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Monthly Archives: February 2015

The best way to describe this movie is “realistic.” Boasting an outstanding cast and a true-life setting, this film makes audiences feel like they are in the middle of a real story. Little Accidents is the story of a present-day coal-mining town in West Virginia after a mining incident in which ten men are killed. The story follows the only surviving man from the incident, a 15-year-old boy whose father died in the mine, and the mother of a 15-year-old boy who has disappeared. It focuses on the aftermath of the incident and who is to blame for the deaths of the ten miners. This puts a lot of pressure on Amos Jenkins, the surviving miner, whose memory determines the future of the mine and the people in the mining town.

Shot in Beckley, West Virginia, every aspect of this film feels real; from the homes of the people, to the people themselves, it feels like you could easily stumble upon a town just like the one portrayed. “A lot of the cast members were just people from the town,” said Producer Summer Shelton.

The actors gave genuine and heartfelt performances. Jacob Lofland, who plays Owen, the son of one of a deceased miner, was superb in conveying the emotions of confusion, isolation and guilt. Elizabeth Banks gave a convincing performance, portraying loss and hopelessness as the grieving mother. And Boyd Holbrook, Amos Jenkins, was excellent in his portrayal of a traumatized survivor, pressured and confused, searching for the right thing to do.

This movie may hit home for many, especially those who appreciate an authentic story.

Word of advice: make sure you bring tissues to this film. Heart wrenching and heartbreaking, this story is one that seems surreal yet is starkly realistic. Still Alice is the story of a Columbia University linguistics professor and mother of three who is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease at the age of fifty. The story follows Alice as her condition worsens and she struggles to live her life.

Julianne Moore is astounding as Alice and her raw emotion shines through, fully embracing her character. Moore has been nominated for numerous awards for her performance, including an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role.  Paling in comparison to Moore, but nonetheless giving outstanding performances, are Alec Baldwin as Alice’s husband John, Kristen Stewart as daughter Lydia, Kate Bosworth as daughter Anna, and Hunter Parrish as son Tom. These supporting characters are essential to the flow of the story and all of the actors portray their characters fairly well; only occasionally is there a line of dialogue that sounds a bit stiff.

The film’s music carries the story well and the score seems to fit each scene perfectly, going along with or sometimes aidingthe plot. Many of the film’s scenes focus on Alice to the exclusion of her surroundings. This deliberate technique gives the audience a sense of how Alice feels about the world around her and how she is confused by her surroundings.

Although a sad film with an (spoiler alert) unhappy ending, this film is well written, well directed, and well made.

Set in crime-ridden New York City in the winter of 1981, this intense film keeps viewers engaged and engrossed. Classified as an action/drama/crime film, the story follows an ambitious businessman as he fights to protect his heating oil business and tries to keep his family safe during ‘a most violent year.’ Throughout the film, Abel Morales (played by Oscar Isaac) is desperate to close on a property that would profit him greatly and to find out who has been hijacking his oil trucks. Impeding him from accomplishing his objectives are an ongoing police investigation of his company and the people responsible for his truck hijackings.

There are many stylistic aspects of production I noticed throughout the film that I liked. The director, J.C. Chandor, includes some interesting viewpoint and silhouette shots and also a very distinct color scheme of blue and yellow that is consistent throughout every shot. Furthermore, the way the film starts and ends with Abel running gives the viewer a sense of conclusion and that the story has come full circle; I thoroughly enjoyed that. I also thought the acting was phenomenal, especially Jessica Chastain, who plays Abel’s wife Anna. Chastain was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture.

Overall, I enjoyed this film and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in crime dramas or wants to watch a noteworthy film.