Tag Archives: Carey Mulligan

NYFF 2013 Review: Inside Llewyn Davis

Inside_Llewyn_Davis_Poster1“Inside Llewyn Davis” features a remarkable lead performance and impassioned journey, but the character’s destructive habits and off-putting attitude can make the experience deflating and unfulfilling.

The film covers a week in the life of struggling singer, Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac). While trying to make a name for himself in the Greenwich Village folk scene, Llewyn drags his bag and guitar around, crashes on friends’ couches, ruins some of those relationships with his sour attitude and then, when all seems lost, heads to Chicago for a long overdue meeting with a media mogul who doesn’t even know he exists.

“Inside Llewyn Davis” is brimming with quality material, but Llewyn’s bleak existence and unpleasant demeanor makes it difficult to enjoy the experience. The guy is just a self-centered jerk. Not only does he suck all of his friends dry by invading their space, but then, while he’s there, he rarely manages a thank you because he’s totally consumed by his own agenda.

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Review: The Great Gatsby

The-Great-Gatsby-PosterBaz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby” is brimming with stellar components – it’s just too bad they never really come together.

Like the F. Scott Fitzgerald book, “The Great Gatsby” is told from the perspective of Tobey Maguire’s Nick Carraway. He comes to New York City to work as a bonds salesman and settles down in a little cottage on Long Island right across the bay from his cousin, Daisy (Carey Mulligan), and her husband, Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton). Nick doesn’t fit into the ritzy West Egg lifestyle, but soon enough he’s tagging along with Tom to drink it up with his mistress Myrtle (Isla Fisher) and her friends, and attending the hottest parties in town – the ones held at his neighbor’s home, Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio).

The film’s excellent performances, booming music selection, and mesmerizing visuals all work wonders on their own, but do little to support or enhance one another, ultimately making storytelling feel secondary to the spectacle.

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Interview: Drive Director Nicolas Winding Refn

Drive is a fairly intricate movie. The plot is simple enough – Ryan Gosling’s Driver falls for Carey Mulligan’s Irene, only to find out her family is being threatened by notorious mobsters. Gosling’s character puts his superb driving skills to use to help keep Irene and her young son stay safe. But director Nicolas Winding Refn takes the piece a giant leap further, not only dousing Drive with a unique style and tone, but also with his incredible attention to detail. Everything in Drive has a reason; every element has a value and that’s something you’d think would require a great deal of preparation – but not for Refn.

In honor of the film’s September 16th release, Refn sat down to talk about his experience bringing James Sallis’ book to life. Surprisingly, Refn isn’t working with detailed script notes or even a shot list; elements went into this movie as they came to Refn’s mind and a great deal of that happened in the midst of shooting. When we’re used to seeing filmmakers assemble features based on studio standards, something like Drive sticks out, for this isn’t a piece that conforms to anyone’s preferences except Refn’s. Hear more about his process in the video interview below.

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Review: Drive

Quite clearly director Nicolas Winding Refn worked hard to bring Drive to life in the most appropriate way possible and, in turn, we get a movie that requires a degree of personal investment. Drive isn’t the type of film that lays out its plot points and lets you follow along, rather something that gives you incredible access to the main players, compelling you to become part of the action. At times, the need to decipher the details can be frustrating, but Refn duly rewards you for your work.

Ryan Gosling stars as an unnamed stunt driver and auto mechanic. When not working for Shannon (Bryan Cranston) on movies sets or in his garage, he’s moonlighting as a getaway driver. After a hard day’s work, he heads home to his apartment, which is right down the hall from Irene (Carey Mulligan) and her son Benicio (Kaden Leos). With Benicio’s father in prison, there’s a void in their lives, a void that Gosling’s character happily and humbly fills.

This synopsis must be kept light, as one of Drive’s most effective assets is its ability to keep you guessing. To give you a hint at where the action heads, Irene’s safety is threatened by a pair of notorious mobsters, Nino and Bernie Rose (Ron Perlman and Albert Brooks), and Gosling’s driver steps in to keep them from hurting her or Benicio.

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SDCC 2011: Interview With Drive’s Ron Perlman

RonPerlmanSure, San Diego Comic Con is all about promoting the biggest Hollywood has to offer, but some more modest productions are also on the scene to show us what they’re made of, productions like Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive.

Due out on September 16th, Drive stars Ryan Gosling as a stunt performer by day, getaway driver in the criminal underworld by night. Ron Perlman plays Nino, an associate of Bernie Rose (Albert Brooks), the local mob boss who fronts the money to pay for Gosling’s character’s wheels. In addition to struggling with his disapproval of Bernie’s choice to dish out the cash, Nino’s also got a bit of an identity crisis as he’s Jewish, but Italian at heart.

Check out what Perlman had to say about that, his experience working with Refn, his passion for Drive and much more in the video interview below.

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