Movies to See Right Now

Isabelle Huppert in ELLE

We’re on the verge of a promising Prestige Movie Season. For the time being:

  • A Must See: the contemporary Western thriller Wind River, which has mystery, explosive action, wild scenery and some great acting, especially by Jeremy Renner and Gil Birmingham.
  • The historical thriller Dunkirk.
  • The amiably entertaining hillbilly heist film Logan Lucky.

The extraordinary performance of French actress Isabelle Huppert makes the already subversive Elle into a Must See DVD/Stream of the Week. The controversial Elle is available on DVD from Netflix and to stream from Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube and Google Play.

On September 30, Turner Classic Movies presents a wonderfully entertaining comedy about an entire family of professional con artists, The Young in Heart. It’s sweet and sappy, with the optimistic view that the criminals could be reformed by the unconditional love of a lonely old lady. After much fun, it turns out that they just needed some structure that incentivizes them to use their talents for good rather than evil. As readers will know, I’m not generally attracted to sentimental movies, but this one is damn funny. The family is played by Roland Young, Janet Gaynor, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and the always batty Billie Burke,The movie is almost stolen by Minnie Dupree as their intended victim, Miss Fortune. There’s also a nice turn by the gorgeous Paulette Goddard. The Young in Heart is a showcase for Roland Young, so often the supporting character in the great screwball comedies; this film, more than his Topper series, may be his best and most enjoyable performance.

Roland Young and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. in THE YOUNG IN HEART
Roland Young and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. in THE YOUNG IN HEART

LOGAN LUCKY: amiable hillbilly heist

Channing Tatum and Adam Driver face Daniel Craig in LOGAN LUCKY

There’s not much to say about Stephen Soderbergh’s Logan Lucky, except that it’s a benign and sporadically entertaining two hours at the movies. A couple of down-on-their-luck West Virginia brothers, played by the always appealing Channing Tatum and Adam Driver, mastermind a high-profile heist. These guys have never had a bit of success in their lives, and they are Not Bright, but they are seeking to outsmart an icon of American corporate culture. The funniest aspects of Logan Lucky stem from their need to enlist an imprisoned safe-cracker, improbably played by Daniel Craig; Craig, deadpan in his bleached buzz-cut, is very funny.

The heist is cool because I hadn’t seen this particular money delivery system before (it ain’t an armored car), and one of the guys gains some critical intel because he’s a coal miner. There’s an effective plot twist AFTER the heist, and Hilary Swank shows up to presage a sequel.

I was moderately glad that I saw it and haven’t thought much about it since.