Tag Archives: John Hawkes

Lincoln passes the bill

3 May


Director Steven Spielberg takes on the enormous task of dramatizing President Abraham Lincoln’s quest to pass the Thirteenth Amendment through the House of Representatives. He employs Tony Kushner to develop a screenplay about the most pivotal moment in the United States’s history. Like most political films, the negotiation process can be tedious, but Kushner and Spielberg find a way to keep the story moving, although at times some of the scenes feel deliberate and staged. The cast is an assortment of Hollywood’s most respected actors playing some of America’s most polarizing figures. Daniel Day-Lewis is brilliant as the Commander in Chief and his performance, as well as his stature dwarfs everyone else in the film. Tommy Lee Jones as Republican Congressman Thaddeus Stevens makes his mark in the film and casts his vote with authority. In summation, I would like to use a quote from the character Schuyler-Colfax in regards to Lincoln, “This isn’t usual, Mr. Pendleton. This is history.”


Chuck’s Grade: B+

Adam’s Grade: B+

The Sessions is a love poem for living life

24 Mar


The Sessions was one of the best film of 2012. I am still smarting from Helen Hunt not winning best supporting actress honors and John Hawkes brave performance being ignored all together. Writer/Director Ben Lewis adapts Mark O’Brien autobiographical account of hiring a sex surrogate to help him lose his virginity because of paralysis contracted from polio when he was a child.

Sensing he might be nearing death, Mark O’Brien (Hawkes), seeks consultation and receives permission from Priest Brendan (William H. Macy) to contract Cheryl Cohen-Greene (Hunt). This powerful film is more than a person experiencing a physical act. It is a journey that ends up being surprisingly funny, and inspiring because it deals with sex on a mature level and reveals the moments of manhood that most people do not appreciate at the time. Audiences can be critical of Macy’s character, but this film is about O’Brien and his love poem for living life than dogma.


Adam’s Grade: A-

Chuck’s Grade: A-

Winter’s Bone is a blessing in disguise.

29 Dec


Winter’s Bone is one of those films that remind audiences to appreciate their comfortable lives because there are people out there living well below the poverty line and must do what ever it takes to survive. Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence) is a seventeen year old girl who has had to drop out of school to care for her younger brother and sister because her mother is mentally ill and her father is gone for extended periods of time. The characters sound depressing, but actually there is so much strength and hope in Ree that you ignore the circumstances and follow her journey to save her home from being taken by the bail bondsman. Besides Lawrence’s formidable performance, there are a couple actors that transcend this film to another level. Dale Dickey creates a haunting character as Ree’s main obstacle and John Hawkes keeps audiences off-balance with his complicated portrayal of Ree’s uncle. Winter’ Bone is a blessing in disguise.


Chuck’s Grade: A-

Adam’s Grade: B