Saturday, September 13, 2008

Acting while bald

We have quite a few items from Toronto, but first, here's a brief interlude into Before the Rains. Don't forget that the film comes out on DVD this Tuesday (September 16) and can be pre-ordered at Amazon. If owning the movie isn't inducement enough (!), has some news that may prove to be an added incentive:
[...] It turns out, there is a commentary track on the DVD -- Lionsgate just wanted to keep it secret, it seems, for mysterious reasons of their own. It features star Linus Roache with director and cinematographer Santosh Sivan chatting about making the film, and it's chock full of the usual semi-gossipy kind of stuff that's fun to hear, such as how Roache and Jennifer Ehle, who plays his wife, had always wanted to work together and here they finally got their chance. They also talk about the strangeness of a director who's also DP and camera operator, and how that can intimidate actors. [...]
Back to Toronto for the scoop on Pride and Glory:

  • In an otherwise "misbegotten" review, FOXNews finds some positive things to say about the film:

    [...] At least the performances and look of the film are very good. Edward Norton and Noah Emmerich are brothers, cop sons of the scene-chewing Jon Voight. Farrell, who threatens the aforementioned baby with an iron, is their cop brother-in-law. Lake Bell, with whom Colin was rumored to be having an affair way back in 2006 when they shot this, is his wife. The otherwise magnificent Jennifer Ehle, whom no one mentioned at Tuesday night’s premiere, played Emmerich’s wife, dying of cancer and acting with a bald head. [...]
  • Screen Daily comes away from the film with a much more favorable impression, as is evidenced by the following quotes:

    [...] A coiling police saga about the clash between family and career loyalties, Pride and Glory is a familiar but taut thriller sparked by a quartet of committed lead performances and the visual acrobatics of stealth camera ace Declan Quinn, who has also just impressed in Rachel Getting Married. [...]

    [...] If Pride does eventually devolve into a hyperbolic windup, it delivers a series of visceral wallops along the way that lift it notches above standard-fare pulp fiction. [...]

    [...] The performances are uniformly fine. Voight invests his patriarchal role with a gravitas that lifts the character above precinct cliché, while Farrell's loose-cannon explosiveness is perfectly balanced against Norton's implosive willfulness. The real star of "Pride and Glory" is ubiquitous cinematographer Declan Quinn, however, whose stalking stalking camera effectively turns the viewer into Ray's silent co-investigator, as it sneaks around corners, peers through window panes and picks up on covert conversations.

    The following bit is slightly more ambiguous, but I assume that by "dreary," the writer means"gloomy" and "depressing" rather than "boring."

    [...] Taut encounters throwing Farrell and his bad-apple cronies into the ring with neighbourhood drug dealers alternate with dreary interpersonal scenarios, depicting the emotional struggles of Francis Jr.'s cancer-beset wife (Ehle) and Ray's futile attempts to win back his estranged spouse(Carmen Ejogo). [...]

  • Awards Daily praises the "intense performance" of Colin Farrell and the "multilayered performance" of Jon Voight, but laments that "too many characters and subplots are not fully developed, like the Jennifer Ehle character who plays Emmerich’s wife and is dying of cancer."

  • Stephen Whitty of The Star-Ledger labels the movie a "disappointment," and explains, "although Edward Norton's crime drama 'Pride and Glory' held [him] for a while, particularly because of its performances, it seemed to stumble a bit in the third act, and had a confrontation scene that just didn't play." However, he also says, "Jon Voight roared back to life with 'Pride and Glory.'"
  • In a particularly ouchy review, Cinematical claims that the film is unintentionally campy. On the other hand, Blogger Sean gives the movie an 8/10 rating.

  • Edward Norton (acting with a full head of hair and a goatee in this film) has been on the receiving end of myriad questions during his stay in Toronto. Interviews can be found at Reuters Life, The Whig Standard, AFP,, and The Star-Ledger, and a video interview clip can be seen at Reelz Channel.

  • Finally, Rosemary Harris' latest film Is There Anybody There? (also at TIFF) is deemed a "highly agreeable" comedy by The Hollywood Reporter.

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