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…

Brooklyn (♦♦♦♦)

Young Eilis Lacey has no future in her small town in Ireland, thus her older sister pays for Eilis' passage to America where a job is waiting for her. After the initial homesickness every time she receives a letter from her sister, Eilis settles into her new life in Brooklyn, taking classes at night to become a book keeper and finding true love in the arms of an Italian young man. Little does Eilis know that the past is about to rear its head; and when things seem to be taking a lucky turn in her hometown, she will be forced to decide the future she wants and the man she wants to share it with.

Brooklyn can boast of being a classy love story with great direction, and a solid yet meaty screenplay that allowed the ensemble cast in general, and the three leading actors in particular, to make the most of it. I would have felt more comfortable had the movie been slightly shorter; I didn't find much sense in scenes at the dinner table when Eilis was living at the boarding house.

Saoirse Ronan, who got a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination as a child for Atonement, is the leading lady in Brooklyn, for which she received a Best Actress Oscar nomination. Gone are the days of mixed experiments like the teenage assassin Hanna or the young vampire in Byzantium, this leading lady is all grown up and hopefully we'll be seeing more of her in the near future.

As Eilis, Ronan nails the confusion and uncertainty of the immigrant experience, and the waves of homesickness. She also ably conveys the bubbling feeling of first love, or at least finding the right man. I didn't feel too invested during the scenes of homesickness, but definitely bought the sweet on-screen chemistry she shared with both young men, Domhnall Gleeson (About Time, Ex-Machina) as Jim, and Emory Cohen as Tony.

Jim Broadbent and Julie Walters co-star.

Comments

  1. I know this movie was highly acclaimed, but for some reason, it never really caught my imagination. After reading your review though, I think I might like to see it. Sometime.

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    Replies
    1. I highly recommend it. I think you will like it.

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  2. You watched it! I really felt the homesickness because I suffered from that when I first went away to college. It really feels like an illness. And I thought those dinner table discussions showed both how Eilis learned from her fellow boarders about life in Brooklyn as well as how catty girls that age are. Didn't you think Emory Cohen was a captivating and sexy young man?

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    1. I understood the rationale behind those scenes, I just didn't feel them. And yes, Emory Cohen was the cutest thing. :-)

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  3. This sounds lovely, and I love Domhnall Gleeson, Jim Broadbent and Julie Walters; so it sounds like I should definitely give this a go.

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    1. Definitely a mostly British cast, and it's an adaptation. I think you'll like it.

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  4. I really enjoyed this - I thought it was beautifully short and I love the period. A very well made coming of age type story. I particularly felt for Elis when she went back home - you could see how much she'd changed and no longer fit any more. All round a very lovely film.
    Lynn :D

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    Replies
    1. Lovely indeed. I think every immigrant can relate to Eilis' experience, Lynn.

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  5. Yeah I thought Saoirse Ronan did a heck of a job with the script. She portrayed a lot with much of what was an internal story.

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