Posts Tagged ‘Haley Lu Richardson’

Haley Lu Richardson, Elizabeth McGovern

“THE CHAPERONE” My rating: C+

103 minutes | No MPAA rating

A pall of old-fashioned made-for-TV mediocrity hangs over much of “The Chaperone,” a Masterpiece Theatre production based on a highly-regarded novel by Lawrence resident Laura Moriarty, adapted by Oscar-winning writer Julian Fellowes (“Downton Abbey,” “Gosford Park”) and featuring a more-than-solid cast.

Blame veteran TV director Michael Engler and a stingy budget for fumbling the ball here.

At first glance one might assume that this is the story of the young Louise Brooks, who in the 1920s went from Wichita to a starring role with a top New York dance troupe and then on to international stardom as the ultimate flapper and sex symbol of silent film.

Not really.  Brooks (played here by Haley Lu Richardson) certainly has a role in this yarn, but its real focus is a middle-aged Kansas  housewife and mother  (Elizabeth McGovern) who agrees to chaperone the young hellion during her Big Apple sojourn. In  the process the older woman finds her own world exploding and expanding.

Norma (McGovern) first lays eyes on 15-year-old Louise at a Wichita dance recital where she is mightily impressed by girl’s flamboyant Isadora Duncan-ish flouncing. Norma is a stolid Midwestern matron, stuck in a sexless marriage (that’ll be explained later) to a lawyer (Campbell Scott); they have twin college-bound sons.

When she learns that Louise has won a coveted spot with the famous Denishawn modern dance company in NYC, and that the girl’s parents are looking for an appropriate chaperone to accompany their daughter to the big city, she volunteers. Heck, she needs some adventure.


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“COLUMBUS” My rating: B 

100 minutes | No MPAA rating

“Columbus” is an art film with all the good and not-so-good that suggests.

This audacious feature debut from Kogonada (the one-named video director who creates special DVD features for many of the Criterion Collection classic film releases) is a visually brilliant experience that sometimes feels as if it’s in no hurry to go anywhere.

It’s been very well acted, but keeps its emotions under wraps.

Set in Columbus, IN, this hard-to-classify effort (not quite drama, certainly not a comedy) centers on Casey (Haley Lu Richardson), a recent high school graduate, a volunteer at the local library and an architecture geek.

She’s in the right town, since Columbus is a virtual showcase of buildings by modernist masters like I.M. Pei, Robert A.M. Stern, Eero Saarinen and Richard Meier. Casey knows these structures inside out; she’s even figured out how to sneak into some of them at night so that she can enjoy her own private reveries.

To the extent that “Columbus” has a plot it involves the arrival of Jin (John Cho), who has traveled from Korea to the States because of a developing family tragedy.

Jin’s father, a famous architectural historian, has suffered a stroke on the eve of a lecture at the local university. Now he’s in a coma and Jin, being the dutiful Korean son, is expected to sit at his bedside until the old man either recovers or succumbs.

Except that Jin and his father have long been estranged. Instead of hanging around the hospital, Jin looks for diversion, and he finds it in Casey, from whom he bums a cigarette and with whom he tours the local architectural hot spots.


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