From bittersweet comedies to mildly amusing dramas that end up in the Golden Globe comedy categories anyway, these are (for lack of a better term in some cases) the comedy/dramas of 2016.
In a vaguely futuristic world where single people are turned into animals if they don’t couple up, two outcasts (Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz) find each other in this bizarre love story/social commentary/black comedy that you’ll either love or hate depending on your capacity for embracing the absurd. Count me among the former. Director Yorgos Lanthimos and his co-writer Efthimis Filippou have conjured up an intriguingly insane premise and brazenly maintain the precise tone needed to turn this potential train wreck into a true original/future cult classic. (8/10)
|Fist. Behind. Fuck. I'll just leave those three words there...|
…20th Century Women:
Outstanding and endearing, Annette Bening is a free spirit single mom in 1979 Santa Barbara who embraces the mantra of “it takes a village” when she enlists the aid of two younger women (Greta Gerwig and Elle Fanning) in the task of helping her teenage son become a good man. Like his Beginners, writer/director Mike Mills taps into his own family history here, showing a knack for creating smart, funny and real female characters, the kind you’d want to hang out with around the kitchen table. (7/10)
Viggo Mortensen plays a refugee from the 60s, the kind who gives his kids names like “Vespyr” and “Bodevan”, raises them off the grid in a wilderness compound, celebrates “Noam Chomsky Day” instead of Christmas and most likely reeks of patchouli oil. If your eyes rolled at any of that, then avoid this one at all costs, ’cause it only gets worse. This “rebel” balks at old people on their morning stroll who are shocked to see his dick and teaches his kids how to shoplift, grave rob and dress as tacky as possible for a funeral. It’s all too much crunchy granola hippie bullshit for me. (4/10)
|My pain is mine...|
…A Man Called Ove:
One would not be wrong at first to call Ove (Rolf Lassgård) the proverbial grumpy old man, but we soon learn that he has just cause for his cantankerousness. Stultified by grief and longing to just be with his beloved, recently deceased wife, his frequent suicide attempts keep getting interrupted by the lives that obliviously continue around him. Sweden’s contender for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2016 Academy Awards, you’ll warm to the charms of Ove just like Ove comes to realize that living on may not be that bad after all. (9/10)
Reviews by Kirby Holt, Movie Dearest creator, editor and head writer.