Director: Sam Taylor-Johnson
Writers: Kelly Marcel (screenplay), E.L. James (novel)
Stars: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Jennifer Ehle |
An awkward college grad (Dakota Johnson) is slowly seduced by a sexy young billionaire (Jamie Dornan). This is really just a cat-and-mouse romance with a BDSM twist. It’s success depends on the performances of the 2 leads and the director’s skill at maintaining tension in what’s basically a dialogue. Surprisingly, Dornan is prettier than Johnson, but they both create characters that are complex and compelling. Director Sam Taylor-Johnson has filled the film with sexually-charged stress and attractively erotic sex scenes. It’s every woman’s dream of a dazzling, devoted lover (granted, with some emotional complications) and it’s played out with alluring skill.
GAY ANGLE: There’s plenty of what’s been named Dornan’s “Golden torso.”
Directors: Richard Glatzer, Wash Westmoreland
Writers: Lisa Genova (novel), Richard Glatzer (screenplay)
Stars: Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart |
Julianne Moore is in almost every frame of this film, often in close-up, and she makes it mesmerizing. She plays an accomplished linguistics professor, who is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. Needless to say, with a subject like this the journey is intense and it focuses closely on Moore’s slow struggle to maintain her mind and retain the relationships with her husband (Alec Baldwin) and 3 children. The supporting cast is strong and the directing duo has fashioned a sensitive story. It does occasionally feel the need to provide us factual information about the disease, but mainly stays on course with many downer moments and lots of tears. This is not a great film, but it is a great performance.
GAY ANGLE: The writing/directing duo (Richard Glatzer & Wash Westmoreland, who previously did “The Fluffer”) is a gay couple, one of whom is struggling with ALS.
Jerry Williams reviewed movies for WTVR-TV for 14 years and for Style Weekly for 10 years. When he launched his own website in 1998 at TVJerry.com, he took his reviews to the Internet. Through those hundreds of reviews, Jerry kept his sexual orientation muted. So, he's excited to be adding "gay angles" to his postings for GayRVA.com.