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'State Like Sleep' Matches:

State Like Sleep

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    The Wife (2018)

    I finally caught up with The Wife now that Glenn Close has won a Golden Globe and received an Academy Award nomination (her seventh) for her lead performance. That may be a little too much pressure to review the film objectively, and certainly Close is outstanding. But I think I agree with the IMDB commenter who said, "A very good movie which I didn't like." Close plays Joan Castleman, the wife of novelist Joe Castleman (Jonathan Pryce). Joe has just been chosen to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature, and the family -- including grown son and aspiring writer David (Max Irons) -- are off to Stockholm for the ceremony. Through flashbacks (young Joan played by Annie Starke and young Joe played by Harry Lloyd) we learn of a "shocking" twist, that the film decides to reveal well past the halfway point. To start, for a movie all about the art of writing, The Wife is, at times, annoyingly pedestrian. Whenever the pesky would-be biographer Nathaniel Bone (Christian Slater) shows up, Joan explains that she doesn't want to be seen as a victim, or the long-suffering wife, yet that's pretty much what she is. When Joe asks "why did you marry me," her answer is "I don't know." And we don't either. Oddly, the flashback scenes seem to work the best, and some of Slater's scenes are interesting, but when it centers back around to present-day Joe and Joan, as they fight and talk about Joe's eating, medication, and extramarital affairs, it turns into hackneyed melodrama. Perhaps if the screenplay had laid everything on the table all at once, then all the characters could have been more fully developed. But as it is, The Wife is a partly-effective exercise that will likely be forgotten after awards season ends. Elizabeth McGovern, of all people, appears in one scene as a bitter published writer that warns the young Joan against pursuing a career in prose. read more...
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      The Wife (2018)

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      • With: Glenn Close, Jonathan Pryce, Max Irons, Christian Slater, Harry Lloyd, Annie Starke, Elizabeth McGovern, Johan Widerberg, Karin Franz Körlof
      • Written by: Jane Anderson, based on a novel by Meg Wolitzer
      • Directed by: Björn L. Runge
      • MPAA Rating: R for language and some sexual content
      • Running Time: 99 minutes
      • Release Date: 08/16/2018
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      Spinning Man (2018)

      This little thriller, part lurid potboiler and part philosophical quandary, plays like a sturdy little "B" movie; it won't change the world, but it may keep late-night viewers from changing channels. read more...
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        Spinning Man (2018)

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        • With: Guy Pearce, Minnie Driver, Odeya Rush, Alexandra Shipp, Pierce Brosnan, Clark Gregg, Freya Tingley, Jamie Kennedy, Sterling Beaumon, RJ Walker, Carlo Rota
        • Written by: Matthew Aldrich, George Harrar
        • Directed by: Simon Kaijser
        • MPAA Rating: R for some language including sexual references
        • Running Time: 100 minutes
        • Release Date: 04/05/2018
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        The Circle (2017)

        This information-age thriller tries to tackle relevant topics like privacy and accountability, but its presentation is so screwy, opaque, and plasticky, it might have come from a computer on Prozac. read more...
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          The Circle (2017)

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          • With: Tom Hanks, Emma Watson, Karen Gillan, John Boyega, Ellar Coltrane, Patton Oswalt, Glenne Headly, Bill Paxton, Amir Talai, Smith Cho, Poorna Jagannathan, Beck
          • Written by: James Ponsoldt, Dave Eggers, based on a novel by Dave Eggers
          • Directed by: James Ponsoldt
          • MPAA Rating: PG-13 for a sexual situation, brief strong language and some thematic elements including drug use
          • Running Time: 110 minutes
          • Release Date: 04/27/2017
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          Frank & Lola (2016)

          Much like Elvis & Nixon, Michael Shannon stars in another small-scale film, focused mainly on two characters, and excels at it. He plays Frank, a talented chef in Las Vegas who forms a romantic relationship with the beautiful fashion designer Lola (Imogen Poots). The jovial, slightly smarmy Keith (Justin Long) gives her a job, and Frank begins to worry that he has designs on her. His obsession and jealousy grows when she tearfully tells him about a man who raped her, earlier, in Paris. He uses a potential job interview to fly to France and investigate the man, Alan (Michael Nyqvist), but learns still more dark secrets about his lover's past. Written and directed by Matthew Ross -- who, apparently, at one time considered making this into a play -- Frank & Lola works amazingly well as a quiet piece of sex-driven film noir (like Body Heat, where even fancy restaurants seem to be places of doom and deception. Las Vegas is the perfect setting, almost a character in itself. Emmanuelle Devos and Rosanna Arquette both appear briefly. read more...
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            Frank & Lola (2016)

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            • With: Michael Shannon, Imogen Poots, Justin Long, Rosanna Arquette, Michael Nyqvist, Suteara Vaughn, Emmanuelle Devos, Alex Lombard
            • Written by: Matthew Ross
            • Directed by: Matthew Ross
            • MPAA Rating: NR
            • Running Time: 88 minutes
            • Release Date: 12/08/2016
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            Regression (2016)

            This is a movie that, because it deals secrets, promises thrills and possibly a measure of terror. But in fact, everything is based on an anti-climax, and the end result is a resounding "so what?" In the beginning of his career, Spanish director Alejandro Amenabar made a superb, mind-bending thriller, Open Your Eyes, that inspired an America remake (Vanilla Sky). He followed it with the terrific ghost story The Others, but since then, his work has become turgid and spotty. read more...
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              Regression (2016)

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              • With: Emma Watson, Ethan Hawke, David Thewlis, Devon Bostick, Aaron Ashmore, Dale Dickey, David Dencik, Lothaire Bluteau, Adam Butcher, Kristian Bruun, Aaron Abrams
              • Written by: Alejandro Amenábar
              • Directed by: Alejandro Amenábar
              • MPAA Rating: R for disturbing violent and sexual content, and for language
              • Running Time: 106 minutes
              • Release Date: 02/04/2016
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