The films have started up at the Academy again now that the Oscars are over, and here are the five films that they played this weekend: Big Miracle, The Vow, Being Flynn, Red Tails and Safe House, four of the worst reviewed movies of the beginning of this year, except for Being Flynn, which I hadn’t heard about at all.
Had I only read something about it at all, I could have saved the time, the gas and the aggravation.
Dear Robert DeNiro, if you are going to make another movie where you drive a taxi and are racist and crazy and violent, it probably should be a better script than this. While you are at it, stay away from crappy movies where you are in the mob as well. Wait, too late.
Being Flynn is a movie about two annoying men, a father and son who don’t know each other at all, both alcoholics, the father insane as well, both writers, told with wildly tiresome dual voice-overs. The son works in a homeless shelter and gets addicted to drugs, the father gets homeless and ends up at the shelter, then ends up being too crazy for the shelter. A few less racist monologues from DeNiro and it could be a sitcom.
I wanted to walk out after the first sentence of voice over, and the longer it went on the more I wanted to leave. As it went on longer, I started to like it better, and by the end I was at least partially on board, but it really shouldn’t have been such an uphill battle not to leave my seat and read in the lobby. I found out after it was over that Mom had walked out about halfway through and was, in fact, reading in the lobby. I was a little jealous.
Paul Dano plays the son, and he actually is very good indeed, along with Olivia Thirlby as his girlfriend, Julianne Moore as his mother in flashbacks, and other actors all give good to excellent performances. I wondered what Lili Taylor was doing in such a small role in such a mediocre film, how had she fallen so low? But when I was looking up info about the true story this film is based on, I noticed that she is the partner of Nick Flynn, the Paul Dano character in real life, and I understood. But please, filmmakers of America, start hiring Lili Taylor again, she is too good to waste on crap like this, even if it was a family project.
Robert DeNiro, on the other hand, was either awful, or was playing the part well, but the guy was so repellant that I disliked the performance on that regard. I couldn’t tell, but I did know that, but for a couple of scenes, I didn’t really believe a word he said. Which I solves the mystery about which was worse, the character or the performance.
I’ll tell you something, though, I came home and looked up the book it was based on, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, and put it on hold at the library, because, just like We Bought a Zoo, I had a feeling that the book was probably better than the movie. Which wasn’t actually unwatchable, especially in the last third, but it was close. And that’s the best I can say.