Darkest Hour

posted 8 Jan 2018, 05:08 by Scene Alba Magazine

2017, 12, 125 min. Directed by Joe Wright.

3 Stars
With his jowly countenance and stout physique, British statesman Winston Churchill resembled an English bulldog, a plucky creature who growled words of encouragement during rousing BBC radio broadcasts that inspired a nation to resist the threat of German invasion shortly after the outbreak of World War II. As Britain’s chief of state at a critical juncture in Western history, he rallied a beleaguered commonwealth to never surrender in appeasement to a reviled Adolf Hitler. In the historical drama Darkest Hour, an unrecognizable Gary Oldman slips into Churchill’s sallow skin to replicate this wartime hero during his early tenure as prime minister, down to the chomp of his cigar. It’s an uncanny physical transformation, as if a holograph from 1940 were beamed to the present day to perform the role. Cognizant of this startling effect, the film tantalizingly anticipates Oldman’s initial appearance as members of Parliament debate who should succeed a disgraced Neville Chamberlain, finally revealing the actor’s presence with a struck match lighting a stogie in a darkened bedroom, followed by a raised morning shade illuminating both him and a scotch-and-egg breakfast. It’s a clever introduction to a performance that may be too clever for the movie’s own good.

A nagging question persists throughout Darkest Hour: Is Oldman’s compulsively meticulous turn here anything more than a brilliant impersonation? The answer is yes, but it’s a performance that always stands apart from the rest of the film. Director Wright captures the chaos of a country facing the imminent threat of bloodshed on its home soil (the Blitz was soon to come), and demonstrates a fondness for tracking and aerial shots to depict the Brits’ losing war on the Continent, culminating in the retreat at Dunkirk. But he can’t convincingly realize Anthony McCarten’s screenplay ineffectual attempts to humanize the irascible leader through relationships with his supportive wife, Clementine (a sorely underused Scott Thomas, given only a handful of scenes), and the awed typist who records his speeches (James). When the narrative sends Winnie underground to poll the common folk on the subway so he might understand firsthand his constituency views on war vs. peace, the movie hits the brakes and goes off the rails, screeching. To be fair to Wright: Not even the most gifted of filmmakers could make this completely fabricated scene plausible. It’s as if a third-rate Frank Capra suddenly took over and retitled the movie Mr. Churchill Rides the Tube. Harrumph, indeed.

Call Me by Your Name

posted 8 Jan 2018, 05:06 by Scene Alba Magazine

2017, 18, 132 min. Directed by Luca Guadagnino.

4.5 Stars
Heavy with summer heat yet so light, so lyrical, in its vision of that catch-of-breath space between adolescence and adulthood, Call Me by Your Name is a revelation – a richly evocative reminder of that time of life when cuddles with parents overlap with the nervous, excited baring of body and soul of first love.

Seventeen-year-old Elio Perlman (Chalamet) is on that cusp, and he can feel it. It’s making him scratchy. An only child vacationing with his parents in their villa in northern Italy in 1983, Elio fills the days lazily: swimming, eating, napping, transcribing music (he’s a talented pianist), sometimes bored, sometimes sullen from the displacement of being no longer a kid, but not quite an adult. In other words – a teenager. That displacement turns literal in the opening moments of the film, when Elio must cede his bedroom to Oliver (Hammer), an American grad student come abroad to intern with Elio’s father (Stuhlbarg), an antiquities scholar. “The usurper,” Elio smirkingly nicknames Oliver, in French; one of the film’s seductive qualities – of which there are many, including the luscious scenery – is the way the whole Perlman family slides in and out of languages, English, French, Italian, and dead, the latter in a charmingly eggheaded pas de deux over etymological roots.

That fluidity in language isn’t showing off. Director Luca Guadagnino (A Bigger Splash, I Am Love) and screenwriter James Ivory (adapting from André Aciman’s formative novel) layer such details to enrich and distill the relationships. When Elio switches to English with his French girlfriend, she feels the chill. When the close-knit Perlman trio curls up on a rainy night to read aloud a 17th century romance, it’s a perfect summation of their love of learning, of beauty, of opening up to sensation. And when Elio spies a Star of David on a chain around Oliver’s neck, he finds a point of commonality with the American usurper.

Otherwise, they’re a study in contrasts. The solidly built 24-year-old Oliver is confident and bruisingly athletic; Elio, long and lanky, tends to hang on the outskirts of social situations, testing the waters. The first time Oliver touches him – casually, even fraternally – Elio jolts like he’s been shocked. It’s the first spark.

A love affair is inevitable, but Guadagnino doesn’t skim over Elio’s prolonged longing, which is what makes Call Me by Your Name most potent as a coming-of-age picture, not a mere romance. Their age gap has caused some consternation, especially in this particular cultural moment in which consent is rightfully being chewed over on a public stage. It’s worth noting that the film is set in the more permissive early Eighties, and they’re comfortably within the consent laws of Italy. If that doesn’t check the boxes for you, that’s fine; this isn’t the movie for you. Still, the film doesn’t pretend the age gap doesn’t exist. Oliver’s hesitancy in starting the affair, and the care he takes with Elio, are so crucial to the story. In his best work since his breakout in The Social Network, Hammer physically conveys the transformation of Oliver under Elio’s influence, his body tight with restraint, then loosening to the point of a childlike giddiness.

Guadagnino uses a technique throughout of fixing the camera focus and letting his actors move in and out of it, a stylistic choice that reaches its emotional apex with Hammer, at the end of Oliver’s Italian idyll. No words are spoken, but again there’s that layering of detail: We know enough to know the stakes are higher for Oliver, and the camera shifts from focused to fuzzy subtly convey how full up with feeling he is. Chalamet – who co-starred in Lady Bird, another coming-of-age picture that would make a toothsome double feature with this one – brings great physicality to his part, too. But it’s his face that’ll stop your heart, especially in two prolonged close-ups set to original songs by Sufjan Stevens, confessional lyrics simpatico with the actor’s open face. As for words? The script gives Stuhlbarg – a character actor who elevates everything he’s in – the monologue of a lifetime, which he delivers sotto voce, all kindness.

And that is perhaps the prevailing note of Call Me by Your Name – of kindness, of tenderness. Be it a besotted lover, a best friend, or devoted parents, they’re all a kind of welcoming committee, nurturing Elio into adult feeling. That includes pain. And it is a gift.

All the Money in the World

posted 8 Jan 2018, 05:05 by Scene Alba Magazine

2017, 15, 132 min. Directed by Ridley Scott.

3 Stars
If nothing else, All the Money in the World is remarkable for having edited out one lead actor for another at the 11th hour. This recounting of the 1973 kidnapping of billionaire Scrooge-a-phile John Paul Getty’s grandson, J. Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer, no relation), initially co-starred Kevin Spacey as Getty the elder. Following the recent sexual assault allegations against him, and in a bit of inspired last-minute maneuvering, 88-year-old cinema icon Christopher Plummer stepped into the role, necessitating a wealth of re-shoots.

The result is almost surely a better movie for it. Plummer is far closer to Getty’s actual age, for one thing. He also commands the screen with a miserly sort of gravitas that all but oozes wolfish avarice that embodied J.P. Getty’s rancid and rapacious philosophy: Greed is great; and everything, everyone has a price.

Flashing back and forth through the lives of Getty, his estranged daughter-in-law Gail (Williams, top-notch), and young Paul, screenwriter David Scarpa, adapting from John Pearson’s book Painfully Rich: The Outrageous Fortune and Misfortunes of the Heirs of J. Paul Getty, finally settles on the triumvirate of devoted mother Gail, teenage Paul and his kidnapping in Rome, and the ex-CIA operative and Getty’s goon Friday-cum-amanuensis Fletcher Chase (Wahlberg). The kidnappers, a seemingly endless stream of them, initially ask for $17 million for the lad’s safe return, but John Paul Getty is having none of it, forcing Gail and Chase to haggle in desperation, with assistance from the Italian polizia.

A surface viewing of the film makes it feel like this is one of Scott’s lesser magnum opuses but on closer inspection this is a story that’s all but contemporaneous given its through-line of amoral acquisitiveness. Williams and Wahlberg hold their own against the former Captain Von Trapp, but really this is a delicious Christopher Plummer movie in all but top-billing (Williams gets that, and it’s another notch in her already exemplary C.V.). At his advanced age, the actor shows no sign of slowing down, and thank the stars for that. His youthful vigor may be contained for the role (unlike in 2010’s wonderful Beginners), but he owns the screen even when he’s not actually on it. Mesmerizing is an overused description of great actors, but in this case it’s faint praise indeed.

Pitch Perfect 3

posted 8 Jan 2018, 05:05 by Scene Alba Magazine

2017, 12

2 stars
The third (and final?) installment in the a ca-comedy Pitch Perfect series requires the Bellas to get the band back together, not for a Barden reunion but to perform as part of a USO tour, which also happens to be a competition for acts (a Rose-fronted “EverMoist” among them) to score a spot opening for DJ Khaled. (The segue that brought us here was abrupt to say the least.) As in life, the Bellas discover that they are in the big leagues now, and the collegiate rules of a ca-competition do not apply in the real world. They trade in their dowdy flight attendant uniforms for pinup-esque sailor girl costumes, which provide more glitz, yet feel just as uncomfortably servile. Banks and Higgins reprise their roles as the catty commentators, this time pushed to the sidelines as they film a documentary (but why tho?).

The charisma of the first two Pitch Perfects relied on two things: Fat Amy (this franchise would be a flop without Wilson; Kendrick is great, yet she’s a much more fitting lead in Joe Swanberg’s mumblecore films – but damn she can sing!) and the ability to get the audience bopping along to the “mouth music.” No. 3 does boast some boppers but there is markedly less oomph behind the singing and dancing – the choreography is actually a bit dull, which is puzzling as Sie (who also directed Step Up: All In) has made a name for herself in the field. This musical focuses less on the actual music (Britney Spears’ 2003 hit “Toxic” even feels a bit gross considering the context – but OK, we get it, the Bellas are grown, but we knew that because they’re all wearing moto jackets now) and spends more time constructing backstories for characters we already know and love.

Lithgow appearing as Fat Amy’s deadbeat Aussie mafioso father is just downright bizarre (did screenwriter Kay Cannon bust out a game of Mad Libs this time around?), although I didn’t resent Wilson’s extra screen time one bit. A third-act crescendo genre-jumps into Mission Impossible territory, as though the filmmakers were concerned that viewers might get bored with the same old song-and-dance routine (fat chance). Although I do think PP fans will be satisfied with the finale, let’s hope this is the last redux for these pitches.

The Greatest Showman

posted 8 Jan 2018, 05:04 by Scene Alba Magazine

2017, PG

4 stars

The show gets underway immediately with a wildly colorful and entertaining song and dance number (The Greatest Show) under the big top – complete with elephants and acrobats, clowns and equine ballet, and overall spectacle. Then we pull back into Barnum’s bleak childhood, years before. He grew up poor but plucky, and was always a romantic – he’s in love with his wealthy neighbor, Charity (Michelle Williams). Eventually, the two marry (in spite of protests from her snobbish dad), start a family, and follow their dreams.

Barnum’s American Museum on Broadway in New York City – jam-packed with dioramas, scary scientific instruments, bizarre artifacts, a menagerie of exotic animals, a marine aquarium, theatrical performances, and an array of living “attractions” (General Tom Thumb, Siamese twins Chang and Eng, giants, and bearded ladies, to name just a few) – provides the main backdrop for the story, and it’s a dazzling place to be. Here’s where Barnum takes on a partner, Philip Carlyle (Zac Efron), and where forbidden love blooms. (Don’t worry; the “forbidden love” is all very rated G… though the film itself is rated PG for its depictions of mild violence and some drinking.)

First and foremost, The Greatest Showman is a musical reverie – an ode to dreams – not a biopic. At its heart is Barnum’s conviction that the drudgery of everyday life is something we can all leave behind and enter into a realm of wonder, curiosity, and the joy of being wonderfully different and unique. That’s the strongest, and most important, lesson for the little ones: Be who you are and be happy about it.

Jackman is well-known for his singing and dancing chops – he’s performed on Broadway numerous times – and he doesn’t disappoint here. He’s just one of those eternally likable guys, no matter what kind of role he’s playing. But that quality is especially essential here, since Barnum’s powers of persuasion remain legendary. He gets everyone to “step right up” quite easily, but getting them to stay there proves more difficult. When the chips are down, Jackman really makes us enjoy rooting for the hero.

Aside from the ever-amazing Jackman and a brilliant ensemble cast, this film works so well because it’s clearly made with love. Director Michael Gracey personally relates to Barnum’s belief in attempting to squeeze as much excitement out of life as possible. “I always say that to me one of the saddest moments in any child’s life is when they learn the word ‘impossible.’ Barnum’s story is about not limiting your imagination, about using what’s in your head to create new worlds – and that’s also what directors do.”

The charming message of the movie is that everyone, no matter how maligned or invisible, has a story worthy of a world-class premiere in which they are the star. That sentiment is brought home, quite handily, when Barnum is rounding up the so-called Oddities for his new revue, and Tom Thumb (Sam Humphrey) asks, “But what if they laugh at me?” Barnum quips, “Well, they’re laughing at you anyway, might as well get paid for it.” Then he realizes the gravity of the question, and tells the young man that this is his chance to celebrate uniqueness and to show folks that although the book’s cover may be small, the story inside is vaster than the universe.

If you’re looking for something fun, inspiring, and just plain “feel good”  to start the year, you absolutely must go to see The Greatest Showman on the big screen.


posted 8 Jan 2018, 05:03 by Scene Alba Magazine

Out now ,15 , 127 minutes
Directed by: Scott Cooper
4 stars

Captain Joseph Blocker (Christian Bale) is a man whose heart has been made black as coal by the atrocities of war. He’s seen his Native American enemies scalp and butcher his men – and he’s done the same in return. Naturally he’s the one ordered to escort a dying prisoner, Chief Yellow Hawk (Wes Studi), and his family back to their reservation in Montana. He reluctantly agrees, bringing along his men – specifically his closest confidant, Sergeant Tommy Metz (Rory Cochrane), who too has seen the ravages of war take hold of his guilt-stricken soul. But their road trip takes a few twists and turns. Along the way they’re ambushed by Comanches, lose a few men in the skirmishes, and succumb to their own personal demons. They also pick up a grieving widow (Rosamund Pike, who gives a solid performance) who witnessed the slaughter of her entire family, and a defector (Ben Foster) who reminds Joe of what he could’ve become if he let hate take hold.

Cooper’s sweeping, gorgeous vistas, along with Masanobu Takayanagi’s transcendent cinematography, help bolster the narrative drive. The dangerous beauty of the land comes into full view, augmenting the atmospheric tension. The magnificence of the visuals stand in juxtaposition to the darkened, grief-filled, gritty souls of the characters. Cooper and company have a tangible understanding of the genre. Max Richter’s score also brings an entrancing soundscape, adding gravitas to a few pivotal sequences. In addition to Cooper’s big picture concepts, these are the manifested ghosts that will haunt you long after the credits roll.

That’s not to say there aren’t any stumbling blocks in the way of greatness. The fewer characters there are, the better Cooper is with his material. CRAZY HEART and OUT OF THE FURNACE best demonstrate his ease with clean, meaty material for a minimal number of leads. It’s clear that with both BLACK MASS and now this, Cooper is determined to make the next great, sprawling American ensemble piece. While that’s a noble aim, the talented filmmaker never quite brings his ensemble together. New characters are introduced and escorted away before we have time to get to know them. Some – like Cooper’s “good luck charm,” frequent collaborator Ryan Bingham – are well hidden and quickly shooed away. It also seems like there are more soldier escorts than were originally introduced, so there’s no “and then there was one” moment to track.

Overall, HOSTILES gives us a fully satisfying audience experience seeing a man re-discover his humanity after years of only seeing man’s inhumanity to man. In these murky times we’re living in, that’s a heartening, hope-filled notion. We’re all capable of understanding one another’s plights as long as we take the opportunity to do so.

Molly's Game

posted 8 Jan 2018, 04:49 by Scene Alba Magazine

2017, 15, 140 min. Directed by Aaron Sorkin.

4 stars

Based on the 2014 memoir by Molly Bloom, in which she recounts her rise and fall as a runner of high-stakes poker games in the late Aughts, Sorkin seems to have basically taken that book, reformatted it into a screenplay, and filmed it. Bloom (Chastain), a highly ranked competitive skier who had a heartbreaking mishap, moves to Los Angeles and falls in with a real estate agent, Dean Keith (Strong), who also moonlights hosting poker games for the rich and famous. Bloom slowly becomes more involved in the proceedings, a neophyte to the game who is Googling poker terms at a table nearby as she hears them during the late-night games. Fiercely intelligent and a quick study, she soon takes over these games (you can tell she’s on the rise when she replaces her PC laptop with a Mac). Eventually falling out with Dean, she moves the games to New York City, and ultimately, that leads to her arrest. She gets tied up in a large investigation involving money laundering, the Russian mafia, hedge-fund managers, and A-list celebrities never named (Michael Cera hilariously stars as “Player X,” a composite for a number of high-profile actors who circled around Bloom). Her rise is intercut with her fall and trial, and those scenes involving her reticent lawyer Charlie Jaffey (Elba, using a weird accent), are quirky and quick, with references ranging from The Crucible to The Big Lebowski.

You know you’re in Sorkin country when a story unfolds with rapid-fire dialogue squeezed between passionate monologues (my favorite: Jaffey’s “box of Wheaties” speech). But the main draw here, besides the nature of the high-stakes poker milieu, is Jessica Chastain. A fiercely intelligent actor who is only getting better, she imbues Bloom with an unsinkable drive as she continually navigates this “frat house built for degenerates,” a boys club that tries to undermine her at every step. The gender politics may be a little reductive, but Sorkin knows his craft well, and it’s weird that this is his first time in the director’s chair. But overall, Molly’s Game is a crackerjack,smart, engaging, and full of great performances, sometimes telling is the way to go.

The Man Who Invented Christmas

posted 8 Jan 2018, 04:47 by Scene Alba Magazine

When we meet novelist Charles (Dan Stevens of Downton Abbey), he’s just had three flops in a row and is struggling to support his pregnant wife, their four young children, and his freeloading father and meek mum. His publishers won’t renew his contract, so Charles decides to self-publish his “Christmas ghost story.” It’s not only going to cost him everything he has financially, but emotionally too… as he searches for the perfect ending to his book, his own life and even Christmas itself are transformed.

Clichés abound. But thanks to some superb acting, The Man Who Invented Christmas doesn’t fall flat. This is Stevens’ showcase to be sure, but Christopher Plummer is a perfect humbug-grumbling Scrooge, and Jonathan Pryce as Dickens’ dad is just heartbreaking. We’re given a glimpse into the past when he was sent to debtor’s prison, leaving his young son Charles behind to toil in a shoe polish factory. Now he’s turned up, still broke and selling his famous son’s autograph – and yet, Pryce makes him an endearing character. Ian McNiece is excellent as Dickens’ longtime friend and sounding board, and Miles Jupp is love-to-hate as Dickens’ ingratiating rival William Makepeace Thackeray.

The female characters are given much less to do, which is both surprising and disappointing, since The Man Who Invented Christmas is written by a female (Susan Coyne, Anne of Green Gables). (Then again, it is called The Man Who Invented Christmas, so what do we expect?) Still, there is a young housemaid who loves to read and is given great responsibility by Dickens, and his wife (Morfydd Clark, Pride Prejudice and Zombies) is given a modern sensibility and some admirable sass.

The story is based on a nonfiction book by Les Standiford. Director Bharat Nalluri (Mrs. Pettigrew Lives for a Day) brings out the cinema magic by showing us Dickens’ imaginary characters coming to life in his office as he chips his way through writer’s block and races against the deadline to get the book to the printer’s in time for Christmas delivery. But in the end, it feels more like ghosts wrote the book – not the author himself.

The Man Who Invented Christmas is not a fast-paced film and it’s quite talky. While I do think it’s too staid for the YouTube generation, it’s still a satisfactory family film and will be of special interest to budding novelists or Christmas buffs.

Justice League

posted 8 Jan 2018, 04:42 by Scene Alba Magazine

2 stars out of 5
121 minutes

Out everywhere now

It's hard not to feel a little bad for the DC Comics films at this point.

They have th2e unenviable task having to form an identity in the shadows of the films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which are usually good and rarely unwatchable, and the continued glow of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, which are seeming more and more like transcendent anomalies as we get deeper into this never-ending cycle of super humans crowding our multiplexes. DC got off to a rocky start and then Patty Jenkins went and made a very good "Wonder Woman."

And yet somehow it is no surprise that "Justice League " tips the balances back in the wrong direction. Although marginally better than "Batman v Superman" and "Suicide Squad," director Zack Snyder's latest is still a profound mess of maudlin muscles, incoherent action and jaw-droppingly awful CGI. It is big, loud, awful to look at and oh-so-dumb.

With Superman (Henry Cavill) dead, and the world facing yet another devastating threat (yawn) this time at the hands of some ancient creature named Steppenwolf (Ciaran Hinds) and his army of giant alien mosquitoes, which look like Saturday morning Power Rangers villains, Batman/Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman/Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) go in search of some new recruits: Barry Allen/The Flash (Ezra Miller), a quippy "kid" who's excited to join the team; Arthur Curry/Aquaman (Jason Momoa) who talks like a surfer bro and looks like a Nordic bodybuilder with ombre locks and fishermen's knits; And Victor Stone/Cyborg (Ray Fisher), who is still in the sulky "why me" phase of his superhero career.

There are some good moments, thanks in large part to the addition of Miller, whose quick, self-deprecating humor (likely the result of Joss Whedon's script and reshoot work) and general liveliness steals scenes away from his brawnier and moodier counterparts.

But everything else about "Justice League" feels labored, from a preposterous underwater battle that comes out of nowhere and the camaraderie between the superheroes that never clicks into place, to Batman's lumbering gait (does the batsuit weigh 300 pounds?) and Superman's mouth which looks a little...off.

And never has it been so obvious that the character of Wonder Woman is now being presented through a man's eyes. Snyder chooses on multiple occasions to let the shot linger on Gadot's figure, whether panning up her legs unnecessarily to get to a normal scene of dialogue or making sure that the camera is there to capture the moment when her skirt flies up in an action sequence. It is, quite frankly, gross and a wildly disappointing departure from what Patty Jenkins was able to accomplish with the character earlier this year.

There's even an attempt to humanize the potential destruction with a random impoverished Eastern European family struggling to defend their homestead. The story focuses in on the family's young daughter, who, in braided pigtails picks up a can of bug spray as a defense. You'd think that this might come back and provide an opportunity for her to a) see and be inspired by Wonder Woman in action or b) at least get saved by her. It would be so obvious. But they don't even meet.

It's just a tiny example of how "Justice League" feels like a bunch of disconnected moments with no governing theory behind it other than the fact that this movie has to come at this time to introduce audiences to characters whose stand-alone movies have already been promised to shareholders.

It's not too late to re-think this whole thing and start over. Just keep Gadot around, please.


posted 8 Jan 2018, 04:41 by Scene Alba Magazine

Director: Matt Spicer
Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Elizabeth Olsen, O’Shea Jackson Jr
Running time 98 minutes
Four stars

INGRID Thorburn (Aubrey Plaza) must have been a social misfit even before her mother died.
But now that she’s lost her “best friend” to cancer, the isolated underachiever has become positively unhinged.
Desperately lonely, Ingrid trawls social media, living vicariously through the posts of other women whose lives are clearly more exciting than her own.
While her behaviour has obvious parallels with that of her better-adjusted peers — and that’s partly what makes this film so uncomfortable — Ingrid’s boundaries are dangerously blurred.
Self-projection is one thing, mistaking a fleeting social media interaction for real friendship is something else altogether.
After an unfortunate incident in her hometown, Ingrid becomes fixated on Californian Insta-girl Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen), whose perfectly chic boho-chic lifestyle has earned her millions of followers.
On a whim, Ingrid heads west to LA, using her small inheritance to reinvent herself in a manner that is more Single White Female than Eliza Doolittle or even Miley Cyrus.

Obsessively monitoring Taylor’s Instagram posts, she stakes out the woman’s favourite cafes and shopping haunts.
While Ingrid’s awkward stalking is excruciating to witness, it’s also hard to turn away. And that’s largely down to Plaza’s beautifully observed performance.
Although we watch on in horror when Ingrid crosses the line — kidnapping Taylor’s dog, for example — there’s no inclination to judge her.
Plaza (and first-time feature director Matt Spicer) don’t allow their audience that level of detachment.
Part of the uneasiness we experience in watching a real-world friendship develop between the two women can be attributed to the fact that we know it can’t last.
Ingrid might be a certifiable mess, but we still wind up rooting for her.
When the situation unravels, so does she.
The only decent human being in the film is Ingrid’s neighbour and landlord Dan Pinto (Ice Cube’s son, O’Shea Jackson Jr).
The budding screenwriter and Batman fan genuinely likes his tenant. She has a different ring to her, he says.
The guy might be a bit too good to be true, but in a world as bleak as the one Ingrid inhabits, there needs to be some glimmer of hope.

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