Tag Archives: brian gleeson

PHANTOM THREAD (2017) – My rating: 7/10

Phantom Thread is a drama written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson.  This unusual film is about a couturier who takes a young waitress as his muse.  I didn’t think this film was Oscar worthy nor did I think it made a whole lot of sense.  I did feel the acting was brilliant and the fashions were exquisite.

In 1954 London, renowned fashion designer Reynolds Woodcock (Danial Day-Lewis) creates dresses for members of high society. His charisma and genius is matched by his obsessive, controlling personality. Cyril (Lesley Manville) his sister, manages the day-to-day operations of his fashion house and has significant influence over his life. Reynolds is haunted by the death of their mother, and stitches hidden messages into the linings of the dresses he makes to show the artistry of his work.

While visiting a restaurant in the countryside, Reynolds is drawn to a waitress named Alma (Vicky Krieps). After some conversation, he asks her on a date, and she accepts. Their relationship develops, and she moves in with him, becoming his assistant and muse. Cyril initially distrusts Alma but comes to respect her willfulness and determination.

At first, Alma enjoys being a part of Reynolds’ work, but he proves aloof and hard to please, and they bicker. When Alma makes him a romantic dinner, Reynolds lashes out, saying he will not tolerate deviations from the routines he has worked hard to perfect.

Alma poisons Reynolds’ tea with poisonous mushroom gathered outside his country house. As he readies a wedding gown for a Belgian princess, Reynolds collapses, damaging the dress and forcing his staff to work all night to repair it. He becomes gravely ill and has hallucinations of his mother. Alma nurses him back to health and he asks her to marry him. She accepts.

Reynolds and Alma soon start bickering again. As Reynolds feels his work is suffering, he concludes it may be time to send her away. Alma responds by making Reynolds a poisoned omelette. As he chews his first bite, she informs him that she wants him weak and vulnerable with only her to take care of him. Reynolds swallows the omelette and tells her to kiss him.

Where Phantom Thread ends up was unclear to me and I’m not sure it will be any clearer to you.  You will have to see the movie to determine if the rest of the story makes sense to you or not.  I did not see the fabulous plot noted by other critics or the Academy.  As usual, Danial Day-Lewis’ acting was outstanding.  It is rumored that this will be Danial’s final role before retiring. Frankly, I was disappointed by this long and drawn out bazaar story that nearly put me to sleep.  There were some highs but lots of lows.  You’ll have to decide for yourself if Phantom Thread is a worthy movie!

[Phantom Thread is Oscar nominated for BEST: Picture, Director, Actor, Supporting Actress, Costume Design and Original Score]


MOTHER! (2017) – My rating: 5.5/10

Mother is a demonic horror story written and directed by Darren Aronofsky.  I really dislike horror movies, especially demonic horror movies but I watched this one to settle a dispute about the subject matter.  Jennifer Lawrence stated the following:   the film is an allegory: “It depicts the rape and torment of Mother Earth … I represent Mother Earth; Javier, whose character is a poet, represents a form of God, a creator; Michelle Pfeiffer is an Eve to Ed Harris’s Adam, there’s Cain and Abel and the setting sometimes resembles the Garden of Eden.”

Instead of GOD, I saw Lucifer. Instead of just Cain and Abel, I also  saw Jacob and Esau.  I didn’t see Adam or Eve, as the Devil only interacted with Eve, then Eve with Adam, in Mother the opposite took place.  I have no thoughts on Mother Earth and I saw no beauty in their home or wallpaper that would reflect the Garden of Eden. In fact, I found the whole analogy insulting.

Mother opens in a house that has recently been burned by fire, Him (Javier Bardem), an acclaimed author struggling with severe writer’s block, places a crystal object in a pedestal. Upon placement of the crystal object, the house transforms to suddenly look newly renovated, while in a bed, mother (Jennifer Lawrence) is ‘formed’ magically and wakes up, wondering aloud where Him is. She starts seeing questionable visions around the house that are unsettling, including visualizing a beating heart within the walls.

One day, man (Ed Harris) shows up at the house, asking for a room. Him happily agrees while Mother reluctantly follows suit. During his stay, Man experiences prolonged coughing fits and Mother catches a glimpse of a fresh wound by his rib area before her husband covers it with his hand. The following day, Man’s wife, woman (Michelle Pfeiffer), arrives, expecting to stay as well. Mother is annoyed with her guests, while Him begs her to let them stay, telling Mother that the guests are fans of his work and that the male guest is dying, and wanted to meet Him. However, when Man and Woman accidentally break and shatter the crystallized object, Mother decides to kick them out.

Before leaving, Man and Woman’s two sons arrive and start to fight over the will their father left. The oldest son (Domhnall Gleeson), who will be left with nothing, mortally injures his younger brother (Brian Gleeson), and flees, while Him, Man, and Woman take the injured son to get help. Upon returning, Him informs Mother that the son has died. Dozens of people begin arriving at the house for a wake for the dead son. More people arrive, and behave in a way that bothers Mother; she becomes angrier and eventually snaps when they flood the house. She kicks everyone out. Angry with Him for allowing so many people into the house for his own pleasure and ignoring her, she berates him before the two have sex.

The next morning, Mother announces that she is pregnant. The news leaves Him elated and inspires him to finish his work. A few months later, Mother prepares for the arrival of their child and reads Him’s newest piece, which is so beautiful it drives her to tears. Upon publication, it immediately sells out every copy. In celebration, Mother prepares dinner for him when a group of fans arrives at the house. As she barricades herself in her home, more fans arrive and begin to enter the house to use the bathroom. Their behavior devolves into stealing their belongings as keepsakes, and disrupting the environment. An increasingly disoriented Mother makes her way around the house as each room devolves into chaos.

At this point, you’re either hating or loving this deranged movie.  It’s confusing, and unclear as to why Him is allowing this madness to occur.  Things are heating up and the scenes that follow are nothing less than despicable.  The second set of so-called-fans make the previous set look like angels.  Mother ends up giving birth in all the chaos.  The military arrives, rituals begin, the house is destroyed and the unthinkable happens.  There is no rhyme or reason to this film, except a mixture of evil vs innocence and naivete.  You’ll meet the ending with a mixture of anger, frustration, confusion and horror.  Mother puts senseless killing, and poor judgement in a place it shouldn’t be and allows us to take a look at a darkness that not only scares us but brands us helpless.  Not a good place.  Not a good movie.  I’m surprised at all the stars that consented to participate in this story of pure evil.  Not a good feeling, not a good time to share.  See Mother at your own risk!

NOTES:  Aronofsky said that the title’s exclamation mark “reflects the spirit of the film” and corresponds to an “exclamation point” of the ending. The director discussed the film’s unusual capitalization in a Reddit AMA, saying, “To find out why there’s a lowercase ‘m’, read the credits and look for the letter that isn’t capitalised. Ask yourself what’s another name for this character?” The characters’ names are all shown in lowercase, except for Him.

The lighter which appears throughout the film bears the Wendehorn, a symbol believed to represent “the cooperation between nature’s eternal laws, working in effect and in accordance with each other.” One of the film’s unexplained elements is the yellow powder Lawrence’s character drinks, which The Daily Beast suggests is a reference to Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper”.



LOGAN LUCKY (2017) – My rating: 7/10

Logan Lucky is another summer fill-in.  I wouldn’t say it’s a bad one but I wouldn’t say it’s a good one either.  It’s a comedy, which may be its saving grace, about a heist with a twist.  Hollywood is making these fill-ins a little better than they use to so kudos to Steven Soderbergh for a half way descent movie to end the summer.

Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum), once had a promising football career that was ruined by an injury.  To top things off, he was just laid off from his job at the Charlotte Motor Speedway and while picking up his daughter, Farrah Logan (Sadie Mackenzie) for a beauty pageant, he learns that his x-wife, Bobbie Jo (Katie Holmes) and her new husband Moody Chapman (David Denman), a wealthy car dealership owner, intend to move out of state to Lynchburg, making it harder for him to visit.

Angry, down and out, Jimmy visits his brother Clyde, (Adam Driver) an Iraq War veteran who, on account of losing part of his left arm, wears a prosthetic hand, at the bar where he works.  He convinces Clyde to team up with him to rob the Charlotte Speedway after revealing a plan that will include Joe Bang (Daniel Craig) a convicted safecracker, as well as Joe’s dimwitted brothers Sam Bang (Brian Gleeson), Fish Bang (Jack Quaid), as well as their own sister, Mellie Logan (Riley Keough).  Jimmy’s plan includes a jail break, gummy bears, an electrical grid outage, a stolen sports car, home made explosives, the loss of Clyde’s prosthetic hand and much more.  It all takes place during the Coca-Cola 600 race on Memorial Day weekend.  FBI agent Sarah Grayson (Hilary Swank) is assigned to investigate the heist but is sidewined via an insurance settlement.

Logan Lucky has a somewhat crazy plot with a plan that is so out there, I doubt it would or could ever happen.  Despite it’s craziness, it’s entertaining but unbelievable.  It is amazing someone could write a plot with so many unworkable parts yet pull it all together.  Logan Lucky is truly a summer fill-in.  Channing Tatum also gained some noticeable weight.  I recommend waiting for the DVD on this one.