Rooney Mara

Carol

by Alan Rapp on December 25, 2015

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Carol
  • IMDb: link

CarolMuch like Brooklyn, Carol is a beautifully rendered period piece about a young woman’s awakening highlighted by the performance of its lead actress. Sadly, much like Brooklyn, Carol also has the same deficiencies and the performances overshadow, but don’t obscure, the script’s weaknesses.

Although she plays the title character in the film, Cate Blanchett is not Carol‘s leading lady. That honor goes to Rooney Mara as shopgirl and aspiring photographer Therese Belivet whose head is turned by the glamorous older woman who she immediately connects with in a ways she has never been able to with her longtime boyfriend (Jake Lacy).

I’m not sure if Therese is a lesbian, bisexual, or just sexually curious, but then again I’m not the only one as the script itself seems unsure about who its leading character is and what she wants. Because Therese doesn’t know who she is (something characters in Phyllis Nagy‘s script directly point out at least three separate times) the movie struggles to understand her true motivations. And if the movie doesn’t know who she is, how can we?

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The Social Network

by Alan Rapp on October 1, 2010

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: The Social Network
  • IMDB: link

Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) is an asshole, or he’s at least trying his damnedest to be one. That seems to be the central point of The Social Network which gives us a traditional tale (genius without people skills, rise to power by stepping on your friends) with a fresh take, several good performances, and some darn fine dialogue by screenwriter Aaron Sorkin.

In the film director David Fincher and Sorkin team-up to adapt Ben Mezrich‘s 2009 nonfiction novel The Accidental Billionaires about Zuckerberg’s life and the creation of a little thing called Facebook (maybe you’ve heard of it?). The film tackles everything from friendship to cut-throat business tactics and class warfare.

We begin with a lengthy pre-credit scene involving Zuckerberg’s break-up with his girlfriend Rooney Mara which will lead to the drunken creation of his first social networking site later that night, and lay the foundation for the later creation of Facebook. It’s a great scene to start, though both actors seem to struggle initially with the pace and tempo of a very wordy Sorkin scene.

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