Jean-Marc Vallée

Film Review: Demolition

by Carrie Kahn on April 8, 2016

Vallée’s newest meditation on grief could finally mean Oscar for Gyllenhaal

New friends Karen (Naomi Watts) and Davis (Jake Gyllenhaal) find themselves in a tense situation.

New friends Karen (Naomi Watts) and Davis (Jake Gyllenhaal) find themselves in a tense situation at a function honoring Davis’s recently deceased wife.

How do we process sudden loss? Is there a right or wrong way to grieve, and how can we keep grief from overwhelming us? These are the weighty questions director Jean-Marc Vallée continues to contemplate in his somewhat uneven but emotionally arresting new picture Demolition. While not as strong as either Wild or Dallas Buyers Club, Vallée’s previous two films that explored death and grief, Demolition nonetheless is worth recommending based both on its raw and unique way of depicting the grieving process, and also on the strength of Jake Gyllenhaal’s exceptional performance as a man left shell-shocked by the unexpected death of his wife. [read the whole post]


Spinning Platters film critics present their top 10 films of 2014

Spinning Platters film critics Carrie Kahn and Chad Liffmann each share their ten favorite films of 2014. Here is Carrie’s list, presented in alphabetical order. And you can see Chad’s list here.

1.) Boyhood

Patricia Arquette and Ellar Coltrane are outstanding as a mother and son who grow and change together.

Filmed intermittently over 12 years, Richard Linklater’s film chronicling a boy named Mason (Ellar Coltrane) from ages six to 18 in real time is both a technical marvel and a cinematic masterpiece. There has been nothing like it before on screen, and there will no doubt be nothing like it again. Utterly unique in scope and vision, the film lets us watch a life develop in front of our very eyes, with all of its attendant hopes, dreams, achievements, and disappointments. Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke play Mason’s parents, changing and growing right alongside him and his older sister (Lorelei Linklater). An absolutely dazzling achievement that will leave you breathless and awed, Linklater’s picture is sure to be the one to beat for Best Picture come Oscar time. (You can also read Gordon’s full-length review here).

[read the whole post]