Austin Film Festival has come and gone! This year I managed to catch eight films, and mini-reviews of each one await you below. Read on.
The Humbling isn’t a bad movie, but it does play like a way less interesting version of Birdman (both deal with aging actors trying to sort out their lives and careers). Only seek it out if you’re a diehard fan of Al Pacino.
The Suicide Theory features an interesting concept – a suicidal guy hires someone to kill him but somehow he always survives the attempts on his life – and has some good moments in it, but the last act features a variety of shoehorned twists that just really damage the film overall.
I’ve never been a big fan of Reese Witherspoon, but I can’t deny that she’s pretty fantastic in Wild. It’s her dedicated performance that keeps director Jean-Marc Vallee’s film from feeling like a wad of Oscar bait.
Going into The Living I had heard good things, but I just didn’t care much for it. The film’s two distinct stories are shallow messes, and because of that I often found myself wondering when I might start to care about what was happening on the screen. It was good to see Fran Kranz (Cabin In The Woods) in something new, though.
The Imitation Game is the best film I saw at this year’s Austin Film Festival. Benedict Cumberbatch is spectacular in his portrayal of Alan Turing, and the story itself is not only interesting, but also thoroughly heartbreaking. See it as soon as you can.
For much of One Eyed Girl, I liked where it was going. A guy is having some issues, he winds up in a cult-like group, and then they … help him. What? No way! Well, no way is right. The movie eventually takes the exact turn you think it will (but hope it doesn’t) and then it’s just another okay experience.
What are you doing, James Franco? You never go full retard.
I liked Jon Stewart’s directorial debut, but I will say that it has some tonal issues. There are a lot of parts that could have used a very serious/scary touch, but they’re done in an almost lighthearted way, and it’s a bit jarring.