ELVIS — CANNES 2022

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

Welcome!

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Thanks a lot acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

Cole Smithey on Patreon



ColeSmithey.comThis soup-to-nuts musical biopic about Elvis Presley is a stunner.

Wow!

Sit back and enjoy.

Best if you're watching "Elvis" on a big screen; this is 100% a BIG SCREEN movie.

No holding back.

Tom Hanks delivers the most superb performance of his legendary career as con-man/music agent Colonel Tom Parker.

Hanks delivers the goods in spades. This is the work of a dedicated creator of character.

Tom Hanks is truly an actor's actor.

Screen Shot 2022-12-21 at 2.38.53 PM

Likewise, “Elvis” proves to be director/co-screenwriter Baz Luhrmann’s best film by far.

Screen Shot 2022-12-21 at 2.07.36 PM

As for the film’s lead actor, Austin Butler is phenomenal in his deeply executed portrayal of Elvis Presley.

ColeSmithey.com

Butler’s performance is much more than an impersonation. You feel in touch with the real Elvis Presley through Austin Butler’s dynamic use of acting craft.

Fire, baby.

Screen Shot 2022-12-21 at 2.26.33 PM

Talk about range. 

This young man has range to spare.

And yes, that's Butler singing every Elvis song with his own vocal cords and skill.

Insane in the membrane.

Shut the front door, and listen to unadorned perfection.

Screen Shot 2022-12-21 at 2.03.15 PM

Let’s just give Austin Butler his Best Actor Oscar now.

Screen Shot 2022-12-21 at 1.58.49 PM

Credit goes to co-screenwriters: Sam Bromell, Craig Pearce, and Jeremy Doner for authoring a truly masterful script.

Film courses will focus on this movie.

ColeSmithey.com

Mandy Walker's cinematography is strictly superb.

On fleek bitches.

 

Screen Shot 2022-12-21 at 2.04.22 PM

Elvis Presley’s personal and public story is a cautionary tale connected to the turbulent American decades that witnessed political assassinations, rampant racism, puritanical assaults on freedom, and the best voice that you could possibly imagine, namely that of one Elvis Aaron Presley.

Screen Shot 2023-01-16 at 8.53.33 PM

Baz Luhrmann and his truly gifted team of dedicated actors and filmmakers do Elvis Presley’s rich musical legacy proud.  

ColeSmithey.com

If you only see one movie from 2022, "Elvis" is the one to choose.

Rated PG. 159 mins.

5 StarsBMOD COLE2

Cozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon

January 30, 2023

BLONDE

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

Welcome!

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Thanks a lot acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

Cole Smithey on Patreon



ColeSmithey.comStraight masterpiece.

Screenwriter/director Andrew Dominik's filmic adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates's 2000 fictionalized novel of the same title serves as a trenchant indictment of capitalism, the media, and of an incoherent American patriarchy that knows nothing but abuse.

Ana de Armas is uncanny in her fearless portrayal of Hollywood's most iconic actress.

Stunner.

ColeSmithey.com

It's a coincidence that in the same year that Austin Butler embodied Elvis Presley with an otherworldly performance of rigor and inspiration, Ana de Armas hits a similar if not more profound height of authenticity.

Elvis and Marilyn were each prisoners of their enormous fame/marketability.

ColeSmithey.com

Ana de Armas may just be the finest actor of our time.

Unforgettable.

Spellbinding.

ColeSmithey.com

Through the darkness and pain of a constant stream of traumas, Norma Jeane Baker battled demons near and remembered with a sharp intellect that Andrew Dominik keenly exposes through Ana de Armas's high-wire performance.

Indisputably, Andrew Dominik is a true master artist of Cinema.

The proof is in the pudding.

Gracefully cuts quick to the bone.

ColeSmithey.com

Audiences familiar with Dominik's past films, "Chopper" (2000), "The Assassination of Jesse James by the coward Robert Ford" (2007), and "Killing Them Softly" (2012), might have an inkling for the depth of visually dynamic storytelling on display in "Blonde."

ColeSmithey.com

"Blonde" functions as a feminist narrative that digs in dark corners of 20th century American reality and ideology where beauty is a trashy fad object to be worshiped, reviled, used up and thrown away.

Rigorous feminist think piece. You bet.

Joyce Carol Oates was no slouch.

ColeSmithey.com

So, if you're real serious, read Joyce Carol Oates's novel "Blonde," because you can.

And, besides, Joyce Carol Oates is still alive at the time of this writing, and even gave Ana de Armas

props for her exquisite portrayal of Norma Jeane Baker/Marilyn Monroe.

Right on.

ColeSmithey.com

Norma Jeane Mortenson revolted against the cold indifference of those who imagined they owned her, which was just about everyone.

Rebel.

ColeSmithey.com

It was a herculean effort that could not be sustained for very long.

What we are left with is just a memory of a rare, fragile, talented young woman being bought and sold into modern-day slavery under the guise of Hollywood.

ColeSmithey.com

These days people give their lives away on social media and YouTube for pennies. 

People's lives are reduced to content.

This phenomenal film is not that.

This is Cinema.

Take your content and shove it.

ColeSmithey.com

Rated NC-17. 166 mins.

5 Stars“ColeSmithey.com“

Cozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon

January 25, 2023

THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

Welcome!

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Thanks a lot acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

Cole Smithey on Patreon



ColeSmithey.comMartin McDonagh's '20s era Irish chamber piece is a highly polished prize of social commentary.

So exquisitely crafted, "The Banshees of Inisherin" could work well as a Broadway play.

Martin McDonagh has usurped Lars von Trier at his own game. You want Dogme 95; here it is.

The work has a Shakespearean quality to it.

Personal, private, and communal forces drive McDonagh's thoughtful characters.

There is nothing flashy here, no fat on the bone.

ColeSmithey.com

Colin Farrell's and Brendan Gleeson's welcome return to working with Martin McDonagh, since doing "In Bruges" together in 2008, is something to savor.

ColeSmithey.com

Farrell and Gleeson deserve their reputations as two of the finest actors working today.

ColeSmithey.com

The tale of a break up between two close male buddies living on a tiny [fictitious] island, proves to be a great jumping off point for contemplating who we choose to spend our time with, and why.

Mental illness, it seems, might be contagious.

ColeSmithey.com

"The Banshees of Inisherin" brutally connects to the heart, mind, and soul of its viewer.

ColeSmithey.com

Confucius comes into play. "Seek revenge and you should dig two graves, one for yourself."

Hala-feckin-luya.

Rated R. 114 mins.

5 Stars“ColeSmithey.com“

Cozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon

January 17, 2023

WILDCAT

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

Welcome!

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Thanks a lot acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

Cole Smithey on Patreon



ColeSmithey.comMore Direct Cinema than documentary, "Wildcat" takes an invisible approach to capturing its unfolding narrative.

Melissa Lesh and co-director Trevor Beck Frost spent several years working in the Peruvian rainforest with American wildlife rehabilitation specialist Samantha Zwicker and British Afghanistan war veteran Harry Turner.

ColeSmithey.com

Samantha and Harry have what it takes to handle living in the middle of the jungle. They make for a badass team. Naturally, carnal romance enters their entwined lives.

ColeSmithey.com

Both Samantha and Harry do battle with personal demons, his from war experiences, hers from growing up with an abusive alcoholic father.

Harry struggles with depression.

ColeSmithey.com

Samantha is more of a trooper. She doesn't wallow in the past.

ColeSmithey.com
Raising a lost ocelot cub for the 18 months it takes for the fierce creature to be released into the wild, allows for a similar trajectory for our complex leading characters, Samantha and Harry.

ColeSmithey.com

This is the first time such a rescue and release has ever been attempted.

No rule book for this shit.

ColeSmithey.com

Suffice it to say "Wildcat" is a deeply personal film that makes a transparent comparison between the jungles of Peru, and the jungle of society that we all traverse.

ColeSmithey.com

Challenging, thought-provoking, and suspenseful, "Wildcat" is a lot of movie.

ColeSmithey.com

Hearts will be broken.

ColeSmithey.com

Hearts will be healed.

ColeSmithey.com

Long live the wildcat.

Rated R. 106 mins.

5 Stars“ColeSmithey.com“

Cozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon

Featured Video

SMART NEW MEDIA® Custom Videos

COLE SMITHEY’S MOVIE WEEK

COLE SMITHEY’S CLASSIC CINEMA

Throwback Thursday


Podcast Series