A film that sets up anticipation for thrills, but keeps its audience in a dull suspense for two-thirds of its performance, Shut In
is certainly ambitious, but it falls prey to lack of commitment.
The story follows Mary (Naomi Watts), a child psychologist recently widowed after her husband’s death in a horrific car accident -- she lives alone in an isolated New England home. The tragedy also leaves her teenage stepson, Stephen (Charlie Heaton) in a catatonic state; he is completely dependent on her and despite her withering condition, she willingly attends to him. Her situation becomes...!--more-->
To figure out who you really are, tear everything apart until you find the parts that are truly you, and throw everything else away. This is the fundamental story behind Demolition
, starring Jake Gyllenhaal. While the writer and director’s unique attempt at retelling the find-yourself story is commendable, and Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance as Davis is charming and top-notch, the film still struggles with this on-the-nose metaphor and lack of finding anything new to say. The gradual progression of Gyllenhaal’s clean cut character into a train wreck was well done, and writer Bryan Sipe basks in Davis’s self-destructive...
The characters in While We’re Young
are hyper-articulate, upper class New York intellectuals. They seem infinitely capable of expressing what’s wrong in their lives, with lines like, “Before we met the only feelings I had left were wistful
,” and yet they are completely helpless when it comes to actually solving problems.
That’s a trademark of films written and directed by Noah Baumbach. He’s best known for The Squid and the Whale
, his 2005 drama about a family torn apart by divorce. He also worked on 2013’s Frances Ha
, which is a personal...!--more-->