Except for one film, which this article will talk about soon, the filmography Tom McCarthy could be one of the most enduring of this century. Out of headlight to still water, almost every film he’s made is worth seeing, and most of them are worth seeing more than once: not because they’re necessarily dense or layered, but because it’s worth delving into the art of his writing. His dialogues are rarely flashy. He doesn’t distribute juicy monologues left and right like Aaron Sorkin. However, he has an uncanny ear for the rhythm and cadence of natural dialogue. His characters always sound like real people having real conversations; They always have interesting things to say, but the words never draw attention. That kind of discipline is an enviable quality for a screenwriter, especially one who also directs, and it’s part of what makes McCarthy such a great filmmaker. From its only misfire to its biggest hit, here’s a ranking of every Tom McCarthy film.
7. The Shoemaker (2014)
what does The shoemaker such a puzzling misfire is that it wasn’t to have be garbage. It could have been a beautiful piece of magical realism, a Jewish fairy tale set in a New York neighborhood where a bit of Old World folklore still lingers in the air. Even the presence of Adam Sandler is not necessarily deadly as he has proven himself in films as an excellent dramatic actor Unpolished gems and The Meyerowitz Stories. But Tom McCarthy’s story of a cobbler who can transform himself by wearing other people’s shoes makes the worst possible decision at every turn. Broad, choppy comedy? Syrup sentimentality? Harmful racial stereotypes? A scene where Sandler’s Max Simkin transforms into his estranged father to go on a date with his dying mother? All of that, and a third act twist, that’s just that second the most annoying thing about this movie – apart from the fact that the great Tom McCarthy was responsible for it.
6. Stillwater (2021)
Thankfully, there’s a huge jump in quality between McCarthy’s worst and second worst films. still water is by no means a bad film: it’s the kind of character study McCarthy does so well, but with a more uncomfortable, ambiguous tone than usual. Free after the Amanda Knox case, still water revolves around a worker on an Oklahoma oil rig (Matt Damon in workers’ wardrobe), who travels to France to free his daughter (Abigail Breslin), who he believes was wrongly imprisoned for murder while studying abroad. McCarthy flirts with Trump-era subtext by taking Damon’s Red State father to a foreign country and adamantly refusing to learn the language; Thankfully he doesn’t get to the point, instead focusing on the dynamic between Damon’s Bill, Breslin’s Allison and a translator named Virginie (Camille Cottin). If there’s one main complaint, it’s this still water does not do justice to the real case on which it is based: while it is largely devoid of headline-grabbing sensationalism, the implication that Allison may not be entirely innocent does a fully acquitted Knox a disservice.
5. WinWin (2011)
McCarthy made his career out of understated character studies, but also by his standards win win is reserved. It’s set in Rhode Island, perhaps New England’s least picturesque state; Its cast is populated by reliable, non-flashy actors like Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryanand Bobby Cannavale; The sport at its core isn’t football or baseball, it’s the glamorous world of high school wrestling in singlets. win win lacks the whimsy or high stakes of McCarthy’s previous two films, and while it’s rarely boring, it sometimes feels like things are just about to simmer. Nonetheless, this story about a lawyer/wrestling coach and the troubled grandson of a man he exploits for a paycheck is thoughtful, funny and deeply human; It understands its characters’ imperfections but never judges them too harshly. An exchange between Mike (Giamatti) and young Kyle (Alex Shepherd) illustrated win winhis forgiving, humanistic heart: You shouldn’t smoke, but if you do, then outside.
4. Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made (2020)
The first film McCarthy directed after the Oscar-winning triumph at No. 1 on this list was… a children’s film? A children’s film about a hobby detective riding a Segway and his imaginary polar bear friend? It’s not as much turning away as one might think. McCarthy had already dabbled in kid-friendly media — he helped formulate the story for Highand was a co-author from 2016 Christopher Robin and the raw material for Timmy Failure: Mistakes were made plays to McCarthy’s strengths. Timmy is an imaginative, aggressive boy who distrusts authority and fights invading Russians. Played by Winslow Fegleyhe behaves in an unusual, occasionally off-putting way because he is filled with so many emotions and insecurities that he needs to direct somewhere. Mistakes have been made is funny, strange and insightful. Refreshing, it not end with the typical coming-of-age farewell to childish things. Instead, Timmy embarks on another adventure with his trusty polar bear at his side.
3. The Visitor (2007)
The visitor could have been a tale of white saviors, a tale of a magical minority, or a film with mealy messages. Instead, it’s a calm, grounded, deeply sad picture of post-9/11 New York. This is accomplished by simply treating each character as a human rather than a symbol. Walter Vale (Richard Jenkins, a sweetheart) isn’t meant to stand for all whites, or even wealthy white New Yorkers: he’s just Walter Vale, a lonely, frail widower who finds an immigrant couple in his unused Manhattan apartment. A friendship develops between Walter and Tarek (Haaz Sleiman), not because the plot requires it, but because it makes perfect sense for these two people to seek friendship. The plot progresses from there, but it never feels like proper movie narrative: characters drop out without closure and something terrible happens without warning. The visitor touches on political issues, but it doesn’t puff itself out with its own capital I meaning. It just tells a great story.
2. The Station Agent (2003)
Regarding films that took a turn and whose journey began at the Sundance Film Festival – employee, Little Miss Sunshine, Go out – The station agent is rarely mentioned. Although it was only a modest box-office hit, its blend of gentle quirkiness and emotional seriousness helped codify what has come to be known as the “Sundance film.” Even if it didn’t directly inspire films like garden state or actually Little Miss Sunshineit did directly inspire another film: Highwhich was modeled after The station agent even before Pixar brought McCarthy on board.
The narrative is at least broadly familiar. fin (Peter Dinkel), a reclusive man with dwarfism who has an abiding passion for trains, inherits and settles in a disused train station in suburban New Jersey. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that a small group of friends help him lower his defenses and let love into his heart, though The station agent never feels cheesy or manipulative. Part of this is McCarthy’s dialogue, which is light and natural and never draws attention. Another part of this is the cast, who all did a great job: Dinklage, Bobby Cannavale, Michelle Williamsand specially Patricia Clarksonwho is exquisite as an artist struggling with depression.
1. Spotlight (2015)
in some ways headlight was something of a departure for Tom McCarthy. After a career made up of small, understated dramas, here was a film about nothing less than exposing the widespread sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church. It was also his first film based on real events, as well as his first film that he co-wrote the screenplay with someone else (in this case Josh Singer.) A film about investigative journalists exposing systemic abuse sounds like prime Oscar bait, but for McCarthy the stakes were still high: get out The shoemakerAfter his disastrous failure, he needed everything to walk properly.
That’s exactly what happened. headlight McCarthy not only won an Oscar, it was his biggest hit at the box office. All in all, it’s his best film. It’s clear that there’s a different chef in the kitchen, as there are more big, flashy monologues, for example, but everything that’s great about McCarthy’s style is here. There’s his dialogue, which is as realistic and sharply observed as ever. There’s his ability to put together a fantastic cast that pushes him forward Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdamsand Markus Ruffalo. There’s his underestimated ability to deal with the fluorescently lit offices of the Boston globe which added to the tense, airless atmosphere. And as always, there’s his humanistic worldview: instead of glorifying them, he portrays the flawed, jaded members of the Spotlight team as nothing more and nothing less human at all times. Isn’t that enough?
‘Stillwater’ Review: Matt Damon Stars in Messy Thriller About Dad Seeking Justice | Cannes 2021
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https://collider.com/tom-mccarthy-movies-ranked/ All Tom McCarthy Movies, Ranked from Spotlight to Stillwater