Imagine Moses as a high-level bureaucratic functionary who has a bit of skill with the sword and a petulant, invisible God-child telling him he’s not working hard enough to free his people before showing him up with bloody miracles that make his penny-ante guerilla warfare look like small potatoes. That’s Exodus: Gods and Kings.
In Wild, Reese Witherspoon stars as Cheryl Strayed. We join as she embarks on a hiking trip along the Pacific Crest Trail. She’s a novice, struggling to lift her absurdly overstuffed pack after spending one last night in a hotel, her final evening in civilization. As she gathers her gear, we see flashbacks of Cheryl in another seedy motel somewhere (and some-when), freebasing heroin and engaging in degrading sex.
As a 12-year-old boy when the original Dumb and Dumber was released during the 1994 Oscar season, I was more or less the target demographic. And while the Farrelly Brothers, Jim Carrey, and Jeff Daniels were snubbed at that year’s ceremony—thanks, Forrest Gump—my fondness for the picture has only grown in the subsequent 20 years.
A character named Cobb in Christopher Nolan’s little-seen debut feature, Following, is a thief. He breaks into people’s homes and takes what possessions he can sell. But he’s also an anthropologist, a self-styled student of the human condition. While working with an apprentice of sorts, he explains that everyone has “a box.”
Odds are audiences will notice that Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance doesn’t quite feel like any other film they’ve seen. But they may not be sure why, at first. Constantly in motion, yet contained almost entirely within and around a smallish Broadway theater and a nearby bar, Birdman will feel to them fluid, alive, and ethereal—different from most big screen fare.