“The Electric Life of Louis Wain” tells the story of a real-life Englishman who created a whimsical cat art

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Louis Wain’s electric life

*** Cat fans and Benedict Cumberbatch get ready to purr. With manic charm and moving grace, Louis Wain’s electric life welcomes us to the psychedelic world of Wain (Cumberbatch), a real-life English artist who brought fantasy and wonder to the Victorian era with his feline-filled drawings and paintings. The film begins with an elderly Wain withering in an asylum, but it quickly returns to his marriage to Emily Richardson-Wain (Claire Foy), another cat lover. When she dies of breast cancer, Wain becomes such a cat fanatic that her mind begins to reshape the world as it pleases. When he looks at people their heads grow furry and whiskers, and when he looks at cats they talk to him via subtitles. Those whimsical touches aren’t standard biopic fare, but the final half of the film reveals the fragility of its decades-long tale – he’s so eager to get to Wain’s death that it doesn’t take long enough to savor. his life. Still, the glow of Louis and Emily’s love lights up the film long after he’s gone. When he tells her that she makes the world beautiful, she simply tells him that the world is already beautiful. Finding the sweet silliness in everyday life, Louis Wain’s electric life proves him right. PG-13. BENNETT CAMPBELL FERGUSON. Amazon Prime.

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Last night in Soho

*** 1/2 of all the spectral threats plaguing Ellie (Thomasin McKenzie), fresh-faced protagonist of the wonderful new paranormal thriller Last night in Soho, the worst moments of vicarious fear occur early on when the rural stock exchange student first braves her draped classmates at a posh fashion institute in central London. Soon fleeing an insufferable roommate (Synnove Karlsen), our brave family heroine finds herself in a boarding house with an austere landlord (the last role of always imperious Diana Rigg) and dusty furniture. On the first night, Ellie lays down to sleep while doing 45s, she is brought back into the 60s Soho swing, where she meets Sandy (Anya Taylor-Joy), a fiery singer whose giddy point of view Ellie takes on. of what becomes nocturnal visits. Even without Matt Smith’s heel kick as Sandy’s abusive manager / lover, script-directing vanity threatens too Whoovian uselessness, but director Edgar Wright (Baby Driver, Warm down) gracefully rotates from romantic comedy to lavish period-horror musical Hammer without a snark, fully engaging with every disparate genre. Whatever smell of casual emptiness lurking beneath the uncluttered charms of Wright’s previous films, Last night in Soho looks at each stylistic blossoming as further illustration of the retro delights linking Ellie to the past while seamlessly masking the inevitable plot twists. Audiences don’t need to be oversold on the dangers that await a damsel falling head over heels for the wrong man or the wrong time. The trick is to convince us why she would keep coming back. R. JAY HORTON. Bridgeport, downtown, Evergreen Parkway, Fox Tower, Lloyd Center, Movies on TV, Pioneer Place, Studio One, Tigard.

They say nothing stays the same

*** Every day, Toichi transports villagers across a secluded Japanese river to an indefinite time, watching the construction of a bridge that will mark its obsolescence. Still, Toichi doesn’t seem to care too much, as star Akira Emoto (Dr Akagi) embodies a weathered solitary accustomed to living, like the wind on the water, which has just happened to him. The fabulistic core of Japanese actor-musician Joe Odagiri’s directorial debut reinforces and deepens his twilight portrayal of a community element that many passengers see as an Old World drawback that will soon be resolved. But Toichi is also an impassable conduit for their aspirations, their grief and their violence which unfold beyond the inconspicuous shores, notably in the form of an abandoned young woman (Ririka Kawashima), whom he finds floating unconscious in the sea. river and heal. All the while, he’s wondering if she got to his cabin as a result of a local crime or through more supernatural means. In this part of the plot, despite the unrivaled eye of director of photography and Wong Kar-wai collaborator Christopher Doyle for beauty, the film suffers a lot from jumping into interstitials of horror, folklore and landscapes of dream nowhere near as convincing as the main visual palette and the pace of the film. Fortunately, it always comes down to rowing this boatman’s elegy up and down – poignant, calming, and inevitable with every stroke of the oar. NR. CHANCE SOLEM-PFEIFER. On demand, virtual cinema.

drink

** As for the faux-Oregon movies, drink tries to tap into relevance. Set in the fictional town of Cispus Falls, but filmed largely in Hope, B.C., director Scott Cooper’s first horror film intertwines with rural poverty, drug addiction, environmental plunder and to the native erasure that turn into a monster. In this case, the monster is a Wendigo, the cannibalistic horned humanoid of the folklore of many Algonquin speaking tribes. In a town similar to many isolated communities on the highway in northwestern Oregon, Keri Russell plays Julia, an elementary school teacher in the midst of a difficult homecoming. Struggling with her own troubled past, Julia focuses on a frail and introverted student, Lucas Weaver (Jeremy T. Thomas), whose family of bloodthirsty beasts that appear in his class drawings implies that all may not be right. not well at home. With her brother the sheriff (Jesse Plemons) at her heels, Julia gradually tries to spot the dilapidated house of the Weavers. drink is based on a short story about a well-meaning young teacher playing the role of savior in the decaying Appalachians. While Cooper’s film maintains that vibe, it’s mired in additional paint-by-number scripting. Combine that with Cooper’s inexperience in horror directing, and it’s a superficially polished and well-played film that stammers gravely for repetitive 95 minutes. To be fair, drink has an unexpected script that takes the film away from the exploitation of the hills. But that sensitivity and care that went into consulting on the Wendigo tradition with Indigenous artists and experts is very little. Honestly, look at last year Blood quantum if you are looking for a recent and well done First Nations horror movie. R. CHANCE SOLEM-PFEIFER. Cedar Hills, Downtown, Downtown Clackamas, Dine-In Progress Ridge, Eastport Plaza, Evergreen Parkway, Lloyd Center, Movies on TV, Tigard, Vancouver Plaza.

Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn

** Like all grown-ups, Romanian filmmaker Radu Jude’s latest debut opens with uncensored pornography. Then it’s a mind-boggling 30 minutes of a teacher (Katia Pascariu) wandering around Bucharest, as the camera hints that billboards and toy ads may also be pornographic. Next comes a pleasant glossary interlude, balancing terms from human history with the Romanian urban dictionary. Finally, it’s the trial of the century, as we find out that the aforementioned teacher, Emi, has actually appeared in the first adult videos, while parents at her school make her an inquisition. Overall a real mix of antique social commentary and blowjobs. The hot pink title cards and ragtime music do nothing to mask a seething hatred for the country’s autocratic past and what is portrayed by the third act kangaroo court as a misogynistic, anti-Semitic present. There’s a distinct bravery in taking such a big, nasty bite of your own country, but it’s also way too much to chew on: town planning, Fox News, rape culture, genocide, pandemic conspiracies. The film could be controversial if it focused. None of this really explains bad luck bangingThe victory of the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival. Perhaps a prize for the best boost would be more appropriate. NR. CHANCE SOLEM-PFEIFER. Cinema 21.

Belfast

** Towards the end of director Kenneth Branagh’s film Belfast, Caitríona Balfe and Jamie Dornan dance to “Everlasting Love,” Love Affair’s brilliant hymn of desire, regret and hope. It’s an intoxicating scene, but it’s also an outlier. Overwhelmed by a stifling cloak of nostalgia, Belfast is unable to reconcile the demands of a trauma-defined tale and a director who can’t help but look nostalgically into the past. The setting is Ireland and the year is 1969, during the 30-year clash between Catholics and Protestants known as the Troubles. Sectarian violence rages on, but religious battles don’t interest Buddy (Jude Hill), a young Protestant who most enjoys watching movies like Chitty chitty bang bang with his parents (Balfe and Dornan). Based in part on Branagh’s childhood, Belfast is a safe and fluid film where the kids are adorably brave and life has an endless Van Morrison soundtrack. Branagh seems to be trying to get away from the glorious excesses of his Shakespeare films, but restraint doesn’t suit him – nothing in Belfast is as vibrant and truthful as seeing him frolic happily in a fountain in the 1993s. A lot of noise for nothing. If the play is still the thing for Branagh, it’s because he speaks more eloquently through other people’s stories than he does through his own. PG-13. BENNETT CAMPBELL FERGUSON. Bridgeport, Cedar Hills, Downtown Clackamas, Fox Tower, The Lounge, The Vancouver Mall.

13 minutes

* Fans of Love in fact or the cursed vehicle Taylor Lautner and Taylor Swift Valentine’s day can find elements of 13 minutes familiar. The film is part of the great tradition of clumsy and totally devoid of substance ensemble films. The only difference here is that most of these movies are lightweight and really fun to watch. 13 minutes is not fun and is not meant to be. It follows residents of a small town in Oklahoma as they navigate their daily lives just before a tornado is about to strike. While the premise is interesting, writers Travis Farncombe and Lindsay Gossling are fully responsible for the film’s many failures. The script is gruesome and exploitative – a half-baked porn tragedy about original characters who feel like they were written by a bot. In fact, the whole script has an AI-generated quality. Writers seemed to choose from a handbag of important social topics, including: abortion and pregnancy centers in crisis, homophobia, racism, barriers to medical access, and immigration. Each plot is introduced and then abruptly dropped or, worse, shrouded in a jerky, molasses sincerity that totally flattens out the very real issues the characters face. You better stream He’s just not very interested. PG-13. GRACE CULHANE. On demand.


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