Auge um Auge – Out of the Furnace (2013)

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Auge um Auge – Out of the Furnace: Directed by Scott Cooper. With Woody Harrelson, Dendrie Taylor, Carl Ciarfalio, Nancy Mosser. When Rodney Baze mysteriously disappears and law enforcement doesn’t follow through fast enough, his older brother, Russell, takes matters into his own hands to find justice.

“When I saw the cast list, I knew there would be some wonderful performances, but I was surprised at how they uniformly surpassed my expectations. I believe itu0026#39;s Baleu0026#39;s best work so far, and thatu0026#39;s saying something. Likewise with Affleck, Harrelson and Saldana. The rest of the cast was wonderful as well.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThere is one scene in particular (I wonu0026#39;t spoil it here) where an actor lets loose in a way that careful directors and nervous producers would normally edit out. I applaud Scott Cooper for breaking the rule that films are meant to entertain (and earn millions), and raw emotion that feels too close to reality is to be avoided. Itu0026#39;s inelegant, and not what we want to see from stars, especially attractive ones. Cooper lets people be people, and I find that incredibly refreshing.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eI was immediately invested in the characters — warts and all. As painful as many of their decisions were to watch, I went along for those very bumpy rides, because any other course taken would be untrue for these characters.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eI recently saw u0026quot;12 Years A Slave,u0026quot; and feel inclined to mention that I sense a new, somewhat subversive style of filmmaking emerge — and maybe a wonderful new culture in Hollywood. (At least I hope so.) Itu0026#39;s one where films about extraordinary hardship are treated a way that doesnu0026#39;t hold back, glamorize or otherwise mollify them. u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eIn my opinion, when Hollywood slicks up violence (as it almost always does), it informs us that we shouldnu0026#39;t really be moved by its tragedy. We arenu0026#39;t shaken to the core and inspired to stop suffering wherever we can. Thatu0026#39;s shameful. So kudos to Cooper and to Steve McQueen for embracing a reality in their films that reconnects us with humanity instead of suggesting itu0026#39;s okay to blithely mock it.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eIf I have any criticism of this film, itu0026#39;s that two scenes where one plays out as a metaphor for the other may not have been necessary. Otherwise, I feel the writing is disciplined and at the same time very rich and rewarding.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe potential horrors of poverty and a lack of opportunity on display in this film are dealt with in a way that exempts political bias, and that in itself is a huge accomplishment.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eA sense of hope exists amidst the heartache of this film. I will see it again.”


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