Like the charm-exuding candidate at the center of the imbroglio it depicts, George Clooney’s “The Ides of March” has little to say, but says it so winningly that you can’t help but approve as it advances through the campaign trail and the related jungle. Clooney’s capable directing makes familiar political-thriller material absorbing and entertaining. A terrific cast sprinkles it with gold. Read More
Tom McCarthy makes modest, gently askew comfort films in which protagonists in need of a jump-start bond with seemingly incompatible strangers, with enriching results for all.
“Win Win,” his third outing following “The Station Agent” and “The Visitor,” doesn’t pave new ground and lacks boldness and depth. But the writer-director again delivers an irresistible helping of heart and uplift. Read More
Just because he’s on the road promoting his observant new comedy “Win Win” doesn’t mean Tom McCarthy — actor, director, screenwriter and sports fan — is going to miss out on his favorite season of temporary insanity.“My brother and I joke that March Madness is the time we talk the most,” says McCarthy, 45, who describes ESPN’s “SportsCenter” as his drug of choice during the national immersion in wall-to-wall college basketball. Read More
Can the true story of a wasted life make a great, or even good, movie? “Barney’s Version” makes an impressive effort to accomplish that, but it falls short of a difficult and possibly unwise goal.
Even with the late Mordecai Richler’s outstanding writing about the “wasted life” of somebody very much like the author himself, and a star-studded cast, something is missing where the film’s gravitas and heart should be. Read More