The Last Duel (2021)

20th Century Studios

Ridley Scott is eighty-three years old. In fact, he will soon turn eighty-four. At this age, many filmmakers – at least those who remain active and haven’t thrown in the towel to spend the twilight of their lives sipping wine in Bali or writing memoirs – tend to slow down a bit, maybe direct their artistic interests towards more meditative output, like Clint Eastwood’s Cry Macho for example. Alternatively, like Francis Ford Coppola who is actively trying to burn his private fortune to make Megalopolis, or Charlie Chaplin who came out of retirement in 1967 to direct A Countess of Hong Kong, they might also want to stage their one last hurrah and realize that one passion project that somehow had eluded them for decades.  

Continue reading

Stillwater (2021)

Participant/Dreamworks

Tom McCarthy’s return behind the camera can be easily called a victim of circumstance and – to an extent – its own marketing mistakes. This story about an Oklahoma roughneck Bill Baker (Matt Damon), who goes to France to visit his imprisoned daughter Allison (the ever-wonderful Abigail Breslin) and then embarks on an impromptu detective quest to set her free in a country he does not understand at all, truly lends itself to be torn apart based wholly on how the film has been introduced into the zeitgeist. Problem is, Stillwater should not be torn apart, but lauded because it’s much greater than you might think.

Continue reading