SERENA

If names were enough to equal box office, Serena would be a bona-fide hit. “Serena! Starring Academy Award® Nominee Bradley Cooper and Academy Award® wining Jennifer Lawrence! Directed by Academy Award® wining director Susanna Bier! Two desperate souls lost in North Carolina’s Smokey Mountains. See it!” Alas, a movie is not comprised solely of stars, but story, character, aesthetic and movement. All of which, Serena lacks. In spades. Set in Depression Era North Carolina, Serena attempts to paint a picture of a rugged America and of rugged and hardened Americans. Attempts, but does not succeed. Cooper plays Pemberton, a tentative … Continue reading SERENA

Movie Beat – 06.14.13

20 Feet From Stardom – There isn’t that much distance from the band at the front of the stage, and the singers in the back. Only a twenty foot walk, but, as The Boss puts it, “It’s a bit of a walk.” This documentary follows Merry Clayton, Darlene Love, Claudia Lennear, Lisa Fischer, and Judith Hill, all back-up singers, all trying to break into careers with some sort of success, some sort of identification, something that isn’t so difficult, so heartbreaking, so discouraging. Not having your dreams come true is difficult, but is the difficulty easier or harder when you … Continue reading Movie Beat – 06.14.13

THE GIRL

Did he train you? Did he rehearse you? Did he tell you exactly what to do, what to say? You were a very apt pupil too, weren’t you? Scottie’s questions at the climax of Vertigo do more to illuminate the inner workings of the film’s director than the entire ninety minutes that is The Girl. Hailed as Alfred Hitchcock’s masterwork, Vertigo (1958) stars James Stewart as Scottie, a man in love with a woman, or his idea of a woman. He loses the first woman and then finds another woman just like her. Scottie does whatever he can to recreate her in … Continue reading THE GIRL