It’s been a busy few days, so do try to keep up!
Let’s bitch it out…
Unfortunately my timing was poor for Lady Bird, so I missed out on the screening by 2 (!) people. Hope no one really wanted a review for that one.
Currently battling Suburbicon for worst of the fest, Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut is 2+ hours of bloated hot air. Sorkin’s well-know for his dialogue, but here his penchant for fast paced walk and talk scenes prove to be his downfall. Scripted within an inch of its life, poor Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba are left to sink in undercooked roles that require them to spout ludicrously on the nose dialogue and pontificate in voice-over on all of the film’s themes.
Judge the opening sequence as a barometer: it’s a lengthy, wordy character introduction to Chastain’s Molly Bloom, a former Olympic skiing hopeful whose dreams are crushed – literally – in a qualifying round accident. Sounds decent until you realize roughly 30 minutes of dialogue has been packed into approximately eight minutes. Throw in a jazzed up approach to poker that more closely resembles an Ocean’s Eleven heist and add a throw-away insult about Bloom looking like a high end escort (which she promptly leans into by wearing that exact look for the remainder of the film) and Molly’s Game is a hot damn mess.
The Lodgers is an Irish ghost story with lots of potential, but doesn’t quite hit the mark. The film starts promisingly with a pair of pale teen twins living in an abandoned gothic house, but the sorrowful family history that keeps them captive isn’t that compelling. There’s a decent atmosphere in the Grey Gardens set design, in particular a trap door at the bottom of the staircase that leaks water up upside down to the roof. On the whole the whole set design of the home is one of the film’s more memorable aspect.
Unfortunately The Lodgers commits the cardinal sin of stretching 45 minutes of story into nearly two hours, leaving the film running on fumes (and ludicrous underwater sequences) in its final gasp. Kudos to lead actress Charlotte Vega who manages to keep her character Rachel watchable long after the script has run out of things for her to do. In the end, The Lodgers is a decent period ghost story that winds up waterlogged in a less than compelling mythology and excessive runtime.