Archive for the ‘Richard Linklater’ Category

Seize Your Identity

Hit Man

Director: Richard Linklater

Cast: Glen Powell, Adria Arjona, Austin Amelio, Retta, Sanjay Rao

Running Time: 1 hour 55 minutes

Film Rating: 7 out of 10

Oscar nominee for writing and directing Texan born film director Richard Linklater (Before Sunset, Before Midnight, Boyhood) collaborates with fellow Texan actor Glen Powell in his new film Hit Man about a philosophy lecturer at New Orleans State University Gary Johnson who moonlights for the local police department posing as an actual hitman but using his fake tough guy identity to trap would be potential criminals into planning a possible murder.

Based on a short story about the real life story of Gary Johnson written by Skip Hollandsworth entitled Hit Man which appeared in Texas Monthly, Linklater teams up with Powell to write the screenplay in which Glen Powell excels as the meek and mild Gary Johnson, a loner philosopher professor who tells his students to live dangerously and then does just that by creating a multitude of alter egos, posing as a professional hit man and landing a variety of people in jail when they try and pay him to take out someone significant in their life.

Glen Powell (Top Gun: Maverick, Anyone But You, Hidden Figures) is joined on screen by the gorgeous Mexican actress Adria Arjona (Father of the Bride, Pacific Rim: Uprising) who plays the feisty Madison Masters which proves to be Gary’s undoing as he presents to Madison his sexy alter ego Ron, a hit man which she wants to hire to kill her abusive husband. Once Gary meets Madison things start going horribly wrong as soon a dead body is found.

The trick with Richard Linklater films is to expect a lot of dialogue. All his films and storylines are dialogue and character driven. Linklater has never been a big flashy block buster director although he did prove his worth in his Oscar winning coming of age story Boyhood which earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Patricia Arquette as it skilfully chronicled a life of a young boy from early childhood to college and was shot over a 12 year period from 2002 to 2013.

Hit Man is no exception in terms of characters and dialogue particularly between the two lead actors, whose onscreen chemistry sizzle in this sexy, philosophical comedy about the potential of violence and the ability to create a successful alter ego. Both Glen Powell and Adria Arjona are easy on the eye and their eclectic supporting cast which includes Austin Amelio (Everybody Wants Some!!) as Jasper, Sanjay Rao as police colleague Phil and Retta as the police officer.

Unlike the zany, colourful film poster of Hit Man, this is not an action film but a cleverly written romantic comedy, a possibly true story about one man who decides to seize a new identity which changes his life when he meets the girl of his dreams.

Hit Man’s story line did need some action to increase the pace, but Glen Powell proves his flexible acting ability as the philosophically challenged Gary Johnson in this quirky romantic comedy which gets a film rating of 7 out of 10.

Hit Man is recommended as a quirky contemporary film about love with a dash of humour and a subtle hint of danger.

68th BAFTA Awards



Took place on Sunday 8th February 2015 in London



Best Film: Boyhood

Best Director: Richard Linklater – Boyhood


Best Actor: Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything 


Best Actress: Julianne Moore – Still Alice


Best Supporting Actor: J. K. Simmons – Whiplash

Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette – Boyhood

Rising Star Award: Jack O’Connell

Best British Film: The Theory of Everything directed by James Marsh


Best Original Screenplay: Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness – The Grand Budapest Hotel


Best Adapted Screenplay: Anthony McCarten – The Theory of Everything

Best Costume Design: The Grand Budapest Hotel – Milena Canonero


Best Foreign Language Film: Ida – Pawel Pawlikowski (Poland)

Source: 68th BAFTA Awards

72nd Golden Globe Awards

72nd Golden Globe Awards

Took place on Sunday 11th  January 2015 hosted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association

Golden Globe Winners in The Film Categories:


Best Film Drama: Boyhood


Best Film Musical or Comedy: Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Director: Richard Linklater – Boyhood


Best Actor Drama: Eddie Redmayne – Theory of Everything


Best Actress Drama: Julianne Moore – Still Alice


Best Actor Musical or Comedy: Michael Keaton – Birdman


Best Actress Musical or Comedy: Amy Adams – Big Eyes


Best Supporting Actor: J. K. Simmons – Whiplash

Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette – Boyhood


Best Foreign Language Film – Leviathan (Russia)


Innocence to Experience



Director: Richard Linklater
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater, Marco Perella, Jamie Howard

Texan director Richard Linklater’s 12 year cinematic achievement, Boyhood comes to life in a 164 minute film which seamlessly blends the course of existence for Mason from aged 6 to aged 18 is both fascinating and compelling. The fact that the director used the same four actors to make up the quasi nuclear family is equally impressive.

Ellar Coltrane plays Mason, the central character in Boyhood along with the director’s daughter Lorelei Linklater who plays Mason’s on screen drama queen sister Samantha and Hollywood veteran actress Patricia Arquette as his struggling unpredictable mother along with Linklater favourite Ethan Hawke (Before Sunrise, Before Sunset) as Mason’s drifter musician father Mason Senior.

In that rambling talkative style which has become a trademark of Linklater’s films, Boyhood as seen at the Durban International Film Festival is shot all over the director’s home state of Texas from Houston to Austin and even rural parts of the state, as the journey from innocence to experience for Mason as he along with his sister is dragged by his mother to many step-families with a variety of equally unimpressive stepfathers from the cruel and vicious psychology lecturer to the Afghanistan war veteran.

As the children change schools as the mother moves around in search of a better life and career opportunities, cinema goers gradually see the development of the central character as he charts the difficult teenage years, while Linklater provides a fascinating socio-political commentary of American daily life, from the effect of foreign wars on the average population, to the financial crisis, to the usurping influence of technology on the children’s lives as they become teenagers.

The three sections of the film is separated by the family or one of the family members making road trips signifying a different phase of their average but equally interesting lives. The viewer follows Mason’s school years as he succumbs to peer pressure, discovers the mysteries of the opposite sex to eventually having his first sexual experience in his sisters college dorm room.

Despite the length of Boyhood, Richard Linklaters script remains pertinent and fascinating as he provides an insightful analysis of the cultural cornerstones of American 21st century society from religion to guns to politics and even to the environment. Fans of Linklaters triptych, Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight, will be in familiar territory and will surely acknowledge that this is the directors most significant and ambitious cinematic achievement especially because of his lack of any aging makeup or special effects, the mere fact that this film, Boyhood was imagined and conceived in real time makes it even more remarkable, one of the reasons that Richard Linklater won the Best Director prize at the 2014 Berlin Film Festival.

Patricia Arquette (True Romance) and Ethan Hawke are clearly competent actors to hold their own in such a cinematic canvas as are the two child leads with Ellar Coltrane’s nonchalance clearly perceived at every transformation of Mason’s character as he goes from childhood innocence to young adult experience. Boyhood is highly recommended art house viewing and a dynamic cinematic tribute to American socio-political commentary, while remaining a classic Richard Linklater masterpiece.

2014 Berlin Film Festival

2014 Berlin International Film Festival Winners

 BIFF 2014

The 64th annual Berlin International Film Festival was held from February 6 to 16, 2014

The Berlin International Film Festival known as the Berlinale takes places annually in February and is regarded as one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world.


The Opening Night film was The Grand Hotel Budapest directed by Wes Anderson

Winners of the five main prizes at the 2014 Berlin Film Festival were as follows: –


Golden Bear (Best Film) – Black Coal, Thin Ice directed by Diao Yinan


Silver Bear (Best Director) – Richard Linklater for Boyhood starring Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane & Lorelei Linklater

Best Actor – Liao Fan for Black Coal, Thin Ice

The LittleHouse 2014 film

Best Actress – Haru Kuroki for The Little House


Silver Bear for Best Screenplay – Stations of the Cross written by Dietrich Brüggemann

Source: –


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