“This is a family story,” described John Krasinski at the premiere of his latest directorial effort, A Quiet Place. But isn’t this a horror movie? Krasinski stars alongside his life partner, as he refers to his wife Emily Blunt for this fresh take on a classic nail biter, featuring a family’s attempt at survival in a creaky house set in a world invaded by creatures sensitive to noise. “How far would you go to protect your family?” Krasinski asked the rapt crowd.
Casting Millicent Simmonds, the star of last year’s Wonderstruck is simply brilliant. A young actress from Utah, Simmonds is deaf, and the film’s family, her parents, and brother must sign with her. That is the near soundless world of this tight movie, in which Blunt’s character is challenged to give birth, alone in a bathtub, without making a single squawk. The audience becomes attuned to all aspects of the filmmaking, the cinematography (from Charlotte Bruus Christensen who worked with Blunt on Girl on the Train), and Marco Beltrami’s music for example. This is what innovative filmmaking is all about. Play with sound, and all senses are heightened.
Maybe The China Hustle, a documentary written and directed by Jed Rothstein and executive produced by Alex Gibney doesn’t set out to be so scary, but any film exposing the financial world would be. Asking a simple yet obvious question about our capitalism and its moral imperatives, i.e. at what point are we willing to exploit others for the sake of making a buck, the non-fiction film explores our investments in China. At dinner at Il Gattopardo last week, Dan David, co-founder of GeoInvesting, said he never set out to be the center of this movie, but it is through his outrage that we get to observe, among other matters, just how the banks prevailed over average American citizens during the collapse of 2008.