In Review: The Happy Prince

The Happy Prince suffers the familiar strains of the modern biopic, charting the humiliating downfall of Oscar Wilde with structurally scattered and emotionally limited effect. Obviously a project of great importance to Rupert Everett, as the actor wrote and directed the film in addition to starring as the notorious writer, the film is still notably passionate despite its haphazard expediency. What we ultimately get is affectionate portraiture shoved into a soggy package that often mistakes its ping ponging construction for insightful texture.

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In Review: Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot

Gus Van Sant is a warmly holistic filmmaker, typically taking affectionate approaches to outsiders or internalized characters in fictional and true stories alike. His latest film, Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot looks compassionately at cartoonist John Callahan as he copes with alcoholism and the paralysis that resulted from a booze-induced accident. But unlikely Van Sant’s more complete visions, this film is defined almost exclusively by those cozy feelings to dull effect.

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In Review: Maudie

Like Mike Leigh’s Happy-Go-Lucky several years before it, Aisling Walsh’s Maudie proves to be an remarkable showcase for the subtle gifts of actress Sally Hawkins. In the lead role, Hawkins stars as famous Nova Scotian folk artist Maud Lewis who grew in notoriety while maintaining a humble lifestyle in the tiny home she shared with her husband. Plagued by rheumatoid arthritis, her paintings were modest in size though loaded with imagination. The film is true to both that humility and charming spirit, especially thanks to the absorbing performance by Hawkins and Ethan Hawke as her grumbling husband Everett.

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