Tom Hanks plays a judgmental curmudgeon facing bitter personal disappointment in the sentimental comic drama, “A Man Called Otto.” Upon his forced retirement, a lonely widower must decide what to do with himself and faces an unfamiliar challenge when a family of Mexican immigrants move into the neighborhood. While it’s utterly predictable, its heart is in the right place and mostly works despite the story’s obvious emotional manipulations. “A Man Called Otto” is square, but sweet and inoffensive.
The gothic Netflix murder mystery “The Pale Blue Eye” boasts a great cast, an eerie atmosphere and sharp period detail. Christian Bale plays a detective investigating grisly cult-related murders at West Point in 1830. Harry Melling is terrific as one of the student suspects, Edgar Allen Poe. Unfortunately, it goes completely off the rails in the final preposterous scenes. Still, “The Pale Blue Eye” is involving for most of its two-hour, ten-minute running time.
Luxembourgish actress Vicki Krieps won the European Film Awards prize for Best Actress for her work in the offbeat historical biography, “Corsage.” She plays Empress Elisabeth of Austria who experiences a midlife crisis upon her fortieth birthday in 1877. She fears the loss of her youth and beauty…all that she is prized for…and chafes at her ceremonial role. The film is filled with historical anachronisms and the main character is brusque and unpleasant. But the main problem with “Corsage” is that it’s simply dull.
Some books shouldn’t be made into movies. That’s probably the case with the Netflix movie “White Noise.” Adam Driver stars in Noah Baumbach’s adaptation of Don DeLillo’s acclaimed 1985 absurdist novel that castigates American consumerism. “White Noise” is an uneven cinematic experiment.