Tag Archives: Michael Stuhlbarg

Call Me by Your Name – BEST OF 19TH MUMBAI FILM FESTIVAL 2017!

Call Me by Your Name (2017)

written by Souranath Banerjee

Call Me by Your Name Review: Intoxicatingly romantic, intensely erotic and definitely the best ‘Coming-of-age love story’ of our time! 

My Ratings: 4.3/5

‘Sexual awakening’ is a tried and tested theme and some brilliant movies in the past like Moonlight and Blue Is the Warmest Color have portrayed the typical indecisiveness of the young curious mind in the most engaging and cinematic ways possible.

But then Call Me by Your Name though delving with the similar adolescent dilemma hits the audience as the fresh morning air and takes away our breath by the sheer beauty and subtleness of the story and its charming characters!

Set in early 1980, surrounded by the dreamy countryside of Northern Italy, stands a picturesque villa in the midst of lush green valleys, fruit orchards and blue lagoons, and there blooms an illicit love story – an irresistible chemistry between a seventeen year old boy and a man in his mid twenties that finally oozes into one of the most emotionally captivating relationships painted on celluloid!

‘Call me by your name and I’ll call you by mine.’ 

Elio (Timothée Chalamet) the young son of an archeology professor meets Oliver (Armie Hammer), a handsome American graduate student, who visits as an intern for the summer – and those six weeks Call-Me-by-Your-Nameof summer changes their lives forever. Especially Elio’s as the story is being told mostly from his perspective – not only does he discover love but he also reinvents himself.

Now the genius of director Luca Guadagnino (famous for the films I Am Love and A Bigger Splash) is not only in unfolding passion in the most lucid and eloquent manner (almost as if in slow motion) but also for treating the characters with electric erotism and yet never being carried away to the extent of indelicacy.

Never objectifying the central characters, never categorising their desires (both the leading men are shown with relationships with women as well), titillating but always with an uncanny sense of Call-Me-by-Your-Namespontaneous sophistication – both James Ivory (writer) and Luca Guadagnino (director) have adopted André Aciman‘s novel and made it into something very special and ageless!

And kudos to the exceptional performances by Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet – they have managed to perfectly portray the volatility of their relationship. And a special mention to Michael Stuhlbarg specially for his brilliant father-son dialogue delivery towards the end of the movie. Classic!

Poetic, alluring and ageless, as beautiful as the nude Greek male torsos that keep appearing in the film at regular intervals – probably the symbol for the eternal signature of love and passion.

Certainly one of the best films of the year!

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

Trumbo (2015)

Trumbo review

written by Souranath Banerjee

A rare biography that is bold enough to name the right names. 

My Ratings: 4.1/5.

Occasionally, some justice can be served by simply letting everyone know of the past injustice.

Trumbo, is not only an entertaining film by itself, but also a brilliant portrayal of the historic event of ‘Hollywood blacklist’; the shameful McCarthy era of government injustice, documented and represented with great passion and precision.

Based on the life of two-times Academy Award Winner, American screenwriter and novelist Dalton Trumbo, the film takes us to the mid1940s America, when cold-war was at its peak and communism was a direct threat.

It was the time when employment was denied to many talented American entertainment professionals because of their political beliefs; just because they were suspected Communist sympathizers or members of the Communist Party.

And thus, the Hollywood Ten‘, a group of ten most acclaimed writers and directors of Hollywood (including Dalton Trumbo) were cited for contempt of Congress, and were not only declined from their jobs and respectable positions but also sentenced to prison without committing a single crime.

With Hedda Hopper (one of America’s most famous gossip trumbo-poster2columnist) and John Wayne (one of America’s most celebrated actor) in the forefront, the Motion Picture Association of America mistrusted and mistreated some of the most talented writers of the time.

A terrible injustice that cannot be undone.

But Dalton Trumbo was a man not to be silenced. As one of the poster of the film proudly say “When they tried to silence him, he made the world listen”. A devoted family man and an exceptional writer, though blacklisted he kept on writing remarkable screenplays one after another, without using his own name!

The film manages to capture both Trumbo’s genius and his never-give-up attitude perfectly.

Great direction by Jay Roach (was a fan of his comedy films as well), but the film’s real strength is Bryan Cranston (yes, the guy trumbo-poster3from Breaking Bad) who has given a superlative performance.

And then of course there are the likes of Helen MirrenDiane LaneMichael Stuhlbarg and David Maldonado to steer the film to the success it deserves.

Trumbo is a film that is unapologetically true to its content and tells a story that desperately needs to be told.

Though 2 hours screen-time seems a tad lengthy for the film but yet, a must watch biography for all you film lovers.

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com.

Pawn Sacrifice (2014)

Pawn Sacrifice review.

written by Souranath Banerjee

My Ratings: 4.2/5.

United States or the Soviet Union? Bobby Fischer or Boris Spassky? – the cold war was at it’s peak!

Tensed boxing biopics like Raging Bull or high speed Formula One racing movies similar to Rush or the fast baseball films like The Pride of the Yankees or even those fantastic movies on the lives of athletes and runners like Chariots of Fire – sports biopics are always fun to watch because they are so full of adrenaline.

But then, how much energy and drama can be squeezed into a sport biopic based on the most calm and tranquil game ever played in the world – that is CHESS ?

pawn-sacrifice-poster1Well, Edward Zwick (famous for films like The Last Samurai, Blood Diamond and Defiance) took up the challenge and believe it or not he manages to make a highly thrilling and captivating chess-film – his latest release Pawn Sacrifice.

A biopic on chess world champion Bobby Fischer played superbly by Tobey Maguire

Now this is not Tobey’s first sport biopic (remember the famous Jockey Red Pollard in Seabiscuit); but in Pawn Sacrifice he has shown a different level of maturity and perfectly portrayed the silent madness of the paranoid genius.  

Bobby Fisher, considered to be the best chess player till date was indeed a troubled soul but aren’t insanity the price you pay for being a genius?  

pawn-sacrifice-posterIn 1972, Bobby Fischer faced the then world champion Boris Spassky (from Russia) in the greatest match ever played in the history of chess!

On the board he fought the Cold War. In his mind he fought his madness.

Liev Schreiber perfectly fits the role of Spassky while Peter Sarsgaard, (the father figure) along with Michael Stuhlbarg (the manager) tries their best to cope up with Bobby’s madness and make him play his best game.

Pawn Sacrifice is a skillful film that cleverly brings out the subtle characteristics of Bobby Fisher as an individual; his arrogance, his fears, his childish demands, his mood swings and above all his genius.

You don’t need to know chess to relish the film, although a bit of basic chess knowledge will make you feel more comfortable.  

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com