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Posts Tagged ‘Sarah Gadon’

Jamie Dornan, ****

Jamie Dornan, Aiden Longworth

“THE 9th LIFE OF LOUIS DRAX” My rating: C-

118 minutes | MPAA rating: R

“The 9th Life of Louis Drax” has been competently produced and adequately acted.

Nonetheless, I hated it.  Phoniness oozes from every frame (assuming that “frames” even exist in digital film).

In a hospital bed in a special ward dedicated to pediatric coma victims, little Louis Drax (Aiden Longworth) vegetates.

Apparently while on a family picnic the boy was thrown off a cliff and into the sea by his father. A statewide manhunt is now underway to track down this paternal monster.

Sarah Gadon

Sarah Gadon

Meanwhile Louis’ mom, the long-suffering Natalie (Sarah Gadon), waits moist-eyed by his bedside. She’s so sensitive. So fragile yet so strong for her son. So freakin’ hot.

Who can blame Louis’ hunky young M.D., Allan Pascal  (Jamie Dornan of “Fifty Shades…” fame), for experiencing flickerings of lust…flickerings which Natalie suggests might be reciprocated, her recent tragedy notwithstanding?

Directed by French helmer Alexandre Aja (“The Hills Have Eyes” remake, “High Tension”) and scripted by Max Minghella (from Liz Jensen’s novel), “The 9th Life of Louis Drax” is a con job, a not-so-mysterious mystery (I had more or less figured out the truth halfway through) that attempts to mask its predictability with a time-leaping narrative, fantasy sequences and obfuscatory storytelling.

The film begins with a montage of the many times in his young life that Louis Drax has cheated death.  Little Louis narrates this parade of near-horrors, describing himself as accident prone. Well, duh. Electrocution, falls…the kid is almost comically clumsy.

This segment is presented as a semi-playful fable about a little boy who just can’t be killed. It’s borderline charming in an “Amelie” vein.

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Logan Lehman, Sarah Gaddon

Logan Lerman, Sarah Gaddon

“INDIGNATION”  My rating: B

110 minutes | MPAA rating: R

As a producer and/or writer of most of Ang Lee’s films, James Schamus has established a reputation for intelligent —  even intellectual — filmmaking.

Now the CEO of Focus Features has made his directing debut, and as you’d expect from the man who wrote an entire book about one of the most confounding and polarizing films ever — Carl Theodore Dreyer’s emotionally arid “Gertrude” — it is brainy, challenging and not a little perplexing.

“Indignation” is based on Philip Roth’s 2008 novel, and a more faithful adaptation can hardly be imagined. Even to the point of duplicating things in the novel that have little hope of working on film.

Logan Lerman (“The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” “Fury”) is Marcus, a New York Jew who has landed a scholarship to Winesburg College in Ohio.

The year is 1951 and as long as he remains a student in good standing, Marcus can avoid the draft that is gobbling up his childhood friends for Korean cannon fodder. Staying in school is, for all intents, a life insurance policy.

But he finds Winesburg’s middle-American ethos and white Protestant outlook disconcerting. For starters, Marcus is assigned a dorm room with the only other two Jews  on campus who aren’t members of the Jewish fraternity.  These three individualists — one is probably gay, the other antisocial — form their own little ghetto.

And then there’s the weekly chapel requirement, which demands that all students show up to hear the campus chaplain drone on about Jesus.

Here’s the thing about Marcus.  Though he knows relatively little of the real world — he’s a virgin, he’s never worked outside his father’s butcher shop — he’s a borderline genius. And with that comes a degree of arrogance and, well, indignation at the way he’s being treated.

Things look up when he meets blonde coed Olivia (Sarah Gadon), whom he takes to a fancy dinner (Escargot! This son of a kosher butcher has never dreamed of such excess) and who rewards him afterward with a matter-of-fact blow job.

Marcus is so stunned, his moral compass so bent by this experience that he immediately ends the relationship.  Although he can’t resist standing outside her dorm late at night trying to find Olivia’s window.

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