I’m not a parent. I’ve never seen a piece of myself shining in the eyes of a child. I can’t imagine what that is like, and I cannot fathom what it must be like to have it and lose it. I have lost my entire world to grief. When you go through it, there’s a pernicious lie you’re told in counseling, by people who don’t get it, by most of pop culture: it gets better. The pain goes away. It doesn’t. It does change. It changes you. The knife-sharp pangs that wrack you in the beginning become a dull roar. You learn to live around it, but the person you were before never comes back. It’s something you suspect as soon as you lose the person: I’m never going to be the same. The most honest assessment of the grieving process that I’ve ever heard comes from one grieving father to another in the most underrated film of 2017: Wind River.
Taylor Sheridan’s modern western crime thriller (it manages to tick all the requirements for at least three genres) was another spectacular script from the Sicario screenwriter and a very impressive directorial debut. As good as Gary Oldman was as Winston Churchill, I thought Jeremy Renner’s performance in this film was the best acting I saw last year. Renner is always strong, but to the detriment of his appreciation, his performances are usually understated character work. With Wind River he was able to blend his gift for nuance with a clear, deep connection to the material. The porch scene is so intensely honest that it nearly blew me out of the theater. It’s a testament to how entertaining the film is in the midst of dealing with the bleakest terrain a human soul has to cross that I was able to walk out feeling like I’d finally spent time with someone who got it. I wish I’d have gotten a counselor as good as the one Renner’s character got at that seminar in Casper.
The best comedies can usually be summarized in a single sentence that captures there absurdity. For example, Groundhog Day is about a weatherman who wakes up every day on February 2nd caught in an eternal loop. Tag is about a group of friends who have been playing the same game of tag for over 30 years. It’s a great set-up for a comedy. It’s made even greater by the fact that it is based on a true story (you can click here to read The Daily Mail’s write-up of the true life game). I was lucky enough to be able to attend an advance screening of Tag (which opens wide on June 15th) and a great ensemble cast delivers the year’s second awesome comedy (rent Game Night immediately if you missed it).
Continue reading Movie Review: Tag (2018) *A Game 30 Years in the Making*
After the awesomeness earlier this year that was Game Night, is it too much to dream we may have another comedy on the way? The premise for Tag, which is reputedly a true story (which I would love to know more about), is that it’s a game of tag among five friends that has now gone on for 30 years and has turned their lives into an absolute frenzy of opportunistic mayhem. It has a great cast with Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm (who is so much more funny than he is even a great dramatic actor), Ed Helms, Isla Fisher, and Rashida Jones among others. The trailer really made me laugh, and if they can sustain that kind of absurdity through a whole film-always the trick with comedies even those with a great premise-then this should be a fun addition to an already packed June schedule. Tag is scheduled for a June 15, 2018 release. YOU’RE IT!
Jeremy Renner has become one of Hollywood’s most consistent leading men over the last decade. Since hitting A-list status with back-to-back Oscar nominated performances in The Hurt Locker and The Town, Renner has continued to pump out both quality dramas like Wind River, American Hustle, Arrival, and Kill the Messenger. He’s also part of both the Mission Impossible and Marvel Cinematic Universe franchises, contributing to some of the biggest blockbusters of the last few years. He’s a solid leading man and action star with a talent for portraying everyman characters in the tradition of Harrison Ford.
Continue reading Jeremy Renner’s 10 Best Movies
Wind River was released at the tail end of a dismal August right before a dismal September set in, and thankfully delivers the kind of quality you expect from films during awards season. The directorial debut of screenwriter Taylor Sheridan (Sicario, Hell or High Water), Wind River cements Sheridans status as one of the best writers working for the screen today and shows him as a promising talent behind the camera. Wind River is a tense, beautifully-filmed modern crime western (a genre Sheridan has invented that we didn’t know we badly needed). Continue reading Movie Review: Wind River (2017) *A Modern Crime Western Triumph*