Scattered Frames: Wolves hustlin’ in Osage County

ScatteredFrames

Hello friends! Welcome to the second edition of Scattered Frames. This week I present three of the main pictures of the 2014 award season, which also happen to be three of the films I was most anticipating. They (mostly) delivered. Here’s what I thought:

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The Wolf of Wall Street: Despite being generally engrossing, even the most interesting stories are a bit difficult to sit through for three hours; some trimming would’ve worked wonders. Still, it’s a joy to watch that cast in action: Matthew McConaughey shines in a brief part, and Jonah Hill and Margot Robbie are noteworthy in pivotal roles. This is Leo’s movie through and through, however, and he displays some of his finest work in this film. That scene where he crawls to his car while high on quaaludes had me crying with laughter.  4/5

Christian Bale;Amy Adams;Bradley Cooper

American Hustle: Not a bad movie by any means, but definitely a disappointing one. The music is nice, the costumes are terrific and the cleavages are hypnotic but they’re all trapped in a slow and uneventful narrative that never seems to pick up. So overrated except for the performances, which totally warrant the praise. While I had a couple of issues with Jennifer Lawrence’s performance -she seemed ideal one second, completely miscast the next- her, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Renner are all award-worthy. 3/5

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August: Osage County This over-the-top account of an extremely dysfunctional family reunion is not the most dynamic of films, but the acting is so good you won’t mind that the action rarely leaves this Oklahoma house. Everyone in the sprawling cast is expectedly solid, but it’s oh-so-hard to keep your eyes away from Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep as they spew Tracy Letts’s biting dialog back and forth. The bickering is sublime. 4.5/5

(You can check out my friend Amon interviewing director John Wells and actress Juliette Lewis here and here.)
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