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…

The American (♦♦♦)

Jack/Edward (George Clooney) is an American assassin hiding from other assassins in Castle del Monte, Italy. While working on an assignment, he befriends Father Benedetto, the local priest, and also falls in love with a young, beautiful prostitute named Clara, which makes him consider abandoning that way of life for good. The consequence of that decision may prove deadly.

This movie is like a puzzle to me. Not only George Clooney’s acting is dispassionate and flat, even when he swears he is in love, but there are plenty of unanswered questions left; for example, why do the Swedes want to kill him? Why does his boss want to kill him when he wants out? Who was Mathilde trying to kill and why? Anyway, the only thing very clear in the film is that he can build an automatic weapon from scratch, and even the priest seems to figure that out, but that path is not explored further. The movie is short on dialogues, emotions and explanations. Not Clooney’s best!

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