The Tale (2019): Drama / Mystery / Thriller

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When stories from her childhood years resurface, a woman starts questioning her memories of the summers she spent with her riding instructor and her running coach.

Feature debut from writer/director Jennifer Fox who… dares! She, non-linearly, unfolds her most sensitive part of her life and puts it out there for you and me to witness it. The Tale is a daring yet terrifying case study on memory and how and why it works the way it does. And even though you will not get a straight answer, it addresses age, its relation to the interpretation of time and space, and how everything affects, clouds, and intricately shapes the way we remember things. There have been amazing research topics out there on memory and existence and memory and personality if you want to retrospectively examine your life experiences or test how well you remember situations you claim you do.

Back to the film, Fox’s documentarian expertise shows straight away behind the camera and Laura Dern’s raw talent shines in front of it. Next to her, Common, Jason Ritter, Elizabeth Debicki, Ellen Burstyn and the fantastic Jessica Sarah Flaum create amazing chemistry amongst them. My only dissatisfaction was the somewhat anticlimactic ending, and I know it’s based on Fox’s actual experiences but it’s not a biography so, it could perpetuate the already existing dramatisation to the confrontation part. But that’s just me.

HBO and all cast and crew deserve a huge round of applause. I usually go with “I hope you enjoy it” but, in this instance, I hope you understand it, look back at your own life experiences and wonder from what it is that has driven you to become the person you are today to how many times you have caught yourselves lying to yourselves.

Next time someone asks you: “You know who I am?!”, ask them: “Who are you?”

Stay safe!

Marriage Story (2019): Comedy / Drama / Romance

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A married couple with a little kid decides to break up and both parties reveal their best and worst hidden sides of themselves.

Even though ‘it takes a village to make a film’ and every department plays a significant role in a film’s success or failure, five major ones (not in a particular order) need to become a solid one to guarantee Marriage Story‘s success: Directing, cinematography, editing, writing, and acting. Writer/Director Noah Baumbach, cast actors Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson during the script development and all three of them put the ‘FADE OUT’ in the end. As all three of them had been or were going through divorces, the film is largely based on their real-life experiences, and it is that kind of realism that is translated to the big screen and the film’s final cut. Everyone poured their souls in it and, as per IMDb, this is what happened: Top Rated Movies #171, nominated for 6 Golden Globes, and another 81 wins & 177 nominations.

The way editing controls the film’s pace and rhythm is remarkable. Without saying it’s right or wrong, the cuts during the dialogue – cutting from the person talking/crying/exploding to the other person’s reaction – make an interesting case as, me personally, I would expect maybe less reaction. I bet the drafts were endless though and, since the final cut works, I just take it as it comes. The mise-en-scène is flawless and Baumbach with director of photography Robbie Ryan have captured and framed only the essential to the story elements. Last and most certainly not least, Johansson and Driver purely unleash their thespian talents and, arguably, deliver the most hair-raising performances of their lives. Forgetting the high budget tentpoles they are currently in – Avengers and Star Wars respectively – they become part of a love story wrapped in self-absorption and insecurities. Interesting background production details can be found here: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7653254/trivia?ref_=tt_trv_trv

The labyrinthine nature of a human being knows no limits. When two human beings come together, the stakes and unpredictability are doubled and when a family is created a small society is born under the same roof. Hundreds of millions of these societies form bigger societies that constitute the world as we know it. And its intricacies and complexities can only be matched with the Universe’s mysteries.

Cold Pursuit (2019): Action / Crime / Drama

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After his son gets murdered, a snowplow driver tracks down and goes after everyone responsible for his death.

Hans Petter Moland, writer/director of films with a unique character such as Aberdeen (2000) and his latest Out Stealing Horses (2019), impresses this time by remaking his own film In Order of Disappearance (2014) – all three led by Stellan Skarsgård. The film was shot in early 2017 but was released only recently. I guess it would have done better had it been released before a controversial interview Liam Neeson gave earlier this year.

Politics aside, Cold Pursuit is enjoyable adding some dark comedy to the aforementioned genres, resembling Fargo (1996) and Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999). Julia Jones, Emmy Rossum, and Tom Bateman stand out. A lot of similarities can be found with the original film, especially in tone and rhythm, and both of them make one wonder who was Nels Coxman before…