Susan Granger at the movies
August 9, 2021 | by Susan Granger
The green knight
Years ago, as an English major, I must have read a rather long and boring epic poem from the 14th century from the Arthurian legend called “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”. Now, visual storyteller David Lowery has revitalized and enhanced that chivalrous romance as “The Green Knight”.
Young Gauvain (Dev Patel) is a dissolute young man, son of the enchantress Morgan le Fay (Sarita Choudhury), who spends most of his time partying with Essel (Alicia Vikander).
On Christmas Day, at the court of aging King Arthur (Sean Harris) and Queen Guinevere (Kate Dickie), Royal Arthur summons his nephew Gwain to sit next to him at the party, wishing he did didn’t spend more time with him. Guinevere reassures the boy that one day he will take his rightful place at the Round Table as “the most daring in blood and the wildest in heart.”
Suddenly, a towering, menacing figure – resembling a man half clad in armor and a half gnarled tree – gallops on horseback. The Green Knight (Ralph Ineson) challenges any noble to strike him with his mighty sword on the condition that, in a year, he returns the blow in his Green Chapel.
When no one else volunteers, Gwain agrees, beheading the Green Knight, who quickly recovers his head and reiterates the young man’s promise to meet him again the following Christmas.
“I fear I was not made for greatness,” Gawain muses before his departure through the winter landscape in the dark mists of time. But King Arthur believes in his potential, even though Gwain continues to doubt himself.
On the road to meet his destiny, Gauvain must face a series of formidable trials, tribulations and temptations as he gradually learns the true nature of chivalry.
Led by Dev Patel, 31, compelling performances, cinematography by Andrew Droz Palermo, production design by Jade Healy, costume design by Malgosia Turzanska, music by Daniel Hart (lutes and harps) and CGI complement each other wonderfully, bringing various chapters of medieval literature to life with spellbinding imagery.
On the Granger gauge from 1 to 10, “The Green Knight” is an enchanting 8, performed in local theaters.
If you remember the Amanda Knox case in which she was wrongly convicted of the 2007 murder of her roommate in Perugia, Italy, the plot of “Stillwater” may seem vaguely familiar.
But director Tom McCarthy (“Spotlight”), in collaboration with Marcus Hinchey and French screenwriters Thomas Bidegain & Noe Debre, adds several new twists to the mystery.
McCarthy is setting his dramatic thriller in Marseille, France. And it tells the story from the perspective of oil rig thug Bill Baker (Matt Damon), whose 20-year-old daughter Allison (Abigail Breslin) continues to proclaim her innocence long after being jailed for the murder of his unfaithful girlfriend while studying abroad.
Arriving in the exotic Mediterranean port of Stillwater, Oklahoma, to visit Allison and help her overturn her conviction, Baker befriends Virginie (Camille Cottin), a single mother with precocious nine-year-old daughter, Maya. (Lilou Siuvaud).
Tired of feeling helpless, Baker knows he made mistakes as a father, which is why he’s so desperate to exonerate Allison. Stoic but determined, Baker’s skills are limited to carpentry and house maintenance.
Yet he manages to overcome cultural differences and his lack of mastery of the French language by engaging the help of others while facing many social, racial and political pitfalls.
Was Allison’s case influenced because she had a lesbian relationship with a Franco-Arab woman? Was it sensational because she was American?
Often underrated as an actor, Matt Damon burst onto the Hollywood scene as the Oscar-winning co-writer with Ben Affleck of “Good Will Hunting,” coinciding with Steven Spielberg’s choice as the holder of the Second. World War Everyman in “Saving Private Ryan”.
Then came the “Jason Bourne” franchise, as well as “The Talented Mr. Ripley”, “The Departed”, “Invictus”, “Contagion” and “The Martian”, among others. Now Damon subtly embodies this rugged, taciturn loner, a recovering drug addict, with just the suggestion of violence beneath the surface.
On the Granger Gauge, “Stillwater” splashes with a solid 7, playing in local theaters.
Writer / director Nicholas Jarecki’s dramatic thriller “Crisis” revolves around three aspects of the opioid epidemic.
There’s architect / single mom Claire Reimann (Evangeline Lilly), who recovers from an Oxycodone addition when her 16-year-old hockey player son suspiciously disappears and she finds out he’s tragically involved. in a drug trafficking operation.
Then there’s undercover DEA agent Jake Kelly (Armie Hammer), who hunts down a gang that runs prescription pain relievers, mostly fentanyl, across the Canada-U.S. Border. He infiltrated a Montreal-based operation that is run by a menacing gangster whose code name is “Mother” (Guy Nadon).
At the same time, Kelly is dealing with her own younger sister Emmie (Lily-Rose Depp, Johnny’s daughter).
And the third story revolves around Dr. Tyrone Brower (Gary Oldman), a college biology professor who supplements his lab’s income by doing research for a pharmaceutical company. He faces an ethical situation when he discovers a serious problem with the company’s latest, supposedly non-addictive pain reliever, which is about to be approved by the FDA.
Recalling Steven Soderbergh’s “Crash” (2005), these three stories ultimately intertwine as Jarecki (“Arbitrage”) explores the whole chain of opioid addiction – the companies that make the prescription drugs that are ultimately sold. in the street to the dilemmas of law enforcement officers.
Greg Kinnear, Luke Evans and Michelle Rodriguez round out the star cast.
Made before the Covid pandemic, it seems a bit dated and didactic. He is also hampered by the current scandal involving actor Armie Hammer (“Call me by your name”) under investigation by the LAPD on charges of sexual assault, as well as allegations of sadism and cannibalistic sexting. Armie Hammer’s great-grandson, Armie Hammer is the heir to Occidental Petroleum’s fortune.
On the Granger Gauge, “Crisis” is a sprawling, high-stakes but superficial Sixth airing on Prime Video, Vudu and Fandango Now.
Susan granger is a Hollywood product. His natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at MGM and Columbia Pictures. Her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced films at MGM
As a child, Susan appeared in films with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O’Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studied journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with the highest honors in journalism.
During her adult life, Susan was on radio and television as a presenter and film and theater critic, broadcasting her reviews and articles worldwide, most notably as a video librarian. She has appeared on American Movie Classics and Turner Classic Movies. In 2017, his book 150 timeless films was published by Hannacroix Creek Books.
Its website is www.susangranger.com. Follow her on Twitter @susangranger.