Members Login
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: Review - 'The Runner' Offers Political Drama With Strong Performances


Status: Offline
Posts: 6722
Date: 4:10 AM, 09/05/15
Review - 'The Runner' Offers Political Drama With Strong Performances

Good review of "The Runner' here

Roger Ebert observed in his Great Movies book series that people who are college age or younger have a very flawed impression of Nicolas Cage’s talent and career. Internet memes and jokes, derived from a handful of films, lead these younger filmgoers (but in fairness, it’s not solely young folks) to make all manner of unfounded claims about Cage’s acting ability. They apparently have never seen Leaving Las Vegas, or Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, or Adaptation, or Matchstick Men, or Lord of War, or World Trade Center, or Raising Arizona, or Peggy Sue Got Married, or Moonstruck, or Wild At Heart, or… well, you get the point.


Cage has been nominated twice for the Academy Award for Best Actor, winning once. The Golden Globes nominated him four times for his performances. It’s frustrating for people who love cinema to see a performer of such talent suffer such a blow to his reputation. Surely everyone working in Hollywood knows Cage remains one of the finest actors of his generation, but they need to offer him more roles that allow him to demonstrate it more clearly. The Runner, opening this weekend in limited release and on Video On Demand (VOD), is an uneven picture and cannot be called a great film, but Cage definitely delivers a great performance filled with nuance and powerfully conflicted emotions.


The Runner 1


Limited release and VOD make it hard to really predict with much accuracy where this film is going to end up in terms of box office. Working in its favor is the fact it’s among the only films out in theaters offering a serious adult drama reflecting current events and real-world concerns. The current cultural attention shifting toward politics could help as well, due to the film’s context of political campaigns, controversies, and social issues. Likewise, despite tepid-to-bad early critical response, most reviews note Cage and the rest of the cast offer compelling performances — and audiences often respond to the combination of a star’s name and word of a good performance worth seeing.


Alas, the limited release will inherently restrict the box office receipts. And with VOD as an alternative, people are less inclined to pay full theater prices when they can watch it for a fraction of the price at home. A political drama isn’t the sort of movie that screams out for a theatrical experience, after all. Then again, if the adults want to get out for the weekend and are looking for something catering to more serious-minded viewing, they might be happy to shell out the price of admission for a chance to catch something more meaty and less reliant on action and visual effects.


If so, then The Runner will benefit from that desire for counter-programming, since it really is one of the few options available right now. In retrospect, distributor Alchemy (who also distributed this year’s excellent film Welcome to Me, which I reviewed here) might end up wishing they’d invested in a wider release and done some clever marketing to promote the film both to progressives and moderates who could be drawn to the film’s messaging about environmental protection and regulation of the energy industry, and to conservatives who could be drawn to the film’s portrayal of personal scandals and misdeeds in a Democratic politician’s career.






Page 1 of 1  sorted by
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Tweet this page
Post to Digg Post to

Create your own FREE Forum
Report Abuse
Powered by ActiveBoard