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…

Charlie St. Cloud (♦♦♦♦)

Charlie St. Cloud, the titled character, ably interpreted by Zac Efron, is unable to let go of his dead little brother, even five years after the accident that took him away. In that accident, Charlie was brought from the dead by a paramedic who refused to let him go. Five years later, Charlie has pretty much given up on life, except for meeting his brother at sunset for baseball practice. When a young woman with similar life experiences starts getting too close, Charlie must decide whether to look ahead or stay in the past.
To be honest, this movie took me by surprise. I was expecting a so-so performance by Zac Efron considering his very pretty face, but with this film he proves he has acting chops. The movie delivered painful blows to my heart in more than one occasion, such as when the fatal accident took place. This is more than a love story or a ghost story; it is about facing life head-on and accepting that sometimes second chances are given for a reason. Lovely movie!

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