Sunday, September 14, 2014
In the aftermath of the loss of Robin Williams many looked to remember his greatness by watching his films. Although I loved his turns in his big movies like Mrs. Doubtfireand Dead Poet Society, two of my favorite Robin movies were maybe not his best films. For different reasons, in the weeks following his death I re-watched two of films that meant the most to me, Jumanji and The Night Listener.
Jumanji was a flawed film, but I was still young enough to get caught up in the magic when I joined a group of friends at the theatre to see it. I am a sucker for any movie where elephants and rhino's run through a city. I remember Jumanji not just as a film, but as the cap to a wonderful day and night before adult hood really took hold.
The Night Listener I saw on DVD, alone on cold winter's night. The atmosphere outside my home mirrored the chilly temperature inside the movie, dark, creepy and disturbing. The Night Listener won't be everyone's cup of tea, much like One Hour Photo, there is very little to enjoy about the film other than to bath in the darkness and enjoy the incredible performances. Williams is joined in the film by the wonderful Toni Collette, Bobby Cannavale, Sandra Oh and Rory Culkin.
Macaulay's younger brother has had an interesting career. I don't really remember Rory in his first film, his brother's The Good Son, I think it was Signs that really had me notice him as an actor. Rory has that almost ethereal quality, delicate yet fierce, ghostly even, but beautiful. Sad blue eyes that are equally mesmerizing and distant. Rory's career choices have been interesting ones and his acting career quickly surpassed that of his brother. Of course it would be hard to top the fame Macaulay garnered from Home Alone, but Rory seems in it for the long hall, working steadily, but not enough to be over exposed or to start taking roles just to pad his resume.
In The Night Listener, Rory plays the son, maybe... of Toni Collette. Through just a few well written scenes, Rory creates a disturbing picture of trauma played out through is connection with William's character Gabriel. If you haven't seen the movie, and you are looking for a fun movie night, this is not the flick for you, but if you want to get caught up in a dark, physiological drama, give this filma try.