Tom Hanks delivers one of 2013's most visceral performances in CAPTAIN PHILLIPS.
As the ship captain who is taken hostage by pirates with machine guns, Hanks and his character journey through the emotional spectrum. At times it is hard to watch. There is no room for swashbuckling, this film is gritty, thrilling and claustrophobic. When the bullets fly and ricochet, it's too close for comfort and the intense results are put on display.
Newcomer ( I hate/refuse the term, "non-actor") Barkhad Abdi is also stellar as Muse, the leader of the pirates. His life is a horror story which unfortunately is all too real, as the film is based on actual events. You can't really blame Muse for his actions or delusions because his situation is unimaginable. He's another victim in a film full of them. CAPTAIN PHILLIPS has a spot in my Top 10 of the year and if you want more, here is a full review from our pal The South.
Cate Blanchett is mesmerizing in BLUE JASMINE. She's a widow descending into madness after the loss of her husband and ritzy life. However, this is not a tale of redemption, in fact, I don't know if you are rooting for a single character in the film to succeed. Instead you are here to watch a train wreck from start to finish. The film is directed by Woody Allen who always has something real to say about the human experience, and this time he chooses not to say it through laughs. It's tough, sad and will definitely hit close to home for many, however the Blanchett showcase is well worth any potential discomfort.
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