Scott Marks noon, Jan. 11
Director Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl) finds his signature image in a cigarette butt bouncing to a halt on the ice before being snuffed in two by a skate blade. The real villain in the piece is screenwriter Steven Rogers who too often deems his audience as dumb as his redneck characters. How many times must the cast stop dead in their tracks to directly address the camera? At one point, we find the appallingly brilliant Allison Janney lamenting, “Well, my story line is disappearing now.” Margot Robbie never once resorts to camp, transforming what could easily have been just another grotesquerie in a grand guignol into a fully rounded, albeit unremittingly unsympathetic, character. Given all of the emotional and physical violence these characters heap on each other, it’s frequently difficult to find humor in them. The filmmakers spend so much time focusing on the freakshow side of the story that it might be difficult to find room in your heart to laugh. 2017.
- Blade mother • January 10, 2018