Movie Review: The Confirmation (2016)

Humor and caring richly imbue this inspiring ultimate modern family movie 10/10
Review by Brian R. Wright

No fewer than four actors in this exceptional film deserve Oscar nominations, including, of course, Clive Owen (Walt), then the others: Jaeden Lieberher (playing Walt’s son Anthony), Patton Oswalt (Drake: the meth addict with a heart of gold who embarrassingly tries to help the father-son team), and Robert Forster (Otto: Walt’s friend and confidant thru Walt’s struggles with alcoholism). Then you can toss in Maria Bello (Walt’s ex, Bonnie who wants Anthony to find moral grounding in her Catholic faith—hence the title, referring to Anthony’s impending confirmation—and even Matthew Modine (Kyle: Bonnie’s kindhearted yet fluttery new husband) for Academy recognition as well.

As we’re doing nominations, let’s also not forget writer/director Bob Nelson, either. Nelson takes the father-son personal, mutual journey to new heights, and reminds us that simple humanity can be sublime, even divine. The movie is pure magic, everyone involved simply hits the artistic target dead, solid, perfect. Every viewing reveals a subtle new truth.


Of what? This is the central metaphor that leaps right off the screen. We know from the first scenes when Walt comes to pick up Anthony (via visitation arrangements of the divorce), that Bonnie is making a special move to have Anthony attend church and ‘get with the program’ so to speak, by the rite of confirmation (which is designed to initiate a child into spiritual adulthood in many Christian denominations).  Continue reading

Movie Review: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)

A modest, cosmically funny movie that packs a heavy multilevel punch (8/10)
Directed by Lorene Scarfaria

SeekingFirst, let me tell you that if you’re a Keira Knightley fan solely because of her movie star glamour and celebrity, Seeking a Friend is not for you. I doubt we’ll ever see a more frumpy Keira than her role as Penny. At her real age of 27 the actress looks 10-15 years older… and plays a character who is old beyond her years. Plays it extremely well. Yet what Penny lacks in outer beauty she more than makes up for with inner substance. Oddly enough, the Steve Carell lost-soul character, Dodge—Carell in real life was 50 when this movie was made—, awakens Penny’s substance, her youthful romanticism. And she becomes the beauty we’re used to.

They are, indeed, a match made for the end of the world. The movie opens with:

“OK, what we’re getting now is, yes, they’re saying it was in fact a fire that erupted inside the external tank of the ship, exactly ninety-eight seconds after it entered the asteroid field. No one is sure what caused the fire which led to the massive explosion, killing all twelve crew members and scientists aboard the space shuttle Deliverance, taking with them our last and only hope. Once again, if you’re just tuning in, the CSA space shuttle Deliverance has been destroyed. The final mission to save mankind has failed. The seventy-mile-wide asteroid known commonly as Matilda is set to collide with Earth in exactly three weeks time, and we’ll be bringing you up-to-the-minute coverage of our countdown to the ‘End of Days’, along with ALL your classic rock favorites. This is Q107.2.” Continue reading