Michael Stuhlbarg

Films in Brief: 4/18/14

It’s been a busy week with all of us gearing up for our massive Hot Docs coverage, but here’s a look at what else is playing on local screens this week that we haven’t gotten around to reviewing yet, including the Disneynature documentary Bears, the romantic drama The Face of Love, the Canadian teen road flick Hold Fast, the psychological thriller Stress Position, the literary minded Meetings with a Young Poet, and the ballet documentary Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq.

Blue Jasmine Review

Thanks to an excellent script and a knock-out leading performance from Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine is handily Woody Allen's best film since the early 1990s. Instead of being fun, playful, or genre based, it's emotional, real, and keenly perceptive.

Hitchcock Review

While it was inevitable that someone would make a big screen biopic about one of the world's most prominent directors, Hichcock is only a mildly entertaining and watchable film with a complete and utter disregard for the history of the man at the centre of it so the filmmakers can create drama that wasn't there originally.

Men in Black III Review

Men in Black III is better than Men in Black II in so much as being tooth gratingly annoying and thoroughly incomprehensible is better than outright incompetence.

Hugo Review

Hugo is the kind of ambitious and earnest miscalculation that could only be made by someone with great love and passion. For his latest film, Martin Scorsese adapts author Brian Selznick’s children’s book The Invention of Hugo Cabret, but at the same time takes the material so personally that the film’s good intentions are often ungainly and out of alignment with the actual story of the film. The material is definitely within Scorsese’s field of vision, but the famed director loses sight of audience expectations and creates a film wholly for the most academic fans of film studies.