A New England couple deals with the aftermath of a family tragedy.
Directed by Todd Field
Starring Sissy Spacek, Tom Wilkinson, and Marisa Tomei
Initial Review by Lane Davis
Oh, the New England grief film. With “Manchester By the Sea” garnering all the acclaim it did this year, perhaps this film type deserves its own genre category. It’s a good bet that if you’re a filmmaker and if the premise of your film is that two parents face the untimely death of their children while living in MA, CT, NH, VT, or ME, you’re going to get funding and maybe even a few nods from Academy members who grew up on the North Shore and are still working through their repressive Yankee childhoods.
I've probably seen Chicago near a dozen times. I saw it in theaters and bought the DVD when it was released, though it's actually been a a number of years since the last viewing. It's not a perfect movie, but it's great and there are definitely portions of it that I Iove.
We'll start with the cast... which was phenomenal. Our theme is Best Actress, and this is pretty much a female powerhouse cast. Zellweger got the nom for Best Actress... and while she was great in the lead I think she was actually outdone by both Zetz-Jones and Queen Latifah. Zeta-Jones took home the Oscar, though I probably would give the edge to Queen Latifah for overall performance. Regardless, all three were amazing in their parts. Richard Gere was a fine flashy silver-tongued Billy Flynn. My favorite casting and character, however, was Amos as played by John C. Reilly. He got a well deserved supporting actor nomination, but unfortunately not the win. (Interesting enough, Reilly was in three of the five 2002 Best Picture Nominated movies) Taye Diggs as the Bandleader was more important than I'd imagine most people notice on a single viewing. We also got some nice scenes with Mya and Lucy Liu. I actually forgot all about Dominic West, but he stood out this time around since I just started watching The Wire for our upcoming podcast series.
Watching this movie in 2016 for the first time is a bit hard because since this movie came out, at least 40 more movies have dropped with the exact same premise and even some of the exact same scenes. None of them were particularly good so I wasn’t expecting much from this movie except good acting and I believe that’s what I got.
The movie starts out showing the Gallagher family as they get ready to go to a party and that’s basically all we get of them being a family. There are a few quick 2-3 minute scenes throughout that show them together, but none of it really does anything. It doesn’t really show them as a happy family rather than a group of people that are together.
Glenn Close is the highlight of the movie. She takes a slightly boring character (Crazed woman) and makes her intriguing, but all that Glenn does for the character doesn’t fix the movie. Alex has no real backstory or reason given as to why she went so crazy. What was it about this one night stand that made her snap? Was this built-up over years of bad relationships? There’s just nothing more given to us than she had a miscarriage and her father died of a heart attack.
Overall this movie is not great. I’m sure it was good and people loved it back when it came out in the 80’s, but watching it now it’s pretty mediocre with some really good acting. I’m giving the acting an A-, but the movie at most can get a C+.
I’ll give it a C.
Also I think the alternate ending was much better: https://youtu.be/GY_NQK7rJrY
JUST SOME IDIOTS GIVING SURPRISINGLY AVERAGE MOVIE REVIEWS.
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