It takes a special movie to make you envy a toothpick, but ladies, Drive is that movie. The almost-too-cool-for-school film from director Nicolas Winding Refn is a thrilling throw-back to heart-pounding eighties fun and ferocity, with a de-glammed Los Angeles at its core. You'll want the soundtrack, which is available now. The flick's music-inspired beginnings involve Refn being chauffeured around Los Angeles by star Ryan Gosling (also a real life hero). Bro-love--including kissing at its Cannes debut--ensued.
After catching Drive you can check out the delightful Happy, Happy, Gus Van Sant's slight, winsome romance Restless, starring the always-good Mia Wasikowska and newcomer Henry Hopper (son of Dennis), or Russia's lovely and funereal Silent Souls, which was well-reviewed in Venice last year. More mainstream is the super-mom movie I Don't Know How She Does It, starring Sarah Jessica Parker, and Rod Lurie's faithful remake of Sam Peckinpah's Straw Dogs. Details on those films and more below, along with reviews and trailers:
Drive, Film District, USA | Dir: Nicolas Winding Refn; Cast: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Ron Perlman, Christina Hendricks, Albert Brooks, Oscar Isaac | B criticWIRE | 93% Tomatometer | TOH! Interviews Gosling | Hot Clip | iW interviews Refn.
Happy, Happy, NORWAY | Dir: Anne Sewitsky; Cast: Agnes Kittelsen, Henrik Rafaelsen, Maibritt Saerens, Joachim Rafaelsen | B criticWIRE | 77% Tomatometer | Dennis Harvey: "a winning comedy that gets good-natured fun out of characters behaving quite badly."
3, Strang Releasing, GERMANY | Dir: Tom Tykwer; Cast: Sophie Rois, Sebastian Schipper, Devid Striesow | B- | 38% Tomatometer | Lisa Schwarzbaum: "A playfully pieced-together, beautifully shot, and secretly ridiculous drama about a triangular relationship among blasé Berliners."
Restless, Sony Pictures Classics, USA | Dir: Gus Van Sant; Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Jane Adams, Schuyler Fisk, Lusia Strus | B- criticWIRE | A long road to distribution | 43% Tomatometer | Mark Holcomb: "[It] walks the line between mainstream sentimentality and dark art-house humor so effectively that it seems noncommittal."
Straw Dogs, Screen Gems, USA | Dir: Rod Lurie; Cast: Alexander Skarsgaard, James Marsden, Kate Bosworth, Dominic Purcell, James Woods | Clip | 53% Tomatometer | Roger Moore: "An exploitation picture built on redneck cliches and big city liberal outrage, it's not all bad. But it is a pretty unpleasant wallow in the obvious."
Jane's Journey, First Fun Features, GER/TANZANIA | Dir: Lorenz Knauer; Cast: with Angelina Jolie, Pierce Brosnan, Jane Goodall, Kofi Annan | B+ criticWIRE | 40% Tomatometer | Rob Nelson: "Spectacularly photographed and journalistically lame."
My Afternoons with Margueritte, Cohen Media Group, FRANCE | Dir: Jean Becker; Cast: Gerard Depardieu, Gisele Casadesus, Maurane, Patrick Bouchitey | C criticWIRE | 82% Tomatometer | Justin Lowe: "[It] exhibits a pleasantly light touch even when dealing with some fairly weighty issues."
Silent Souls, Shadow Dist., RUSSIA | Dir: Aleksei Fedorchenko; Cast: Igor Sergeyev, Yuriy Tsurilo, Yuliya Aug, Victor Sukhorukov | a href="http://www.indiewire.com/film/silent_souls_ovsyanki/" title="B">B criticWIRE | 100% Tomatometer | Keith Uhlich: "thrillingly dense and allusive, and the elegiac finale maintains the overall air of mystery while beautifully bringing all the disparate threads together."
I Don't Know How She Does It, Weinstein Co., USA | Dir: Douglas McGrath; Cast: Sarah Jessica Parker, Greg Kinnear, Pierce Brosnan, Olivia Munn, Seth Meyers | 25% Tomatometer | Kathleen Murphy: "A cliché-ridden, misogynistic mess."