Posts Tagged ‘Riley Keough’

Bill Skarsgard (left)


138 minutes | MPAA rating: R

“Some people are born just so they can be buried.”

That glum observation, spoken by a corrupt lawman, pretty much sums up “The Devil All the Time,” a slow-bubbling stew of old-time religion and blue-collar mayhem.

Imagine a partnership of Flannery O’Conner and Jim Thompson. It’s pretty unpleasant…but has been acted and produced with enough brio to keep us hanging on.

Directed by Antonio Campos (“Christine,” TV’s “The Sinner”) and scripted by Campos and his brother Paulo (from the novel by Donald Ray Pollock), this is a  saga covering 20 years and three generations of a family (two families, actually) living in southern Ohio and nearby West Virginia.

Tom Holland

It’s a world populated by devotees of Ol’ Time Religion, feral and/or delusional preachers, dirty cops and a couple of serial killers who prey on hitchhikers.

The whole thing is narrated by novelist Pollock, who has just the right down-home voice (half sincerity, half deadpan sarcasm,  hint of a twang) to pull it all together.

The story?  Where to begin…”The Devil All the Time” is all over the place.

It starts in 1945 with the return from combat of Willard Russell (Bill Skarsgard), still haunted by what he experienced and rebelling at God. It then follows Willard’s son Arvin (Tom Holland) through a traumatic childhood.

For both father and son religion is more a burden than a comfort, in large part because of the hypocrisies so lavishly displayed by clergymen like the bombastic Roy Laferty (Harry Melling in  spectacularly hypnotic/creepy form) or the snakily seductive Preston Teagardin (Robert Pattinson), who preys on the naive young things of his congregation.


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Andrew Garfield

“UNDER THE SILVER LAKE” My rating: C (On Amazon Prime)

139 minutes | MPAA rating: R

David Robert Mitchell’s “Under Silver Lake” looks so good while evoking a palpable aura of dread (despite its sunny setting) that it pains to report that the movie makes no damn sense.

If you had to categorize it, “Silver Lake” might fall in the “amateur sleuth” category — a twenty something Los Angelino goes looking for his missing neighbor (an eroticism-radiating beauty, naturally) and discovers things he was never looking for.

To be charitable, Mitchell’s screenplay is much more about the search than the solving; still, after nearly 2 1/2 hours of wandering through a world of pointless parties and bizarre developments it’s a disappointment not to get some answers.

Sam (Andrew Garfield) is jobless and aimless. He’s facing eviction and the repossession of his car, but doesn’t seem overly concerned. Instead he eavesdrops on the female residents of his apartment complex. There’s the lady who tends to her pet birds topless. And especially there’s the gorgeous blonde who likes late-night swims.

Her name is Sarah (Riley Keough…Elvis’ granddaughter); she’s obsessed with classic movies and while swimming likes to strike poses that mimic those of Marilyn Monroe in a famous poolside photo shoot shortly before her death.

Sam is invited to her apartment to watch one of her faves (“How to Marry a Millionaire” with Marilyn, Lauren Bacall and Betty Grable). The evening ends chastely, and the next day Sam is puzzled to find the apartment empty. Sarah is missing; so are her roommates, all the furniture. All that’s left behind is a box of snapshots.

And the chase is on. (more…)

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