Archives for posts with tag: Catherine Keener

With his fair hair, pale skin and faint voice, Truman Capote cast somewhat of a ghostly appearance. So does the stark winter countryside portrayed in “Capote,” the 2005 film that examines the creation of the novel “In Cold Blood.” The spectral nature makes sense, since the novel, and the film, deals with a quadruple homicide. As Capote becomes infatuated with the murderers, the rural Kansas setting, painted in long-distance shots and moments of ambient sound, harbors the ghosts of the murdered, so that we don’t become too infatuated ourselves. It’s a brilliant device, moments of art within a creepy story.

You know all those black stand-up comedians over the years who had a bit about horror movies and black people? How the brother always gets killed first? How a real black dude would have been gone from that damn house after five minutes? How black people in the audience are screaming for the black dude to GET OUT of the damn house? Well, comedian Jordan Peele put his money where his mouth is. He placed all those horror movie conventions in a blender and mixed in some Rod Serling. He even called the movie “Get Out” (2017). And it’s fantastic.

I thought “Begin Again” (2014) was going to be a romantic comedy that takes place in the music industry. I also thought it might be a dud. Wrong and wrong. There’s romance and comedy, and much more music than I thought, but this film defies convention. It’s almost like a boxing movie, but with the music industry substituting for boxing. Mark Ruffalo is a washed-up former champ who gets his groove back thanks to the inspiration of an up-and-coming bantamweight played by Keira Knightley. There’s lots of familiar faces (Catherine Keener, Mos Def, Adam Levine, Hailee Steinfeld, etc.). Nicely done.