There are lots of things you can do with Bill Murray if you’re lucky enough to have him appear in your movie. One of the most rewarding, as Sofia Coppola and Wes Anderson have found out, is to place him in the midst of a real feel-good story. St.Vincent, the impressive feature debut from writer/director Theodore Melfi taps into this morish Murray quality with ease and provides one of the most rewarding performances of 2014.
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Richard Linklater’s Boyhood is a quiet epic. By now, anyone with even the vaguest interest in movies will no doubt be aware of the film’s unique gestation, however for those not in the know, here’s a quick catch up. Shot across 12 years, Boyhood follows its lead actor (and those around him) from childhood to maturity. Linklater and his team filmed intermittently in week-long stints from May 2002 to October 2013, revisiting the film’s key players at key points in their lives.
Philomena is the sobering tale of one mother’s quest for closure and the cold brutality of religion. In alternative hands, its rich, real-life subject matter would have no doubt made for a compelling documentary, complete with unexpected twists, turns and plenty of tears. Instead, Philomena Lee’s story is presented to us through the filter of comedian Steve Coogan, whose ability to coerce droplets of delicious dry humour out of this most shocking of stories is a welcome relief. It’s Coogan’s screenplay – and Stephen Frears’ warm directing skills – which transform this story from a heartbreaking drama into something funny, thought provoking and oddly heartwarming.
Ron Howard’s Rush draw you in faster than one of its finely tuned Formula One racecars. The movie’s ability to keep you on tenterhooks in spite of its arguably niché subject matter is admirable to say the least. However, in terms of captivating real-life dramas, Howard and his cast couldn’t be working with a juicier tale. This is a dark re-imagining of the classic rabbit and hare parable made all the more tense by its reality-based stakes. With glory or failure and life or death hanging in the balance, this fast paced duel-biopic is enough to get even the most flat tyred racing fan revved up.
Ryan Bingham lives in the air, travelling from workplace to workplace, hired to let employees of other companies know that they’re fired. He has no home to return to or time for commitments. Ryan Bingham is married to his job and in case you were wondering, Ryan Bingham loves his life.