LEAP! Review & Analysis

Leap! is a charming movie about two young children who don’t run away from their orphanage as much as they run towards fulfilling their dreams.  There isn’t a lot of backstory to flesh out the characters, which is okay pending a willingness to accept the premise.  As with life, the genesis of our dreams is not always as important as doing our best to fulfill them.  Many adults, alongside the children they bring to the theater, could learn from Felicie (Elle Fanning) and Victor’s (Dane DeHaan) boundless confidence.

One of Leap!‘s great strengths is illustrating that success doesn’t come easily; hard work is imperative in any endeavor and sheer desire, while important, isn’t the only element in achievement.  While Felicie and Victor hit the inevitable bumps that come in any movie script–not to mention life itself–they pick themselves up again and keep trying.  This is The Little Engine That Could as two orphans from the country.

Leap! also stars the voice talents of Mel Brooks, Kate McKinnon and Carly Rae Jepsen.

For more about Leap!, including a particular animal that makes repeat appearances, take a look below:

 

—>Keep in touch with the author on Twitter and Instagram @realZoeHewitt.  Looking for the direct link to the video?  Click here.

All photos and video are courtesy of The Weinstein Company.

LIVE BY NIGHT Movie Review & Analysis

LIVE BY NIGHT is Ben Affleck’s latest “all in” as writer, director, producer and star.  It’s the story of Ben Affleck’s Joe, a war veteran, who returns home to Boston where he then switches sides of the law and becomes a criminal.  A series of events lead him to Ybor city in Florida where a partnership with Cuban rum runners help cement his presence as the unofficial mayor of the area until things take a turn for the worse.  The movie also stars Zoe Saldana, Sienna Miller, Elle Fanning, Chris Messina, Chris Sullivan, Chris Cooper, Brenden Gleeson and Anthony Michael Hall.

While this is a little bit GODFATHER and mafia, it’s actually more current political commentary than expected, an unintentional dimension since it was written and shot a year ago.  Racism, interracial romance, the KKK all feature prominently.

One of the big themes in LIVE BY NIGHT is parent/child relationships.  Joe’s relationship with his dad, played by Brendan Gleeson, as well as the father/daughter relationship between Chris Cooper’s Chief and his daughter Loretta, played by Elle Fanning who, for the record, delivered the most stand-out performance of the movie.  She was absolutely fantastic.  These familial relationships are important because they address the question of unconditional love, how you show love, tough love and who deserves love.  I don’t think the parallels between these two relationships are unintentional as evidenced by the fact that it’s Loretta’s words that close the movie. 

I saw this at a special screening that included Ben Affleck and key department heads including the production designer, editor and cinematographer.  So, I have some special insight into the movie straight from the people who made it.  For more about what Ben Affleck and his Oscar-winning crew had to say, take a look below:

—>Looking for the direct link to the video?  Click here.

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