Snapshots - #35: Marshall, American Made, The Glass Castle

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The movies…
Marshall (♦♦♦♦): Black lawyer Thurgood Marshall (Chadwick Boseman) is entrusted by the NCAAP to defend a black chauffeur (Sterling K. Brown) in Greenwich, CT, who has been accused of rape by his white employer. As Marshall is not allowed by the judge as legal counsel because he doesn't hold a CT license, he engages, reluctantly on both sides, the service of Jewish insurance lawyer Sam Friedman (Josh Gad), whom, with Marshall's help, will have to acquire criminal defense experience in a matter of months. But as the case is tried in court, it becomes evident that it is anything but cut and dry. Powerfully acted by Chadwick Boseman, Josh Gad, and Sterling K. Brown in the leading roles, Marshall treads a fine line between inspiring legal thriller and drama. On both counts it delivers in spades. Based on a true story, with race and bigotry fueling public opinion, before the apogee of the Civil Rights Movement, this accused black man is doomed from the start. A full century…

Amy Adams

I particularly like Amy Adams in movies where other Hollywood megastars appear; such is the case of Julie and Julia (♦♦♦), were Amy Adams’s talent shines acting opposite none other than Meryl Streep. In Julie and Julia, Adams, whose character has a touch for good cuisine, decides to recreate the recipes of famous chef Julia Child (Meryl Streep) and blog about her experiences during that year. The movie owes more to the performances of Streep and Stanley Tucci’s than to Adams’, however, it leaves no doubt that Adams’ talent can shine provided there is a good script. Another example is Doubt (♦♦♦♦), for which she was rightfully nominated to an Academy Award, starring opposite Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman. In Doubt, Amy Adams stars as a young nun who starts to have doubts about the parish priest’s treatment towards an African-American boy, and communicates her concerns to the mother superior; what ensues is an amazing face-off between Streep and Seymour Hoffman’s characters to let their version of the truth prevail. Other cases in point are the light dramedies Charlie Wilson’s War (♦♦♦♦♦) and Catch Me if you Can (♦♦♦♦♦) and the ever so enchanting Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (♦♦♦♦) and Enchanted (♦♦♦♦).

I rated Leap Year (♦♦♦), Sunshine Cleaning (♦♦♦) and Moonlight Serenade (♦♦♦) with three stars only because I didn’t dislike them or hated them; however, there is very little to like in any of the three movies. In Leap Year, Adams stars opposite Matthew Goode (Brideshead Revisited), as a woman who has had a steady relationship with her boyfriend for some time and is expecting him to propose. When he doesn’t, she goes to Ireland, where he is on a business trip, to propose to him, and that’s when she meets Goode and falls in love. In Sunshine Cleaning, Adams stars opposite Emily Blunt (Young Victoria, The Devil Wears Prada), as a woman failing at relationships and without a career of her own, so she decides to start her own cleaning business with the help of her sister. In Moonlight Serenade, Adams is an aspiring singer, who gets a chance at love and a singing gig when she meets a handsome stranger. In contrast to the other two movies where there is little to like, in Moonlight... there is some vestige of Amy’s lovely voice, which she will have a chance to display again in Enchanted (♦♦♦♦) and Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (♦♦♦♦).

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