Movie Diary 10/12/2015

Beasts of No Nation (Cary Joji Fukunaga, 2015). Brutal look at a boy soldier in Africa, imagined in destablizing style and anchored by strong performances from Abraham Attah and Idris Elba – the latter a terrifying guerrilla commander who exerts a shamanic control over his soldiers.

Mississippi Grind (Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, 2015). The directors’ best film since Half Nelson, a variation on California Split that pairs Ben Mendelsohn (fantastic) with Ryan Reynolds. Like the Altman film, there’s much here about masculine friendship as well as the tendency to not know when to walk away from the table. (full review 10/16)

Steve Jobs (Danny Boyle, 2015). It will not surprise you that Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet are very fine actors, I suppose? They are reason enough to see this Aaron Sorkin-scripted tale of the Apple guru and alleged genius, a film cannily structured around three key moments in Jobs’ life and soppily focused on Jobs as a dad. Boyle seems cowed by all the words, but this is not a bad thing.


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