A dynamite script that topped the Black List in 2012 because it had the remarkable energy, breakneck pacing, and whip smart, rapid-fire dialogue of Moneyball or Social Network, given to a mediocre director and a bunch of mediocre actors who sap it of everything that made it special with a leaden, dull tone and bland, sleepwalking delivery. They even blow the script's great use of split-screen by making it visually confusing, at times even incoherent. It's a real shame to…
An insightful, strangely haunting little gem that follows a West Virginia Pentecostal congregation that speaks in tongues, handles snakes, and drinks poison. The parishioners are simple, uneducated, plainspoken people but there is an eloquence and convincing reason to the explanations of their faith and bizarre rituals. Adair does not judge his subjects and they come off surprisingly sane despite the utter insanity of what they do. Before the big, commercial megachurch insincerity of Jesus Camp, there was this quiet, perceptive look at true believers.
Perhaps the most underappreciated Hollywood film of the last several years. A brilliant realization of a novel on the level of Gatsby, Lolita, and Sirens of Titan with career best performances from DiCaprio, Winslet, and the remarkable Michael Shannon. I've seen it only once since it's such a hard experience to relive, but it shook me to my core and hasn't left my thoughts for long since. In short, a masterpiece.
What would happen if you gave an angsty, misanthropic 14-year-old with no storytelling experience the opportunity to utilize sixth-rate community theater performers to act out his adolescent revenge fantasies and serve as a mouthpiece for his obnoxious rantings for nearly two hours? I have to believe it would be indistinguishable from God Bless America.
Neither a dark comedy nor a satire (since both require some degree of humor), GBA is instead little more than being told things everyone already knows…