I swear that by the time he is done acting Chadwick Boseman will get a screenplay that works with his spectacular performances. His work in films such as, 42 and Get on Down, were both impressive displays of an actor expanding beyond what was on the pages, but becoming those historic figures. In Marshall, Boseman takes on the life of Thurgood Marshall, NAACP lawyer, the first African-american Supreme Court Justice, and civil rights leader. Once again his performance is great, but instead of Boseman basking in the light, he takes a step back for a courtroom drama that sells his work short. Marshall is a major disappointment, unwilling to focus on the man whose name is on the poster.
A noticeable trend in The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) is how consistent the characters often talk at each other, talk at the same time, and rarely listen. In Noah Baumbach’s newest entry about family disfunction, he seems intent on leaving us with the important message that family matters, but we sadly didn’t get to pick our family. An all-star cast of Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, Elizabeth Marvel, and Emma Thompson round up the entire Meyerowitz clan, filled with characters that are artists, neurotic, talented, complicated people. This may not be Baumbach’s greatest film, but The Meyerowitz Stories is one of his strongest pieces of work, top to bottom.
The recent passing of Harry Dean Stanton only makes his final film- Lucky, that much more special. Before the legendary character actor, of films such as Alien, Paris, Texas, and Pretty in Pink had passed away, the new film from first time director John Carroll Lynch, was a beautiful tribute to an actor that deserved his moment in the sun. Now, Lucky will leave audiences with a bit more to hold onto, in a beautiful encapsulation of work that celebrates a character enjoying the twilight of his life. Lucky will make you laugh, contemplate the afterlife, cry, and leave you smiling bright. We are so very Lucky to have a film like Lucky.