Film

Still Alice/ Good People/ White Bird in a Blizzard

Finally, a month without a Channing Tatum movie!

First up this month is the sombre Still Alice (March 6), the story of a successful, highly-regarded college professor (Julianne Moore) and the fall-out of her diagnosis with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Moore has rightfully garnered widespread praise – and more than a few awards – for her powerful performance of a woman defined by her intelligence prematurely losing control of her mind.

The story follows Alice and her family – husband Alec Baldwin and their adult children, played by Kristen Stewart and Kate Bosworth – as they come to terms with Alice’s diagnosis and contemplate the knock-on effect it will have on their lives. As Alice’s independence declines and her needs increase, she decides to record a video message on her phone instructing her to kill herself when she eventually finds herself unable to complete her daily memory test. 

A poignant tear-jerker, featuring some excellent performances (even from the usually Pinochio-like Kristen Stewart). Bring tissues.

Next up: The Good People (March 13), a thriller starring Kate Hudson and James Franco. The plot – which is basically the same 1994’s Shallow Grave but with a better looking cast – is thus: Tom (Franco) and Anna (Hudson) are a London–based couple who, like most London-based couples, are in severe debt due to housing renovations. Just when they are about to give up on their dual dreams of finishing the house and popping out a mewling little Petunia or Maximillian, they stumble upon a cache of cash stashed in their recently-deceased tenant’s flat.

At first, they wisely decide to only use the money for essentials, like getting them out of debt and purchasing a chic chaise longue with decent back-support. This restraint lasts about 5 seconds, and soon they’re spending money like Elton John at a SpecSavers’ Champagne ‘n’ Spectacles Sale. It’s not long before their super spending draws the attention of the scary gangsters who stole the loot in the first place and so begins a wearily predictable “chase” to avoid getting murdered by gangsters/ pick out appropriate home furnishings.

Avoid, like James Franco has apparently avoided acting lessons all these years.

Finally this month, White Bird in a Blizzard (March 16), starring Shailene Woodley, who at this point is probably more know for her fondness for eating clay than her acting portfolio. Mud sucking aside, White Bird follows 20 year-old Katrina ‘Kat’ Connors (Woodley) whose starts by telling the audience that when she was 17, her mother mysteriously vanished.

At first Kat is rather nonplussed at her capricious mother’s disappearance and gets busy exploring her blossoming sexuality with the Himbo next door (Shiloh Fernandez). After a while though Kat becomes suspicious, and when a detective working on her mother’s case tells her that her father, Brock, (Christopher Meloni) could be responsible for missing mom, it leads her straight to the mysterious locked freezer that her dad keeps in the basement. 

Has Brock turned his wife into Maternal Macaroni? Or is there another explanation for Mrs Connors’ mysterious disappearance? There’s only one way to find out.

 
 

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