February 9 2016 Drama Movies Newsletter
I watched two films this week. One of which, the Australian film "Mental" (2012), reunites Toni Collette with her director from "Muriel's Wedding" (1994). I chose not to write a review because the film is more comedy than drama. The humor can be a bit crude, at times, but I liked the nonconformist message at the heart of the film. As Collette's character Shaz states, "There's no such thing as normal".
Writer/director P.J. Hogan also cleverly incorporates "The Sound of Music" into the plot of "Mental". Shirley, a distressed housewife, is obsessed with the Von Trapp family. Her family, with a cheating husband and five daughters all convinced they are mentally ill, is anything but the idyllic perfection she desires. Anthony LaPaglia, returning to his native land, plays the husband. Liev Schreiber is also in the film, and his Australian accent isn't bad. I recommend the film, but be forewarned that some of the language and humor is on the colorful side.
"The Drop", a crime drama from Belgian director Michael Roskam, is the film I chose to review. Roskam uses an interesting mix of actors: John Ortiz, who has appeared in three Michael Mann films, James Frecheville, from the Australian crime drama "Animal Kingdom", and Matthias Schoenaerts, who played the lead in Roskam's debut feature "Bullhead". Tom Hardy and James Gandolfini, in his final role, are the leads.
Tom Hardy tends to have a different appearance in each of his roles, and a different accent. Born in England, he has played Russian and American characters. He may be making the transition from actor to movie star, though, as the star of two box-office hits in 2015: "Mad Max: Fury Road" and "The Revenant". It's also been announced that he will reprise his role as Max in a sequel, "Mad Max: The Wasteland".
Here's the latest article from the Drama Movies site at BellaOnline.com.
The Drop Film Review
Writer Dennis Lehane, who penned "Shutter Island" and "Mystic River", creates another memorable gallery of characters in "The Drop". Tom Hardy and James Gandolfini star as cousins who operate a Brooklyn bar under the control of a Chechen mobster. An ill-fated robbery leads to deadly consequences.
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