Friday, June 20, 2008

The 27th Victim

Author(s): Patrick D.
Location: Long Island, NY

"The 27th Victim"

Directed by James Mangold
Written by Andrew Kevin Walker

Main Cast

Matt Dillon as Ray Barnes
Patrick Wilson as Matthew Hunter
Harvey Keitel as Lieutenant Dunbar
Naomi Watts as Amanda Flitcher
Roger Bart as Mike
John Turturro as Jacob
Zoe Saldana as Kaitlyn
Domenick Lombardozzi as Derek
Alan Arkin as Frank

Tagline: "The body of one, the mind of six"

Synopsis: Ray Barnes (Dillon) is the lucky detective assigned to a recent string of murders ruining the town's reputation. After going through a tire-less investigation, he is led to Matthew Hunter (Wilson). At first, Matthew seems like the kind of person who wouldn't hurt a fly, let alone murder a human being. But when Ray looks in his room, he finds a dead body under Matthew's bed, so Matthew is arrested.

Baffled by this, Ray begins to interrogate Matthew almost every hour of every day. Matthew says he doesn't know how the body got under his bed, he's just as confused as Ray is. Ray is convinced that Matthew is innocent, but all the evidence leads directly to Matthew. So, Ray hires a psychologist, Amanda (Watts) to talk to Matthew and try to figure out why he seems so innocent. After a couple hours of talking, Amanda finds out that Matthew suffers from split personality, and according Matthew, there are more dead bodies that the police have not found. Ray then finds out that Matthew has six other personalities. Mike (Bart), Jacob (Turturro), Kaitlyn (Saldana), Derek (Lombardozzi), and Frank (Arkin). It's up to Matthew to figure out who committed what murders, and where the remaining bodies are.

Seperate stories of the personalities are interweaved with the interrogation between Ray and Matthew. The story of Mike, a homosexual who begins to kill people he suspects of being homophobic. Jacob, who kills people he thinks are judging him. Kaityln, who can't accept the fact that she's a female personality traped in a man's body. Derek, who thinks he's a mobster. And Frank, who's tired and can't handle all the things that the police are making him and Matthew go through. While interrogating Matthew, Ray begins to get the truth and fiction mixed. Some personalities begin to try and trick him, some of them pretend to be others, some purposely begin to lie about their stories. Ray must win the mind game between him, Matthew, and his personalities. But can he find the truth, or will he be lost in the sea of lies?

What the Press would say:

This is a mind-f**K like no other. Okay, now that I got that out of the way, on to the review! In the set-up, divorced detective Ray Barnes is forced to work on a serial killer case. He finds the killer and just can't believe it. The killer seems like a nice guy, innocent, caring, etc. He asks a psychologist to talk to Matthew (the killer), and finds out that Matthew actually has split-personality. What follows is a ensemble film like no other. Extremely personal scenes of the Personality's pasts, reveal why they are the way they are. Matthew's flashbacks also provide some information on how he developed split personality. The interrogation scenes are interesting and amazingly emotional, bringing out the best in the actors in them. Matt Dillon (Ray) brings a sense of cool in the beginning, and then throws it out the window, exchanging it for obsessed and paranoid. Patrick Wilson (Matthew) throws everything to see if it sticks. He plays innocent, sad, old, tired, angry, raging, every emotion you can name, he does it. But out of the personalities, the most intriguing is that of Roger Bart (Mike). A homosexual, and part of Matthew's mind, he doesn't play it safe. He's not the cliched, flamboyant homosexual man that's part of a movie trend that never ends. He's a stone-cold killer. Killing for the wrong reasons. He truly stands out. If you're interested in seeing a movie that doesn't give you everything straight, and keeps you thinking 110% all the way, this is the one for you.

Best Picture
Best Director - James Mangold
Best Actor - Patrick Wilson
Best Supporting Actor - Matt Dillon
Best Supporting Actor - Roger Bart
Best Supporting Actor - John Turturro
Best Screenplay - Andrew Kevin Walker


Author(s): Alex S.
Location: N/A


Written & Directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Produced by Sydney Pollack, Steven Spielberg & Anthony Minghella
Music by Alexandre Desplat
Cinematography by Janusz Kaminski
Edited by Tim Squyres

Main Cast

Philipp Danne – Thomas Schönenberg
Kathryn Saas – Chancellor Alexandra Hasse
Giovanna Mezzogiorno – Lena Lanciotti
Giancarlo Giannini – Prime Minister Alberto Dionisi
Chris Evans – Luke Davis
Alec Baldwin – President Jack Walker
Rinko Kikuchi – Megumi Kimura
Ken Watanabe – Prime Minister Masahiko Hakamada
Gaspard Ulliel – Max Desmoulins
André Dussolier – President Philipp Grasset
Edward Speelers – Andrew Harrington
Bill Nighy – Prime Minister Geoffrey Horwood
Mia Kirshner – Sidney Callahan
Donald Sutherland – Prime Minister Edward Harris
Aleksei Chadov – Sacha Yuriev
Vladimir Mashkov – President Miroslav Gromiko

Tagline: "We are bound by the world we live in"

Synopsis: New York City, one of the biggest and most exciting cities in the world, a multicultural corner in the earth. Here the so called G8, the leaders of the most powerful countries in the world, are gathered to discuss some of the most relevant issues the world faces today. Wars, hunger, poverty, disease, famine, globalization, all of these are in the schedule, these leaders representing the ideals of their respective countries, the hopes and aspirations of every citizen, will sat down and talk.

While this happens, a scholarship program brings 8 students from the most developed countries in the world to New York for a G8 model, this 8 students come from different backgrounds and places, have different ages and different areas of study. Every character has been through a defining moment in their lives that brought them there, each one of them has experienced the hardships in the world in a different manner, from childhood memories of the communist regime to the crisis in Darfur and AIDS. From the comfortable American dream, to protests and riots in the streets of Paris. From terrorism in New York and London, to the Iraqi invasion.

During the lapse of 3 days, as they see the city and get to know different landmarks, they will face each others; they will learn what is watching the world with different eyes, with a different perception.

In these days, important decisions will be made by these worlds’ leaders, and most importantly a lesson will be learned. Even if we come from different places and have different cultures, backgrounds and points of views, we are bound by our humanity and the world we live in. Every character has a purpose and each one of them offers a piece in a multicultural puzzle that is waiting to be solved.

What the Press would say:

“When I wrote this movie, I saw this as an opportunity to find a place where everyone could express their feelings about the world, a place where every point of view could find their place and eventually send the moviegoer with different ways of thinking, let them create an opinion with the right tools, we’re not trying to make an statement here, we’re encouraging people to open their minds to new things” said Von Donnersmarck. The screenplay offers what was just said, the tools to create opinions, it doesn’t preaches its message; it extends a hand to people, to make them realize about the reality in this world.

Although most of the development focuses on the students rather than the politicians, in each one of the scenes we see all these leaders as human beings, as regular guys, we’re able to understand the great burden they carry, in some way the movie humanizes these figures and makes us empathize with them, we understand their motivations to doing the things they do, the way they do it. It offers a fresh approach into the lives of the most important heads of state.

Technically the movie achieves something beyond words; the director manages to tell the story fluently, coherently and clear. The director’s work is a magnificent achievement in storytelling; it proves his talent and reaffirms its position as one of the best directors working today. The cinematography is elegant and realistic, it creates a world of luminous presence; it places the city as another character, allowing the characters to interact with the city. The editing hits all the right notes, it efficiently works in allowing to explain what could be a sea of misconceptions, it places each idea and situation coherently among both stories, the movie moves fluidly and keeps the beholder in constant need of what comes next. The music creates emotional and heartfelt moments in a complex and difficult movie; it humanizes certain situations and allows the viewer to relate to the situations and the characters.

“It was important for the story, to have actors playing their nationalities, each one of them added some of their own points of views into the story, through this cast we achieved to express the voices from different people around the world” the director said.

Every member of the cast is splendid, but there are certain performances that stick out, this movie presents the deserving breakthrough of Gaspard Ulliel in Hollywood, his character is so emotionally powerful, it takes control of the screen whenever he’s in it, his character goes through different stages along the movie, the situations take him from a snobby know it all, to a humble person that allows himself to hear what others have to say and that he has still much to learn. Speelers from the failed movie Eragon, succeeds in creating a naïve yet brilliant kid, he reminds us all of how we used to be when we were that age, we thought we could change the world and that we had all the answers and nothing could stop us, so full of ideals and dreams. Kirshner is impressive as a very sensitive and proactive political activist she sometimes functions as the comic relief playing a cynical girl, who’s too independent for her own good. Evans changes his usual cockiness and confidence for the complete opposite, he exposes an insecure and lost soul who relies in his knowledge and trust in others, he lacks the confidence to fulfill his dreams. The characters go through a change and evolution as they share with each other, all these different point of views complete a puzzle of different ideas and create an international panorama.

This is a complex and provocative movie, filled with humanity and emotion, as I said before, it doesn’t preach the message, and it allows the viewer to determine their own beliefs. An incredible achievement in modern cinema. Von Donnersmarck has crafted the best kind of movie: one you can't get out of your head. It is an emotionally powerful movie that doesn't leave you when you walk out the theatre doors. An emotional political drama with an intelligent script that doesn't prey on the audience's emotions.


Best Picture
Best Director
Best Original Screenplay
Best Supporting Actor – Gaspard Ulliel, Edward Speelers, Chris Evans
Best Supporting Actress – Mia Kirshner
Best Ensemble

Beauty and the Beast's The Beast Within You

Author(s): Laura E. Hernandez
Location: N/A

"Beauty and the Beast's The Beast Within You"

Directed by Sofia Coppola
Written by Michel Gondry
Music by Elton John

Main Cast

BELL is Gretchen Mol
BELL’S father is played by Robin Williams
THE BEAST/BEN is Clive Owen
THE BEAST’S LIVE IN FRIENDS are Mathew Goode and Thomas Hayden Church
The WIDOW IS PLAYED by Judy Dench
THE WIDOW’S HUSBAND is played by Jim Broadbent

Tagline: "Fear Only the Beast within You"


Ben a young man in his thirties spends his days with friends Jonathan and Gilbert Sullivan, both twin brothers who are live in friends in his estate. Ben and his friends party their days away and celebrate the inheritance Ben’s father just left behind after his death.

One day, after a long night of drinking, Ben sees an old man in the street, coughing and collapsing to the floor. Ben, and his buddies, more concerned with calling 3 girls to come over that night pay little attention to the man in the street. The man begs for help or water but none of the boys seem to care. A woman, his wife, played by Judy Dench runs to her husband and begins to scream once she realizes her husband is dead. She looks over to the boys who still seem unmoved and holds her chest because her heart can’t take it. She holds her husband in her arms and yells to the boys, “There is nothing more grotesque than the Beast within You!”

A young woman, Bell awakens to hear that her father, played by Robin Williams left early to begin his new job at the Sullivan Corporation. Bell was saddened that her father lost his business and had to work as a Janitor. She wished she could help but could make very little money as a maid cleaning hotels. And, she heard the Sullivan’s to be evil, mean spirited people!

Bell, on an adventure walk, decided to walk close to the Sullivan mansion. She sensed a man behind the gates but he did not reveal himself to her. Instead, he made arrangements for her to work as a live in maid for the summer and promised to buy her father a store for him once again at the end of the summer.

Bell moved in against her father’s wishes. There was something in his voice that intrigued her. The first month she never saw the people she worked for but heard the head of the house yelling and having fits of anxiety in the other side of the house. She could hear other people with him yelling as well.

Bell curious as always, walked to a forbidden side of the home, only to discover Ben there for the first time. He hid and asked her to leave but she remained. “Let me look at you? She asked, Please? Bell was in tears after seeing the tall, disfigured man with loose skin and the stench that came from his body. His two friends came from the hallway and revealed themselves to her shortly after. Bell fainted and woke up in her room, confused.

Bell and Ben spent all their time together after that. She thought he was the most kind hearted person she ever met in her whole life. Everything to him seemed to happen for the first time. Ben loved her but knew that nothing could come of it. He had suffered too many rejections in the past as the man he had become. He offered to pay for her fathers store and told her to leave back home to be with him. Bell left and Ben wept in his beautiful home.

Shortly after Bell’s departure, Ben decided he would take his own life. Ben’s friends contacted Bell and she made it to the mansion to discover Ben, on the floor, and an empty bottle of pills by his side. Ben kept fighting her off but she convinced him to throw up. When he asked why he should live, Bell said because I have never loved anyone like I love you. What you did for my father, everything! I love you! Bell stepped back as she watched the Beast turn into his former self. Shortly after, the once grotesque home turned into a beautiful home and the streets outside in New York City were cleaner and the sun was brighter. Ben grabbed Bell in his arms and invited everyone to celebrate!

What the Press would say:

The role of Bell fits Gretchen Mol like a Glove. She is sure to get a nod this year!

Robin Williams is hilarious as Bell’s eccentric father whose obsession with collecting rats is actually funny!

Elton’s John’s final score, “The Beast Within You, “is due to get Oscar attention! I can’t stop singing it, “If only I can stop…and see the true beauty…And release the Beast within you.”

For Your Consideration!

Best Picture
Best Screenplay: Michel Gondry
Best Director: Sofia Coppola
Best Actor: Clive Owen
Best Actress: Gretchen Mol
Best Supporting Actor: Robin Williams
Best Musical Score: Elton John

Behind the Show

Author(s): Harry / Ryne
Location: Colombia / Portland

"Behind the Show"

A Miramax Pictures Release
Produced by Rob Marshall
Directed by James Mangold
Written by James L. White
Music by John Kander
Editing by Paul Hirsch


Main Cast

Regina King (Monique)
Kevin Spacey (George)
Alicja Bachleda-Curus (Katherine)
Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Vince)
Penélope Cruz (Esperanza)
Matthew Broderick (Dick)

Tagline: "Onstage, life is a comedy. Offstage, life is drama"

Synopsis: It was the height of the “Roaring 20s” in Broadway when the show “Lady Liberty” stunned the city of New York. I can vividly remember the huge crowds of wealthy businessmen and their families entering the theater and expecting to have a splendid time. The lights dimmed and the curtains opened. The show began with Jack, the lead character, beginning his opening monologue. The audience laughed at the different comedic jokes and enjoyed the music that accompanied it. The audience might think that making a show was the most enjoyable thing in the world. But to be honest, the different actors had to endure a dreadful time during our different rehearsals.

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Monique and I am an immigrant from the English Union of South Africa. When I first arrived to New York, the only job I could find was taking a part in the musical production of “Lady Liberty” on 42nd street. The owner of the show, George Hunter, was a tyrannical and racist man with many luxuries in his life. He only gave us 10 dollars every month to maintain ourselves. When we began the rehearsals, the different actors and I had to overcome a great deal of adversity from George. He treated us like trash and often beat us.

As the days passed, I began to meet the different actors in the show. Katherine, a depressed woman from Poland, was the hardest working dancer of the cast and the best one in my eyes. She became a drug addict after her boyfriend left her and struggled to hide it. There’s also Vince, a young man who left college early to sell rum in underground bars, but got fired for keeping some of the rum for himself. I also knew Esperanza, a Spanish woman who secretly joined the show to help sustain her family. Finally, there’s Dick, a former member of the circus who usually saw the bright side of everything. I always knew during the tough times that his jokes would brighten everyone's day.

We experienced many troubles together and even faced some of our greatest fears. We began to confront George instead of cowering whenever he treated us poorly. He started to respect us as individuals and ended his oppression of us when our show, "Lady Liberty", was released.

What the Press would say:

Rob Marshall presents the latest accomplishment in the musical motion picture genre, “Behind the show” a delicious, original and emotional portrait of the New York musical scene during the 1920s. James Mangold, the acclaimed director of “Walk the Line”, directs this film with enormous energy and an amazing attention to detail. His musical sequences, like the show-stopping "Big Boss Man", make you want to get up and dance whereas the dramatic parts, like the heartbreaking "My Life", are full of emotion and will easily make you shed a tear or two. Narrated in first person, writer James L. White (Ray) creates a brilliant dialogue and impeccably develops his characters. John Kander composes the music and lyrics directly for the screen. The film also avails itself with its all-star cast. The underrated Regina King simply shines on the screen with her stunning intensity and witty charm. She completely incarnates her character and makes the audience believe that she is Monique. Kevin Spacey plays the film’s iniquitous villain. From his subtle facial expressions to his ways of speaking, the audience will simply want to punch him in the face. However, at the end, you want to embrace him for new reconciled nature. Matthew Broderick portrays the comic relief of the film. Dick, sometimes the heart and soul of the film, is a genuinely gracious man, who always tries to give hope to the other members of the show. And last but not least, there’s foreign actress Alicja Bachleda-Curus in a groundbreaking performance as the drug-addicted Katherine. She shows an array of emotions that even the most veteran actors struggle to attain. Alicja, without a doubt, has the best voice and dancing abilities out of the whole cast. All in all, “Behind the show” is not only an enjoyable musical but also a reflexive film against racism and other important themes. It is a breathtaking cinematic experience that will never be forgotten.


Best Picture: Rob Marshall
Best Director: James Mangold
Best Actor: Kevin Spacey
Best Actress: Regina King
Best Supporting Actor: Matthew Broderick
Best Supporting Actress: Alicja Bachleda-Curus
Best Original Score: John Kander
Best Original Song: “My Life” by John Kander
As well as other technical categories


Author(s): Daniel Crooke
Location: Ohio


Produced by: Oliver Stone and Steven Spielberg
Directed by: Jonathan Demme
Original Screenplay by: Steve Zaillian
Original Music by: John Williams
Cinematography by: Robert Richardson
Costume Design by: Anna B. Sheppard
Film Editing by: Claire Simpson

Main Cast

Chris Cooper as Lt. William Calley
Alfred Molina as Ernest Medina
Edward Burns as Hugh Thompson
Dennis Quaid as Richard Nixon
Alec Baldwin as Spiro Agnew
Thora Birch as Mary Ann Vecchio
Daniel Franzese as Jeffrey Miller
Evan Rachel Wood as Sandra Scheuer
Scott Bakula as John Filo

Tagline: "So much happened besides the war itself"

Synopsis: The Vietnam War was and still remains one of the most controversial conflicts in history. "Bloodshed" focuses on three important events of the Vietnam War. First, William Calley, lieutenant of the Charlie Company of the United States, led the massacre of innocent women and children in a My Lai, a small town in Vietnam, that was rumored to have Viet Cong inside. He led the attack alongside one of his right hand men, Ernest Medina. Distraught by the complete lack of moral fiber in the company, helicopter pilot Hugh Thompson helped curtail the attack by intimidating the American troops with their own weapons and reporting over the radio what was happening. The actions by Calley were kept under wraps in the US until it was leaked to the country as the My Lai Massacre. A series of court hearings for Calley followed. Meanwhile in the White House, new president Richard Nixon was struggling to enforce his policy of Vietnamization and "peace with honor" alongside his vice president Spiro Agnew. He encountered problems such as disapproval and a limiting ability to get through to Congress. Lastly, at Kent State University in Ohio a protest against Vietnam broke out. However, the protest soon turned bloody when National Guard members shot four students including Sandra Scheuer. John Filo captured the now immortalized photograph of Mary Ann Vecchio over her dead classmate Jeffrey Miller. "Bloodshed" captures the hatred, emotion, violence, and controversies of the Vietnam War through the My Lai Massacre and the following court hearings, the early Nixon administration, and the Kent State shootings.

What the Press would say:

Jonathan Demme's new film "Bloodshed" is the best film about Vietnam in recent memory. But why this over "Platoon", "Born on the Fourth of July", and "Rescue Dawn"? What makes this film so memorable is that it captures everything about the Vietnam War without actually showing the main battles. There is only one subplot in Vietnam and it is a brutal massacre, not even a battle. The three subplots weave in and out of each other with the subplot involving the My Lai Massacre and court hearings following being the most prominent one. Chris Cooper is excellent in his portrayal of Lt. William Calley, the leader in My Lai. His best scenes are his before the courts during his incrimination. Cooper plays his character in the court scenes as if he had done nothing wrong but at the same time you can see the embarrassment and shame in his eyes. This is Cooper's best performance to date, even better than in "Adaptation." and "American Beauty". The next subplot involves Richard Nixon in his pre-Watergate days. Dennis Quaid plays "Tricky Dick" better (dare I say it) than Anthony Hopkins in "Nixon". He has transformed himself into Nixon completely. He spent weeks watching Nixon in old video footage, studying his mannerisms and vocal patterns, and even gaining weight for the role. He really exceeded my expectations and will without a doubt be receiving his first Academy Award nominaton (and probably a win too) for "Bloodshed". The last sublot is at the Kent State shootings. Thora Birch of "Ghost World" plays Mary Ann Vecchio, the female student in the immortalized photograph of the Kent State shootings by John Filo. Birch's performance is best highlighted in her scenes of fear and desperation immediately after the shootings. She portrays this character beautifully and after being snubbed for some of her past work she will also be recieving her first Academy Award nomination. Under the excellent supervision of Jonathan Demme, "Bloodshed" is poised to become an Academy favorite this year. Don't let me forget about Steve Zaillian's terrific comeback as an amazing screenwriter after his last disappointment, "All the King's Men". "Bloodshed" is a fantastic film and will remain a masterpiece because of its excellent way it shows the emotions of the Vietnam War.

Best Picture- Oliver Stone and Steven Spielberg
Best Director- Jonathan Demme
Best Actor- Chris Cooper
Best Supporting Actor- Dennis Quaid
Best Supporting Actress- Thora Birch
Best Original Screenplay- Steve Zaillian
Best Film Editing- Claire Simpson
Best Cinematography- Robert Richardson

Captain Fantastic

Author(s): Pat
Location: NY

"Captain Fantastic"

Directed by Mike Newell
Written by Peter Morgan
Music by Elton John

Main Cast

Philip Seymour Hoffman (Sir Elton John)
Heath Ledger (Bernie Taupin)
Eric McCormack (David Furnish)
Eddie Izzard (George Michael)
Emma Thompson (Princess Diana)
Tracey Ullman (Renate Blauel)
Milla Jovovich (Kiki Dee)
Creed Bratton (Tim Rice)
Giancarlo Gianni (Gianni Versace)
Colin Firth (Dr. McGreevey)

Tagline: "Captain Fantastic, raised and regimented. Hardly a hero"

Synopsis: Peter Morgan scripts and Mike Newell directs a new film about one of most popular singers in history. “Captain Fantastic”, the title derived from the self proclaimed label of the John/Taupin writing team called Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, tells the story of Elton John through many of the trials and troubles of his life after his rise to fame. The film begins in 1977 when John (Philip Seymour Hoffman) announces he will enter retirement from performances and he begins to become reclusive. After three years of this, John returns to the music scene with his writing partner Bernie Taupin (Heath Ledger) and the two continue to release hit songs, like “Little Jeannie”. But John’s successes quickly took a sharp turn when his good friend John Lennon is killed in New York City. After that John began to use cocaine and marijuana and alcohol to deal with the pain until his doctor (Colin Firth) informs him that he must undergo surgery to remove polyps from his throat. In 1984, John wed Renate Blauel (Tracey Ullman) while continuing his suspicious relationship with another singer Kiki Dee (Milla Jovovich), who he collaborated with for his hit song “Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart”. Four years later, John announces that he is gay and we become familiar with his increasing feud with other gay pop star George Michael (Eddie Izzard) after they tour together. Finally, John finds the one man for him in David Furnish (Eric McCormack), a Canadian filmmaker who sticks by John’s side through more bad times to come. In 1994, John collaborates with Tim Rice (Creed Bratton) for “The Lion King” and makes one of his biggest successes. In the end of the film, John comes to grips with the deaths of two of his best friends, Gianni Versace (Giancarlo Gianni) and Princess Diana of Wales (Emma Thompson). “Captain Fantastic” provides a heartbreaking and moving look into the world of one of the music industry’s most successful artists, as well as humantarian and crusader against homophobia and AIDS.

What the Press would say:

“Captain Fantastic” is nothing less than fantastic. From the opening moments during a concert to the finale with Elton John’s wedding to his partner David Furnish, this film delivers in every way imaginable. Following the same path of recent hits like “Ray” and “Walk The Line”, this film incorporates musical performances interspersed throughout the narrative. Philip Seymour Hoffman takes on Elton John with an accuracy that is even better than his performance in “Capote”. Hoffman even learned piano to prepare for this role. His emotion can be felt in some scenes in the movie, like when he learns of Princess Diana’s death, so passionately that it becomes uncomfortable to watch but one can’t divert from it. Emma Thompson shines as the fated Princess who serves as a shoulder to cry on for Elton. Tracey Ullman takes a departure from her usual humor to pay the tragic woman who marries Elton John and then suffers when he announces that he is gay. Other than Hoffman who is by far the best in the film, Eddie Izzard provides a fantastic and comical performance as George Michael, the somewhat lover of the pop icon until their feud began in the early 1990s. Overall, “Captain Fantastic” takes one of the greatest musicians of all time and makes him a film icon as well.


Best Picture (should be considered in the Musical/Comedy category for GG’s)
Best Director-Mike Newell
Best Original Screenplay
Best Actor-Philip Seymour Hoffman
Best Supporting Actor-Eddie Izzard
Best Supporting Actor-Heath Ledger
Best Supporting Actress-Emma Thompson
Best Supporting Actress-Tracey Ullman
Best Original Score
Best Cinematography
Best Film Editing
Best Costume Design
Best Makeup
Best Sound Mixing


Author(s): Douglas Reese
Location: Clarksville, Ohio


Written and Directed by Lauren Collyer
Produced by Lauren Collyer and Harvey Weinstein
Score by James Horner
Cinematography by Robert Richardson
Edited by John Hunt

Main Cast

Shia LeBeouf ... Scott Paulson
Patrick Wilson ... Kyle Paulson
Juliette Lewis ... Rena Paulson
Peter Sarsgaard ... Victor Baker
Shirley MacLaine ... Claire Pullman

Tagline: "Everything We Desire is A Few Ticks Away"

Synopsis: What Scott Paulson (LeBeouf) believes made him what he truly was is his second grade teacher, Mr. Haley. Ever since that evening "class", Scott has been cursed with unsatisfying and uncontrollable urges including sneaking out in the middle of the night in hopes of hitching a ride from some horny driver, ignoring the fact that it is the most dangerous thing somebody can possibly do. But he ignores the danger. And ignores the own love his stepmom Rena, feeling that she is too controlling and at times annoying, tries to be the best she can be and capture the love of Rena. Rena's an alcoholic and struggles, but still willingly, tells Scott the stories of her three miscarriages. Rena is haunted my memories of these moments and also how she was brutally raised. Scott knows he is highly cruel to Rena when usually The Wicked Stepmother is taken place, but she delivers her all and tries her best to be as good as a person she can be.

Rena takes Scott to the local flea market on a weekend in hopes of finding Scott a job. Scott flees Rena after a while and runs into a small stall in the building that features a bunch of clocks surrounding the walls. The ticking is something that pulled in Scott almost magnetically. He meets the owner of the store. Victor Baker (Sarsgaard), a nice guy who Scott grows to like a lot after a small conversation. Scott asks if he is hiring and Victor gives him the job. Eventually, Scott is cleaning and hanging clocks as an occupation every Saturday morning. After getting to know Victor sort of better, Scott begins to form a crush on him. Victor has this strange and sweet way to him that makes Scott feel special and for that he desires him. Scott has a picture of Victor and he stares at it all the time, and he is all too eager to get to work at 5am. When he arrives one day to work about thirty minutes early, Scott sees Victor harassing a small girl sexually. Victor doesn't know he seen him and Scott doesn't say anything. Instead, he walks from the job and never returns.

He runs toward "heaven" as he walks down a long narrow nature trail at the public park. A while on the path he runs into a car parked in the woods. And out of it comes a big man who asks Scott if he'll take seventy-five dollars. Scott says okay and they both get into the back of the car. The guy is very mean and ends up raping Scott. Before long, Scott passes out, and finally Scott wakes up in the woods and its dark. Crickets chirp and the air is frosty. He is bleeding everywhere. His nose, mouth, forehead, anus, and arms. He is in pain and he slowly begins to walk home. He is scared and he cries the whole way. He arrives home and sees that it is only 10pm. Rena walks out from the kitchen to see Scott's beaten-up profile and begins to hug him. Usually Scott wouldn't lift his arms up. But this time he did. He embraced Rena. And then falls to his knees in tears. It is silent except for the snuffles Scott makes as, for two solidly powerful minutes, uncut, we see Rena take away Scott's pain as she embraces him in a caring and understanding hug.

What the Press would say:

The chronicles of such a deeply complex character like Scott Paulson is something that would be hard for somebody other than director Lauren Collyer to tackle. She worked in 2006 with Maggie Gyllenhaal in "SherryBaby" and earned Gyllenhaal a Golden Globe nomination. There is not doubt Collyer has led lead actor of "Clockwork" Shia LeBeouf to one - plus a possible Oscar. Feeding us a showcase of bravery and plausibility, LeBeouf takes Scott Paulson and makes him human and brings more depth to the character than anybody ever asked for. "It's a surprisingly authentic and powerfully mesmerizing performance!" says Rolling Stones' Peter Travers. In supporting performances, Patrick Wilson portrays Kyle Paulson with such care and such care and vulnerability that he delivers a short, but real, performance! As the seductive Victor Baker, Peter Sarsgaard brings such humbleness and quirkiness to MacDonald that it is almost unbearable to watch his performance without cringing at how well he creates the annoying man that becomes an object of Scott's lust, and later an object of his own hatred. Actress Juliette Lewis shows a real and emotionally devastated character as Rena Paulson, the psychologically-corrupted character that Kyle has to keep from beating her wrists when something crumbles her. "Lewis is the best thing about this movie!" say Time Magazine. "She's a true marvel!" And the final great performance in the film is Shirley MacLaine who gives a great comical showcase as she gives a six-minute scene where she comes to visit Scott who just happens to remain quiet as she goes on and on about her younger boyfriends. Very funny and cute her performance is. As for Collyer's authentic screenplay, it captures the warmth and soul of its main character and leaves you gripping onto him and praying for him every step of the way. Collyer weaves his life so seamlessly that it blends into becoming one of the best films of the year. Richard Roeper says on 'Ebert & Roeper' that, "Clockwork is an accurate and emotional picture! A true American classic!"

For Your Consideration:
Best Picture
Best Director - Lauren Collyer
Best Original Screenplay
Best Actor - Shia LeBeouf
Best Supporting Actor - Peter Sarsgaard
Best Supporting Actor - Patrick Wilson
Best Supporting Actress - Shirley MacLaine
Best Supporting Actress - Juliette Lewis
Best Film Editing