustle over to The Film Experience, where I have reviewed the new Bill Plympton feature Cheatin’ and gone totally gaga for it.
Secondly, my stack of IRL obligations is thiiiiiis big right now, and so I’m unlikely to write anything else this night. Or, God forbid, the next night also. But I have seen some other movies the past couple of days, and while I’m going to write about them at some length eventually, that’s not going to happen just quite yet. In the meanwhile, I would like to offer you these review-surrogate capsules:
Calvary: What should be, by all rights, a belabored dual metaphor (priest as Christ; priest as the Catholic Church as its influence and respectability wane in formerly rock-solid Catholic communities) lands with a wallop thanks to Brendan Gleeson’s powerhouse performance and the mournful beauty of its images. Crackerjack editing and script structure.
The Homesman: A small miracle of a Western steeped in the genre’s codes and conventions while challenging those conventions every chance it gets. Director Tommy Lee Jones throws in a few too many shots that reveal his strong working knowledge of John Ford’s filmography, but he’s in great form as an actor, and Hilary Swank is even better. The cinematography, score, and sound design are all top-notch as well. Why, exactly, did this get a chilly reception at Cannes?
Nightcrawler: Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Elswit are easily the best in show. Writer-director Dan Gilroy’s lambasting of the local news feels like it’s repeating stuff everybody already knows, but does so with enough passion, and in enough of a twisty genre framework, that it still plays like gangbusters.