Director: Scott Frank
Writers: Scott Frank (screenplay), Lawrence Block (novel)
Stars: Liam Neeson, Dan Stevens, David Harbour
Think of trite character traits for a movie cop: former NYC beat, retired working as a private detective, haunted by a past act, alcoholic, befriends an innocent who helps his pursuit and touches his heart. Now, drop Liam Neeson into the role and you’ve got this slowly-paced, well-worn story. He’s searching for a duo of sadistic kidnappers, but nothing happens, except on the most hackneyed level. The title appropriately describes this somber stroll.
GAY ANGLE: Dreamy Matthew Crawley from “Downton Abbey” dyes his hair black and plays an upscale drug dealer.
Love Is Strange
Director: Ira Sachs
Writers: Ira Sachs, Mauricio Zacharias
Stars: John Lithgow, Alfred Molina, Marisa Tomei
John Lithgow and Alfred Molina play a New York couple who’ve been together 39 years. When they finally get married, one of them loses his job at a Catholic school and they’re forced to temporarily separate and live with friends or family. The movie sensitively explores the challenges that they and their hosts face. There is conflict and drama, but a surprising amount of objective, somewhat tedious observation. The unexpected breaks in the storyline undermine the narrative momentum. The actors all do a fine, understated job, but the emotional core is missing.
GAY ANGLE: They make a sweet couple, but the movie presents a new angle on the challenges of being gay.
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.