This isn't the normal movie about a singer in the lows of life and in need of a redemptive arc.
Despite my initial zest, The Souvenir is such a plodding, disjointed affair that tries so hard to be "arty" that its message is utterly lost.
Faith can come at a cost, especially when it's one of such an extreme nature. And in this town, that cost may be too high to bear.
Even in darkest times, light shines through.
The courage it took not only to make this journey but also document it in the face of such peril is something we should all value and appreciate.
Man vs Nature. Man vs Fellow Man. Which theme sounds scarier?
What a delight this turned out to be. Another case of going to see something I knew nothing about just because the timing of the screening was perfect, and I walked out having loved what I'd just seen.
This is a film that stands the test of time, with themes as relevant now as they will ever be.
If ever there was a film made just for me to review, I found it today. And yes, full disclosure, it's because I'm one of THOSE people.
It's not interested in being the typical kind of war story, choosing instead to dive deep into deeper issues of human behavior, duty, honor, and the greater social order.
Any way you look at this film, it is bold. The choices are striking and it will not be for everyone, but it will reward those with the patience and interest in a deep thinker that welcomes every chance to make them uncomfortable.
At only 85 minutes, it is a total breeze that doesn't outstay its welcome and produces genuine laughter the entire time.
To call it depressing for most of its 150 minutes is a fair assessment, but it makes the finale more rewarding. And, really, how uplifting can we expect a prison movie to be?
Estevez, Jeffrey Wright, Alec Baldwin, Jena Malone, Christian Slater, Michael K Williams and Taylor Schilling all do very good work, and the script gives them all characters with a lot behind them.