Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Our Brand is Crisis - A Movie Review

Often times the snippets you see in movie trailers either show the only funny parts of a weak comedy or they turn out to be random scenes that really misconstrue the movie. The parts of Our Brand is Crisis I saw in the trailers show what the movie is about without giving away too much of the story. 

The movie has a strong cast anchored by Oscar winning actors Sandra Bullock and Billy Bob Thorton. These two are supported by broad talent such as Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker, Million Dollar Baby), Ann Dowd (Side Effects,Marley and Me, Garden State), Scoot McNairy (Twelve Years a Slave, Argo), and Zoe Kazan (Ruby Sparks, What If) just name a few. Together they take a well written screen play about a very plausible scenario, and run with it.

No spoiler here - Jane Bodine (Bullock) plays a burnt out political campaign consultant who has a reputation for being incredibly effective, but after loosing several races she is out of the game living on top of a mountain making pottery. When one the presidential candidates in Boliva needs a big gun, his staff convinces Jane to come out of retirement. 

Thorton plays Pat Candy, the consultant for Jane's candidate's rival in Boliva. There is history, bad blood, and fireworks between these two. It goes beyond snarky. One begins to wonder if the goal is to win the election or better - outdo your opponent's consultant. Joaquim de Almeida plays Castillo, the candidate Jane is working for. He does an excellent job playing the character. 

There is a lot to this story, and I honestly was not sure how this was going to end. The character development is very good. One weak point was movie goers see that Bodine and Candy have issues with each other and obviously they have a past but you are never sure what the past was. There are vague allusions to a relationship, but that is never confirmed.

The humor is subtle and often under stated. Bullock uses her physical talent like most actors cannot. So much of her "dialogue" is in her facial expressions and actions. Often just the way she stands or sits conveys very clearly what she is thinking. Thorton's role suits him well since Candy is a snarky, arrogant, SOB who will say anything to Bodine to play with her mind. And he does that so well.

This is 107 minutes of your time that will be well spent. Once again we see Sandra Bullock stretch her talent into another character beyond the mother in The Blind Side, the goofy undercover officer in Miss Congeniality, the astronaut in Gravity, and the uptight executive in The Proposal to name a few.

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