Howard Hughes is one of the most interesting people in American history. Aviator, inventor, filmmaker, and possibly insane, Rules Don’t Apply opens with a packed newsroom awaiting a phone call from Hughes (Warren Beatty) who has holed up in an Mexican hotel room, to debunk a tell-all book about him, and prove to the world that he is still alive, and that he is not crazy. The film then jumps back in time and tells us the story of hired driver Frank (Alden Ehrenreich), and one of Hughes’ contract actresses, Marla Mabrey (Lily Collins). Hughes of course has a strict no dating policy between his drivers and his contract actresses, but naturally sparks fly between the two, but ambitions on both sides get in the way.
She wants to be an actress, he wants to invest and develop land with Hughes. Both want to meet their reclusive boss, and when he does arrive on the scene and each does get to meet him, things get a little crazier and a lot more complicated. Beatty’s Hughes is a character I’d love to meet. He was a bit nuts, but often times he was still the smartest man in the room.
The film was enjoyable, both as a look at a bygone Hollywood age, and as a fictional biopic of Howard Hughes. Warren Beatty really stood out in the film, which is not surprising as he was screenwriter, director and star. That aside, his performance really was excellent. He walked a fine line between sanity and insanity, between genius and insanity. The film almost felt like Sunset Boulevard with Howard Hughes instead of Norma Desmond. Lily Collins (daughter of Phil Collins) had great chemistry with everybody, and I really enjoyed her singing too. The film really brought together a great cast including Matthew Broderick, Martin Sheen, Candice Bergen and Oliver Platt among others.
At times I do think that the film lost it’s course a bit and couldn’t decide if it was supposed to be a comedy or a dramatic tragedy, but overall the story was light and it was enjoyable. The pieces they chose to show of Hughes’ life were interesting and they even managed to throw a few twists in that I did not see coming.
Bottom Line: I thought I should watch The Aviator to get some more Howard Hughes, but I decided to watch The Rocketeer instead. I love The Rocketeer!
Chloë Grace Moretz could be another big “up and coming” actresses; she was good in Let Me In, and the Kick-Ass movies, so I was interested when I saw her in the trailer for Hick. Wow! What an acting job, and what an interesting movie. Moretz plays Luli, a young girl whose parents have both left her at the same time. Her mother runs off with a real estate investor and her father drives off drunk. She decides that to make something of her life she should go to Las Vegas, and begins walking and hitchhiking across the USA to get there. She doesn’t get too far however as she is picked up by Eddie, a limping cowboy (Eddie Redmayne) who assumes too much with the young girl. Leaving Eddie, she is then picked up by a drug using grifter (Blake Lively). Eventually they cross paths with Eddie again and as soon as Luli suspects things are heading in the wrong direction they most certainly do. Hick was a little bit disturbing actually, not in the “giving me nightmares” sense, but the tension was so high; pretty much throughout the entire film; that it was incredible. I was on the edge of my seat hoping Luli would end up unharmed all film long. Everything from the actors, the camera work, direction, the editing, and the script all contributed to that high tension effect.
I’ve watched several key Chloë Grace Moretz films in the past few weeks and that’s all leading up to something “big”. Carrie. April 5th, 2014 marks the 40th anniversary of the original publication of Carrie which was of course Stephen King’s first novel. Several bloggers have been invited to do reviews of the book, including my friend who authors Gutenberg’s Son. In turn he has invited me to give my take on the films, so there we go.
Bottom Line: The single most important piece of this film was Chloë Grace Moretz who certainly acted well beyond her age.