Almost Toxin, West Virginia

Mark Ruffalo deserves some credit. He could choose pretty roles at this point in his career, fun stuff like all comic book movies or even hold out for the ninth Tarantino, but no, Ruffalo has consistently chosen movies he finds important: Spotlight, Foxcatcher and now the well written and directed “Black Waters”.

“Black Waters” details one attorney’s brave journey over almost two decades in nailing the DuPont Company for gross negligence in hiding injurious effects of chemicals used and dumped at their many factories. Todd Haynes, directed this, as well as the award winning film “Carol”. Haynes has an artistic eye and from the get go, I was taken in by the West Virginian curves of this tale. Much like Ford V. Ferrari, DO NOT google this ahead of time, let Todd and the trio of writers do the heavy lifting while you enjoy the twists and turns.

And that’s a revelation I had tonight, questioning myself for ‘running away from home’ as I do, to attend a movie, when I could easily turn on the news to get some intelligence. But that’s just it: the news is no longer investigative, unless you count the violence porn of what 20/20 has become. We really don’t know what the biggest news stories are right now due to media bias. If we are not getting political slant, then it’s fluff pieces (quite literally) on cute pets.

So the bad news is we sit in our internet fog looking at what J Lo wore on SNL, while we drink and swim in water that might be harming us. But the upside is that due to concerned citizens like Todd Haynes and Mark Ruffalo (and the previously mentioned screenwriters and magazine reporters) who cared enough about actual humans, we at least receive some real news at the movies.

So my question is, could movies be our new news source?

I’m Sorry Todd

I’m sorry Todd, your film Carol is not making my top 10 list. I don’t know. I guess I should’ve known, I thought Far From Heaven was painstakingly slow, didn’t even it make it all the way through I’m Not There. There is some good news: I did like sections of “Carol”.

But first, the male characters were cardboard and the acting not much better. Sorry also to Kyle Chandler, nothing personal as I loved you as the cocky FBI guy in Wolf on Wall Street.

Second, this film needed a haircut (aka edit) as much as Donald Trump needs a trim. Cut the first ten minutes off and start immediately in the department store. We also don’t need to go to every podunk motel and diner on their road trip to Chicago.

Third, one of the last scenes at a party where Terez (Rooney Mara) is literally faced with multiple heterosexual couples? Ok, yes, an important scene, but the laborious pace of it all invoked my hand flipping gesture of, ‘let’s keep this rolling’. And did Carrie Browstein win a Charity Buzz auction as a walk on in that scene? Strange days indeed.

Fourth, Cate Blanchett’s too cool for the room and that’s not a compliment. It’s hard to truly feel for someone who’s playing such a detached ice princess.

In an attempt to keep the Christmas cheer going, I’ll end by highlighting the positives. Cate Blanchett’s costuming was absolutely gorgeous. Certain shots were absolutely gorgeous, specifically any with Rooney Mara in a car or crying (both of which happen with great frequency). Rooney Mara’s acting was the best part of the film, her character was believable and heart felt.Rooney Mara