Arthouse Audit: The Guard and The Whistleblower

The Guard

Did you like In Bruges? I loved In Bruges. Written and directed by Irish playwright Martin McDonagh, In Bruges is my favorite kind of comedy—dark dark dark. The Guard is the directorial debut of screenwriter John Michael McDonagh, Martin’s brother. It has a lot in common in with In Bruges—clearly the brothers share similar taste. Though the tone is similar, The Guard is slower-paced than In Bruges, and less slick. The story centers on Sergeant Boyle (Brendan “Mad Eye Moody” Gleeson), a small-town police officer, or “Garda”, in Connemara, Ireland. Sergeant Boyle is a Columbo-type. His sense of humor is inappropriate, and he’s openly racist and consorts with hookers. But he also takes his dying mother (Fionnula Flanagan, The Others and one of my all time favorite comedies, Waking Ned Devine) out for a night on the town. Continue reading “Arthouse Audit: The Guard and The Whistleblower”

Arthouse Audit: Tree of Life & Cave of Forgotten Dreams

I waited to review Cave of Forgotten Dreams until I could pair it with The Tree of Life. I finally got to Tree of Life over the weekend, so now I  can hammer out these two reviews together. First, let’s talk about Terrence Malick’s (The Thin Red Line) long-awaited Tree of Life. After a much-ballyhooed two-year delay in post-production—Malick is a notorious tinkerer who would probably still be editing his first feature film, Badlands (1973) today if left to his own devices. In a forty-year career, Malick has completed five feature films. His sixth just shot last year in Oklahoma and is estimated for a 2012 release, and there are plans for a seventh film to immediately follow. This burst of three films in three years—assuming Malick sticks to the schedule—is the most prolific he’s ever been. Continue reading “Arthouse Audit: Tree of Life & Cave of Forgotten Dreams”