When Nash and Joel Edgerton’s father brought his sons a video camera – Nash was 10 at the time, Joel 8 – little did he realize what a profound impact it would have on the course of their personal and professional lives.
Nearly three decades later, Nash, 37, is a well-respected stuntman, having played Ewan McGregor’s double in two Star Wars sequels, and the director of the acclaimed new noir drama The Square; Joel, 35, who most notably co-starred in Star Wars: Episode II and III as Anakin Skywalker’s stepbrother, wrote The Square’s hard-edged script and plays the movie’s most fearsome heavy.
This past weekend, I declared it last call for local moviegoers hoping to discover The Most Dangerous Man in America, but what do I know? It's back this week at the Roxie, along with Jennifer Kroot's fascinating new documentary about filmmaking twins George and Mike Kuchar. For those partial to superhero adventures, Kick-Ass arrives at the Sundance Kabuki.
The most recognizable hallmark of classic film noir – the corruptible protagonist, driven by greed, lust and ambition into a series of mistakes, each more damning than the last – is embodied in The Square by Ray Yale (David Roberts), who plans to ditch his wife and run away with the lovely Carla (Claire van der Boom), also married.
They’ve concocted a plan (foolproof, they imagine) to torch Carla’s home and make off with her husband’s hidden cash. They’ve even hired an arsonist – a mad dog named Billy (Joel Edgerton) – to do the job right.
Ballads of whiskey, women and heartbreak are a country music cliché, the wistful laments of road-weary troubadours resigned to lives of mistakes and regret.
Bad Blake (Jeff Bridges) leads just such a life. Some country crooners sing the blues for the money, but Bad is the genuine article. He has walked away from every relationship he's ever known, drunk himself into a stupor more times than he can remember, and fathered a son, now in his 20s, that he's never met. Once he played to packed houses, but when we meet him he's preparing for his latest show – at a bowling alley, with a pickup band – by drowning himself in the hard stuff.
Thanks to Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, the vicious political satire In the Loop and provocative documentaries like The Cove and Food, Inc., it's already been a terrific year for dedicated moviegoers. Based on the impressively strong selection of films on display at the 34th annual Toronto Film Festival, which drew to a close Sept. 19, there's plenty to look forward to in the months to come.
New Year’s Day has come and gone, and by now you’re already too familiar with the films hailed by critics as the cream of last year’s crop, to the extent that the official announcement of nominees for the 81st Academy Awards (due in the wee morning hours of Thursday, Jan. 22) may seem like something of a formality.