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Archives for : Michelle Williams

Best of 2016 from the NTFCA – North Texas Film Critics Association

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NORTH TEXAS FILM CRITICS NAME LA LA LAND” AS BEST FILM OF 2016

The North Texas Film Critics Association voted the romantic musical LA LA LAND as the best film of 2016, according to the results of its annual critics’ poll. Completing list of the top 10 films of the year were MANCHESTER BY THE SEA (2), MOONLIGHT (3), HACKSAW RIDGE (4), LOVING (5), ARRIVAL (6), CAPTAIN FANTASTIC (7), NOCTURNAL ANIMALS (8), JACKIE (9) and THE BIRTH OF A NATION (10).

For Best Actor, the association named Casey Affleck for MANCHESTER BY THE SEA. Runners-up included Ryan Gosling for LA LA LAND (2), Denzel Washington for FENCES (3), Andrew Garfield for HACKSAW RIDGE (4) and Don Cheadle for MILES AHEAD (5).

Natalie Portman was voted Best Actress for JACKIE. Next in the voting were Emma Stone for LA LA LAND(2), Amy Adams for ARRIVAL (3), Emily Blunt for THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN (4) and Ruth Negga for LOVING (5).

In the Best Supporting Actor category, the winner was Michael Shannon for NOCTURNAL ANIMALS. He was followed by Mahershala Ali for MOONLIGHT (2), Dev Patel for LION (3), Jeff Bridges for HELL OR HIGH WATER (4) and Lucas Hedges for MANCHESTER BY THE SEA (5).

For Best Supporting Actress, the association named Michelle Williams for MANCHESTER BY THE SEA. Runners-up included Viola Davis for FENCES (2), Naomie Harris for MOONLIGHT (3), Octavia Spencer for HIDDEN FIGURES (4) and Janelle Monáe for HIDDEN FIGURES (5).

Damien Chazelle was voted Best Director for LA LA LAND. Next in the voting were Barry Jenkins for MOONLIGHT (2), Mel Gibson for HACKSAW RIDGE (3), Denis Villeneuve for ARRIVAL (4) and Kenneth Lonergan for MANCHESTER BY THE SEA (5).

The association voted ELLE as the Best Foreign Language film of the year. Runners-up were THE HANDMAIDEN (2), THE HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE (3), TONI ERDMANN and THE SALESMAN tied for the last spot (4).

GLEASON won for Best Documentary over 13th (2), TOWER (3), WEINER (4) and THE EAGLE HUNTRESS (5).

ZOOTOPIA was named the Best Animated film of 2016, over KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS (2) and SING (3).

The award for Best Cinematography went to Linus Sandgren for LA LA LAND, followed by James Laxton for MOONLIGHT (2), Bradford Young for ARRIVAL and  Simon Duggan for HACKSAW RIDGE tied for the next spot (3) and Stéphane Fontaine for JACKIE (5).

This year’s awards were dedicated to the memory of our past president, Gary Murray. In his honor, next year we will designate an award in perpetuity. The Gary Murray Award will honor the Best Newcomer in a film.

NTFCA

Movie Review: “Certain Women” is a Beautifully Shot Snoozefest

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There is beauty in simplicity, but there is also simply boring. I may come off a little harsh with Kelly Reichardt’s latest film, “Certain Women”, but unfortunately it’s hard to get captivated by the slow pace of each story-line and the dull main characters.

The film is essentially broken up into three parts as we follow three women whose lives intersect. They are adapted from several short stories by Montana writer Maile Meloy.

In the first story we meet Laura Wells (Laura Dern), a small town lawyer who’s having an affair with a married man. She is dealing with a frustrating client (Jared Harris), who was injured on the job and wants to pursue a case against his employer.

After that we are introduced to Gina (Michelle Williams) and her husband (James Le Gros), who was seen in the previous segment. The two have just finished a camping trip with their teenage daughter Guthrie (Sara Rodier). They visit their elderly neighbor, Albert (Rene Auberjonois) to purchase a pile of sandstone that’s been sitting in his front yard for years. Gina wants to use it for a getaway cottage she plans to build. This is by far, the most uninteresting part of the film.

Finally, the more intriguing moment of the movie is when we see Jamie (Lily Gladstone), a rancher; randomly walk into a night class she’s not registered for. The class is intended to teach the history of public education policy in the U.S. But it’s not the subject that fascinates Jamie; it’s the nervous young lawyer, Beth (Kristen Stewart), who’s the unfortunate instructor. Basically, she is forced to teach the class and has to endure a four hour commute. Soon enough, she befriends Jamie and after class they routinely go to a local diner for a quick dinner as Jamie just watches her eat. For Jamie, seeing Beth is the highlight of her week, however, Beth does not value their time together nearly as much.

By the time the film concludes, we have seen the very minor ways these three women’s lives intertwine. Ultimately, Reichardt does a good job of portraying the overdone, general theme of isolation and the difficulty of communication. But it’s the actual stories that don’t give you enough meat to bite into. Hardly anything pulls you in; with the exception of Jamie’s borderline stalking of Beth (maybe a full story on her might have been more satisfying).

On the positive side, the performances are strong and Christopher Blauvelt’s cinematography is about the only thing that truly shines in “Certain Women”.

Rating: 2/5

Certain Women opens in theaters October 28.

“Certain Women” Official Trailer HD

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