Jack Black is back to dark quirky roles in “The D-Train”, where he plays a desperate man looking for friendship intimacy while rejecting the familial kind. The film’s uniqueness is due to the genuine nature of the character’s actions. We all screw up in real life, get caught up doing embarrassing things for meaningless connections, wanting to please, yearning to be the person all others seek out and admire.
In “Far From the Madding Crowd” (directed by Thomas Vinterberg), may I say that the romance (as old as the Thomas Hardy novel is from 1874) did not seem farcical? And this is coming from the female version of Mikey in the old Life Cereal commercials when it comes to romance (“She won’t like it, she hates mushy’).
Much like D Train, there are times in our lives when we also get caught up in the old adage ‘flattery will get you everywhere’ whirlwind attraction. I was riveted to her marriage to Tom Sturridge, when she realizes on her wedding night, in that all of his charm is the equivalent of smoke obscuring a needy and weak human being. I’ve only disliked one of Carey Mulligan’s roles (Inside Llewyn Davis in which her character was just a horrible foul mouthed misandrist) and LOVED her in Drive and Shame. She’s perfect in “Far From…”, an all natural no-nonsense 1870’s gal.
Tom Sturridge was panned for his role of the bad boy soldier that Carey’s character marries and while I wanted to see the movie and say it ain’t so (I was moved by his Broadway performance in Orphans), tis pity tis true that he just falls flat. I think there’s a way to show charm and not seem vacant to keep us as fooled as Carey’s character was, but his character lacks the ability to trick the audience. I hope he’ll eventually get the role that shows the talent of which I witnessed, or perhaps he is better with live audiences. Time will tell.Tom Sturridge
So beyond Black’s choice originality, Vinterberg/Mulligan’s believable, yet old romance, as proof that the world is righting itself is a trailer I saw before “Far from the Madding Crowd” with Johnny Depp finally in a macho talent worthy role as Whitey Bulger upcoming in “Black Mass”.
Summer truly is the best time of the year.