Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Carole Mallory


Movie Review...American Hustle...Maybe

Posted: 12/18/2013 10:42 am

Mobster Robert De Niro's in an uncredited cameo will shock you in this film. He's riveting, has never been more sinister, and he is funny. His lack of vanity is staggering, but this film belongs to Christian Bale. With his pot belly and toupee Bale will charm you as Irving Rosenfeld, a sleazy con artist. In American Hustle, David Russell's story of mob action in Atlantic City the acting is over the top. The opening sequence with Irving Rosenfeld painstakingly putting on a toupee is jaw dropping. After looking at obese, vulgar Rosenfeld (Bale), who was a former stud as Batman, one knows wild, insane characters will come to Atlantic City and Rosenfeld's crafty, criminal mitts. Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) as his paramour has never looked sexier, prettier and acted with such wit. She is sharp and to the punch.
Russell's talent as a director of icons of today's cinema makes this film happen. Stars listen to him, want to work with him and everyone shines. The plot is filled with twists, turns and then some. The refreshing, hip dialogue occasionally overlaps as it does in life and not often on the screen. Everyone is filmed to look their best in outrageous costumes and make up, because after all, this is the razzmatazz of crap tables, baccarat, corrupt politicians, mayors for hire and FBI agents out to make a name for themselves. Glamour of the wacky and wonderful underworld. Wonderful because Russell is making us laugh at the foolishness of it all. Good comedy is played for earnestness which De Niro, Bale, Adams, Bradley Cooper, Louis C.K., Jeremy Reiner and Jennifer Lawrence do with aplomb.
American Hustle begins with Rosenfeld who is married to Roselyn Rosenfeld (Jennifer Lawrence) falling in love with Sydney Prosser (Adams). He takes Sydney to his dry cleaning establishment to outfit her in his latest rejects from customers who forgot to pick up their cleaned clothing. That or they didn't want them. Adams is impressed with her new wardrobe choices. One dress looks like a wrap designed by Diane Furstenberg. Irving Rosenfeld explains earnestly to Sydney that he is a con man and Sydney,instead of running from him, falls for him. They create a new con in which Sydney adopts a British accent and the title of Lady. Enter Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) as an ambitious FBI man who wants to make a name for himself and take them down. He wears curlers, Sydney wears curlers and Irving wears his toupee. The plot with a corrupt Mayor Carmine Polito (Jeremy Reiner) is fraught with complicated wire tappings, entrapment and frankly gets too involved. Russell wrote this with Eric Singer, but, at times, I felt that it was in love with itself. Norman Mailer once said, "Chaos is not plot." Well, Norman Mailer was not much of a director. But Russell does make your head spin trying to follow his chaotic plot. Clever it is and at times too cute. Still a fun time was had. Just a bit tiresome in the end. A few too many curlicues. But what masterful performances! The laughs will sustain you, if the plot doesn't.

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Mallory says she brokered end to Mailer, Gore Vidal feud

Carole Mallory — the former model and actress who became a writer after a torrid affair with Norman Mailer (who knew it was contagious?) — is taking credit for ending the long and bitter feud between Mailer and Gore Vidal.
In her new Kindle book “My Friendship With Norman Mailer and Gore Vidal: How They Buried the Hatchet,” Mallory tells how she convinced both men to sit down for a joint interview for Esquire magazine.
One major obstacle: Norman Mailer once punched Gore Vidal at a party after a bad review. While still on the floor, Vidal said: “Once again, words fail Norman Mailer.”
After Esquire published an illustration showing Mailer kissing Vidal, the cranky Mailer ended his affair with Mallory. But the two literary lions never bared their claws at each other again.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Movie Review...See Inside Llweyn Davis

Posted: 05/09/2005 4:00 am

At first glance Inside Llewyn Davis is about a week in the life of a struggling folk singer in Greenwich Village in the sixties. Nostalgia. But at closer look, it is about much more. Guatemalan born with Cuban ancestry Oscar Isaac portrays Llewyn Davis with an understated charm. Bless the Coen Brothers for casting him , for their fine writing, for keeping control of this important film so that they can de Hollywoodize it. No credits in the beginning. No ego. Humble. Just a soulful Llweyn Davis singing a folk song. He is in a bistro that features folk singers. This was the era. The Kingston Trio. Joan Baez. Folk singers were gods. Successful ones. But what about all those struggling performers who never achieved fame? One of these is named Llewyn Davis and this is his story. His struggle. His meeting with poignant characters on his journey to support himself. His love for and tenderness to cats. His courage.
Cameos by fine actors who deliver powerful understated performances give this film a curiosity which makes one wonder, "Whom will Llewyn encounter next?" First we have a terrific performance from Carey Mulligan as Jean who needs an abortion no thanks to Llewyn. Mulligan is strong, angry and delightful with her foul..I am no longer the Gatsby darling...mouth. Then we have a subdued Jason Timberlake as Jim who sings along with Llweyn. Timberlake is also understated and shines because of this. None of that hot shot, slam bam kind of performance, but a mellowness that adds richness to his brief moments on screen. Then we have Juilliard graduate Adam Driver, known for his role in Girls as Lena Dunham's boyfriend in another one of his quirky, over the top performances in which he sings along with Timberlake and Isaac and grabs the comedy from the scene. Then we have junkie John Goodman who appears as a passenger in a car bound for Chicago from New York and Llweyn is one of three. Oh, not to forget a cat that Llweyn has been schlepping throughout first half of the film. The cat has escaped from one of his many friend's apartments where he has been forced to overnight due to no place to rest his weary bones. Goodman as Roland Turner comes alive from his heroin induced state for jarring comedic moments, but as with all of the Coen Brothers work, the comedy comes naturally out of the performer or the situation. Often black, dark and wickedly funny. Nothing is forced. Goodman has rarely been better. When Llwelyn arrives in Chicago he meets with F. Murray Abraham as Bud Grossman. Not the austere character he plays on Homeland, Abraham's portrait of Grossman as a folk-singers-only-club owner is again subdued. And again, thanks to the Coen Brother's direction, Abraham's performance is sensitive, tender and refreshing. One of the best of his career. He takes long moments and fills them with thought. About Llweyn. The music arranged by T-bone Burnett becomes a character and is the mortar that makes these scenes cohesive. Fine folk singing links the scenes of Llewyn's downtrodden, dejected, and yet inspiring week. There are many more performers who give richness and texture to this fine film, but as they say in the arts, "There wasn't the room or time to mention them." And this is again what Inside Llewyn Davis is about. Finding room and time to pay attention to the striving, struggling artist. It does not have to be a folk singer. Inside Llweyn Davis is about all performers and the journey along the way to make a living at a craft they love -- be it singing folk songs, dancing, writing, whatever. Loving a craft so much that one puts up with the bullshit along the way. Loving the craft enough that doing it is enough of a reward. One critic wrote, 'I've seen Inside Llewyn Davis many times and still don't know what it's about," Inside Llweyn Davis is about being Inside llweyn Davis and this was enough for me.