Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pride and Glory: What's the verdict? + a video bonus

First, apologies for missing this little gem, which Janet recently uncovered for us -- When Pride and Glory was at the Toronto Film Festival last month, MoviesOnline interviewed Edward Norton, Noah Emmerich, and the two O'Connor's. While it is an interesting read all around, this bit from director Gavin O'Connor is especially delightful:
[...] So that was a joy to have all those guys and Jennifer Ehle. We both saw Jennifer in a play, The Real Thing, back in 1999 or 2000. When we were doing the script back in 99, when Joe and I wrote it, Greg and I were always talking about Jennifer Ehle to play the part of Abby because we’ve seen her on stage and I was just floored by this woman. Fortunately, we were able to get her in the movie. She’s a gift. She dove right in the process with these guys. It’s a weird thing how√Ę€¦ maybe it’s if your antenna is kind of sensitive, you start pulling in people who have similar sensibility and want to make a film in a similar way. There are actors who just want to get the script, show up, say their lines, and go home. Right? They do. We don’t do that. It’s not about that. [...]
On the review front, it looks like the jury is still out:

  • Peter Martin of Twitch Film can't seem to find enough wonderful things to say about Pride and Glory, waxing lyrical about the performances, the screenplay, and the direction. There are too many great quotables to include here, but his last statement sums things up nicely: "Pride and Glory strikes me as one of the finest dramatic films of the year."

  • In a review at Catholic News, Harold Forbes has some reservations about the amount of violence in the film, but he asserts it is a very worthwhile story. Most importantly, he specifically applauds the performance of a certain actress:
    [...] Ray is tempted to stray from the honorable course, and Francis the younger -- struggling with the burden of wife Abby (Jennifer Ehle in a deeply felt performance) dying of cancer -- must come to terms with some very heavy wrongdoings happening on his watch. His epiphany comes when Abby -- with only scant knowledge of the facts -- tells Francis he needs to be the same honorable man she married if she is to trust him to take care of their children after she dies. [...]
  • Steve Gow of Metro Canada has choosen to single out the performance of Noah Emmerich instead:
    [...] A drama that relies on some intense character work, it's a movie that also fits actors like Norton and Farrell like a glove. More surprising is the stellar performance of relative unknown Emmerich (Little Children) who steals several scenes from his more-famous cinematic brethren as a tortured man who may be ultimately responsible for the scandal. [...]
  • Overall, Katey Rich of Cinema Blend is more critical of the film:
    [...] Some family dynamics work their way into the story, including a weird subplot in which Francis' wife (Jennifer Ehle) is dying of cancer for no reason and a beautifully drunken, tearful toast at Christmas dinner. But for the most part director Gavin O'Connor (who co-wrote the film with Smokin' Aces director Joe Carnahan) sticks to the cop beats, giving some of the most touching scenes and subplots to the minor police characters. [...]
    However, she ultimately concludes that the movie can be enjoyed "for what it is."

  • AP critic Christy Lemire is not at all shy about saying she didn't care for Pride and Glory. Regarding Abby Tierney, she claims: "A subplot involving Francis Jr.'s wife (Jennifer Ehle), who has cancer, feels like an underdeveloped afterthought." In the same vein, Dan Hudak of Faxts News suggests that the female characters are "irrelevant to the story." Going from bad to worse, Robert Wilonsky gets personal in an extremely vexing review at City Pages. Read at your own discretion.

Multimedia

  • Daily Motion has a brief video of red carpet interview-ettes with the cast of Pride and Glory at the NY premiere, though a certain Someone is regretfully left out. A much lengthier interview with Jon Voight can be seen at WoodTV.
  • Aha! I just found another red carpet video from Hollyscoop (which can also be viewed at YouTube), and it does include a certain Someone. Jennifer Ehle and her cast mates answer the question, "Why should we see this movie?" in under 10 seconds. Enjoy!

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