Tropic Cinema Deals Two Pairs and a Joke
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Here’s “Mud” in your eye! That is to say, the Tropic Cinema is holding over the film “Mud” for another week.
“Mud” is getting a lot of buzz for Matthew McConaughey, the always-doffs-his-shirt actor who stars in the title role. Also getting praise are Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland, the two youngsters who carry the thread of this Tom-and-Huck story. On an island in the Mississippi, the boys come across Mud, a fugitive wanted for murder. They get caught up in his romantic quest to rendezvous with his lifelong love, a fickle blonde played by Reese Witherspoon. Truckloads of armed-to-the-teeth bounty hunters are looking for Mud, but luckily he has Sam Shepard standing in the sidelines when the situation get to be too much for him and the boys alone. USA Today calls it “ a lyrical coming-of-age tale that feels like a Mark Twain story in a contemporary setting.”
For those who have already seen this “intellectually engaging, and dramatically satisfying” film, the Tropic has four new entries to entertain you.
“Ginger and Rosa” is a coming-of-age film for girls. Here Elle Fanning and Alice Englert give us two London teenagers -- the titular Ginger and Rosa -- during the scary days of the Cuba Missile Crisis. Ginger is a Ban-the-Bomb activist, while Rosa has more mundane things on her mind, like kissing boys and smoking cigarettes. Ginger takes emotional refuge with a gay couple (Timothy Spall and Oliver Platt) and an American poet (Annette Bening) as her friendship with Rosa gets tested. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says, “ Ginger's teen angst could have easily become mopey or self-righteous, but Fanning stays true to the heart of her character even as her world is crumbling around her.”
“The Ice Man” is based on the true story of Richard Kuklinski, a contract killer for the mob. As played by Michael Shannon (you saw him in “Mud” too), Richie is an emotionally detached hitman with ice water in his veins. But his nickname came from his habit of freezing his victims to confound the police as to time of death. East Bay Express calls it “a world-class, no-frills crime yarn.” But the Detroit News warns, “As the body count mounts, the movie begins to spin out of control.”
“Nicky’s Family” offers a more inspiring true story, that of Sir Nicholas Winton, a World War II hero who has been called "Britain's Schindler." Winton helped rescue of 669 Czech and Slovak children just before the outbreak of the War. Now at 103, the one-time stockbroker finally tells his story. The Boston Herald describes him as “ an ordinary person who turned out to be an extraordinary human being when it counted the most.” But the Arizona Republic bemoaned, “The story is good enough to tell itself, and the filmmakers should have let it.”
Coming-of-age films and true stories -- those are this week’s selections at the Tropic. An entertaining lot.
And if all else fails, go shopping. At least in your imagination with “Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s,” a documentary that takes you on a tour of the iconic New York department store. Celebs and designers alike are on hand to give their two cents (uh, make that two hundred dollars) worth about this high-end fashion emporium. The Boston Globe calls it “an infomercial disguised as mildly entertaining cinema,” but the Globe and Mail notes that “the film reveals that there is as much richness in good anecdote as a painstakingly conceived window vignette.”
See you at the movies!
more at TropicCinema.com/blog… where you can leave comments on all the films.