Billy Gray

Archive for February, 2010|Monthly archive page

Fish Tank

In Movie Reviews on February 11, 2010 at 1:31 pm

Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank is something of a white trash Lolita. Mia (Katie Jarvis) is a hell-raising truant so meek that she rehearses her hip-hop moves in an abandoned apartment for fear of exposing a passion. Her mom, Joanne (Kierston Wareing), is a phenomenally sexy and negligent layabout whose latest roll in the hay, Connor (the about-to-explode Michael Fassbender), draws Mia out of her shell and into his pants as the film’s March-September romance comes to a boil.

The British Fish Tank descends from the Italian vérité movement and, more recently and closer to home, the movies of Mike Leigh. Leigh’s films bypass the well-appointed flats of postcard-ready London for naturalistic looks at lower-middle class schlubs who wittily (and profanely) revel in their grumpiness (Naked) and unglamorous, all-too-familiar personal derailments (Secrets & Lies). Read the rest of this entry »

Lazy Heart

In Movie Reviews on February 2, 2010 at 11:55 pm

Thirty years after playing a small Texas town’s dim, handsome jock in Peter Bogdanovich’s The Last Picture Show, Jeff Bridges returns to the parched Southwest in Crazy Heart, with what could be his breakthrough character gone to flesh and seed.

Bridges plays Bad Blake, an alcoholic over-the-hill country singer (Is there any other kind?) Bad’s boozy fall from grace lands him in a series of desert honky tonks for a string of desperate, sparsely attended shows played through a sweat and puke-stained shirt. Sparks somewhat unconvincingly fly when fledgling journalist Jean Craddock (Maggie Gyllenhaal) stops by one show to interview the fallen star, and inspires his gradual, painful redemption. Read the rest of this entry »