There is a significant link between mental illness and creativity. The human brain is a fascinating machine and can generate works of art that are profound and utterly beautiful. Vincent van Gogh is one such artist who possessed bipolar disorder and his creative works are some of the most well-known and appreciated today. The new film Touched with Fire explores this relationship and does so in a way that is not only smart but unique and simply out of this world. Katie Holmes and Luke Kirby star here and their chemistry onscreen is really something to marvel at. Few films this day and age delve into something so sensitive as mental illness but this film does so in a way that audiences will not only enjoy and walk away having learned a little something.
When war rocks the world and valuables are stolen or misplaced, said valuables need to be replaced or returned. Art is one type of valuable and in the wake of many wars, such as World War II, these pieces need to be returned to their rightful owners. The latest drama Woman in Gold focused on one such case where the famous painting, Gustav Klimt’s Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I was stolen from Maria Altmann’s family by the Nazis during that turbulent time. This film follows the true account of Altmann as she attempts to legally take back the painting which is rightfully her’s and her family’s. Academy Award-winning actress Helen Mirren and a spectacled Ryan Reynolds bring this fascinating story to life but sadly the results are a bit underwhelming.
When attempting to achieve artistic greatness, filmmakers (or auteurs) as they are often described as or want to be described as, there are varying opinions when these directors try to pass off their work as “brilliant”. Art is a highly subjective thing and when a film like Days and Nights is made and features strong themes, decent acting and a script full of pretentiousness, questions may arise and confusion runs rampant. That confusion stems from the fact that all of the actors including writer/director/actor Christian Camargo (Dexter, The Hurt Locker) believe that this film is high art. It sadly is not and it tries so hard to be.
Usually when a popular and critically-acclaimed book is adapted for the silver screen, the transfer isn’t very strong. Books are typically better on paper rather than celluloid. That can be said about a great many book-to-film conversions and the same can certainly be said about Lois Lowry’s 1993 The Giver, a very popular children’s sci-fi drama which was currently brought to movie audiences too lazy to read the book in the first place. It stars Academy Award-winning actors Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep but they are terribly underused and when they do appear on screen, their performances are lackluster at best.