Sometimes you review a movie and can’t quite figure out where to begin. That is not the case with Exodus: Gods and Kings; one of the film’s biggest issues is right there on the porcelain-white surface. I’ll let director Ridley Scott take it from here: “I can’t mount a film of this budget, where I have to rely on tax rebates in Spain, and say that my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such. I’m just not going to get it financed. So the question doesn’t come up.” He’s got a point – why even consider ethnically appropriate actors when you can make a movie about ancient Hebrews and Egyptians starring superstars like Joel Edgerton, Ben Mendelsohn, and Aaron Paul? The closed-mindedness that Scott exhibits here is incredibly frustrating, and that very notion ought to invalidate the movie entirely. But it was made and released regardless, so reviews must be written.
252 – Starred Up (2013)
I did not know, when I drove to the Sundance theater after work, that I was about to see one of my favorite movies of the year. Starred Up has been on my radar for months, since it came out to great reviews in the UK in March. And the best news? Playing at the Sundance means I can see it for five dollars on a Tuesday. Turns out such frugality was not necessary, because Starred Up would have been worth the full price of admission.