Tag Archives: comeback



Director: Jon Favreau; Main Cast: Jon FavreauJohn LeguizamoBobby CannavaleEmjay AnthonyScarlett JohanssonSofía Vergara;

This is a feel-good movie written and directed by Jon Favreau, mostly known for directing Iron Man, Iron Man 2 and Cowboys & Aliens. It is a comeback story about Carl (Favreau), the titular chef, who loses his job after a bad review from a critic and a melt-down gone viral on internet. Notwithstanding the fact that all the cliches are in it (unappreciated genius, workaholic, divorced with difficult relationship with his son…) the story works well because it has a nice pace, some good humor and the acting is up-to-par. Carl realises, with some help from his ex-wife Inez (Vergara), that he should go back to where he started: making cuban sandwiches on a food truck. The second act of the film is an on the road buddy comedy: Carl is helped by his friend and fellow cook Martin (Leguizamo) and his 10-year-old son Percy (Anthony) on a journey of rediscovery, appreciating the simple pleasures of life and the joy of cooking. On this trip from Florida back to Los Angeles, Carl’s food truck reaches celebrity status thanks to his social media savvy son (a true marketing genius!) and life will smile to him again (obviously). As I said, the film is nothing new but Favreau manages to balance very well the buddy banter, the father/son moments, the self-introspection and the cooking. In addition he has great on-screen chemistry with all the other actors, in particular with Leguizamo and young Anthony, and a knack for making the father/son scenes sweet but not cloyingly so. I should also issue a warning: there’s a fair amount of food porn during the film so I strongly suggest eating before watching otherwise you end up feeling famished when the closing credits start to roll (as I did!). Enjoyable —7/10


Filed under Seen at home

Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)


Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu; Main Cast: Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward NortonEmma StoneNaomi WattsAndrea RiseboroughAmy Ryan;

Art imitates life, or so it seems, in this film but it left me wondering if Inarritu’s last effort is  campy navel-gazing or a honest, tongue-in-cheek look at the entertainment business? I must say I’m not completely sold on the latter. Using a rather ingenious editing move (shooting the whole film in one, continuos take!) and an inspired soundtrack, Inarritu introduces the audience to a collection of different types (or archetypes) of actors and somewhat hefty themes: art and fame, vanity and self-worth. Riggan (Keaton), a once famous actor, has reached stardom interpreting a popular superhero (starts with b…finishes with …man, little on the nose maybe?) but he has fallen into obscurity in more recent years. Eager to revamp his career and be accepted by the high-brow critics, he is directing, producing and acting in a Broadway play he has adapted from Raymond Carver’s story What we talk about when we talk about love. The film follows Riggan in the few days before the premiere, while he struggles with mundane issues as director/producer and with his inner demons embodied by Birdman himself, who follows him around and talks like he has been gargling marbles. His internal conflict is sometimes fueled, sometimes abated by the people surrounding him: his manager and friend Jake (Galifianakis, casted against type and a pleasant surprise!), his recovering addict daughter Sam (Stone), his girlfriend and actress Laura (Riseborough), his leading lady Lesley (Watts), his ex-wife Sylvia (Ryan) and, last but not least, Mike (Norton), renown stage actor who lives only for the craft. There is an interesting mix of comic and dramatic moments in the story, with the right touch of surreal that reminds me a little of Michel Gondry‘s style. Riggan wants desperately to prove that he is a real artist, well versed in the craft, and not a washed up movie star, he wants to leave something behind that’s worthy and, most of all, he wants to matter. In the end this film is about very human feelings we can all relate to and understand. Keaton gives a great performance, one that can propel him back to stardom, so life mimics art after art has imitated life…ok, I have a headache now…Anyway the supporting cast, in particular Norton, is pretty amazing as well and improve the already good quality of the film. Innovative and thought-provoking —7/10


Filed under Seen at the cinema