Win Hughes and Jason Day:
Film review by Jason Day of My New York Year – based on the book My Salinger Year – about a wannabe writer’s 12 months working at a book agents. Starring Margaret Qualley and Sigourney Weaver.
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Young Joanna (Margaret Qualley) is an ambitious graduate from Berkeley College who, on a whim as she wants to be a writer, decamps to New York to live with a friend. Her aim is to turn her poetic scribbles into a career.
She lands a good job as an assistant at a prestigious publishing agency, one that represent the fabled US author of J.D. Salinger, run by the formidable Margaret (Sigourney Weaver). Joanna plugs away, even answering letters on a personal note from Salinger fans despite being told not to, and begins her own literary career.
Review, by @Reelreviewer
Cinema is back!
Last week felt like the end of a shit era and the start of a new one because cinemas in England finally reopened, after more than a year of slumber thank to the ‘rona.
Vue cinemas (Northampton) did well with the ‘new normal’ procedures, but what about my old filmic stomping ground, Cineworld?
Firstly, it’s difficult to exactly compare the two. Firstly, I visited both on different days (Monday for Vue and Friday for Cineworld) and at different times (4pm for Vue and 8pm for Cineworld).
Surprisingly, both appeared to be about as busy as the other. I counted just over 20 people at Vue, in the foyer and in the screen for my film. At Cineworld, it was about 15 with only one extra person in the screen for my film.
Both cinemas – and this is the point you need to take away – are setup for pre-booking of ticket; no more spontaneous cinema. This is important because you can see things getting busy at the counter where you order your popcorn. If, like me, you want to avoid all of that malarky and just see the main show, pre-booking will make getting in a breeze!
So, we went straight to the ticket desk. No more tearing of printed tickets; we were scanned in (top tip: ‘enlarge’ the barcode on your e-receipt to make this easier) and whirled into the screen. Job done.
And, get this, my Unlimited membership has been reduced to only £15.99 a month! If memory serves, it was about £4 more before lockdown – result!
Things might be a bit different for those of us who, like me, used to turn up on any random night to see the latest flick, but stick with it…cinema is born again and it’s all good!
Now, on to the main show…
Has Sigourney Weaver ever given a bad performance?
Think about it, even in her ‘bad’ movies, like the dopey but fun Alien: Resurrection (1997), by-the-numbers action flick Cold Light of Day (2012) and the terminally unfunny Ghostbusters (2016) reboot in which she had a thankfully thankless cameo, the tall and imposing Ms. Weaver is one of cinema’s classiest acts.
Judge for yourselves when this fleetingly-on-the-big-screen, light as gossamer comedy drama is available for digital download. Don’t worry if you missed it on the big screen; it’s more suited to being seen from the comfort of your sofa.
It’s a slight script; little of real note happens, but watch how Weaver – even with little to do but appear tepidly tyrannical – effortlessly rises above such failings.
Perhaps her name, status and presence on set benefitted co-star Qualley. As the too-sweet-by-half ingénue, her performance sees her look awestruck when in Weaver’s presence with a wide-eyed look as if preparing to dodge the next (relatively harmless) verbal onslaught. Sigourney can also bring out the best in an actress.
My good pal and fellow film fan Win Hughes has also been shut out of cinemas for a while. This movie was the first she saw in a cinema since the first lockdown in March 2020.
She said: “It was very slow to start and for a while it felt as thought it was going to turn into one of those navel-gazing films where writers talk and angst about writing without actually doing any writing.
“But then it became a rather sweet and kind examination if damaged people, both at the agency and those that pour their hearts out in fan letters to JD Salinger. Although the side story of the complete dick of a boyfriend – Douglas Booth – could have been left out to no detriment to the film.”
Cast & credits
Director: Philippe Falardeau. 1hr 41mins/101 mins. micro_scope/Parallel Film Productions. (15).
Producers: Luc Déry, Kim McCraw.
Writer: Philippe Falardeau.
Camera: Sara Mishara.
Music: Martin Léon.
Sets: Elise de Blois.
Margaret Qualley, Sigourney Weaver, Douglas Booth, Seána Kerslake, Brían F. O’Byrne, Colm Feore, Théodore Pellerin, Yanic Truesdale, Hamza Haq, Leni Parker, Ellen David, Romane Denis, Tim Post, Gavin Drea, Matt Holland.