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Jason Sudeikis (#110 of 2)

Toronto Film Review Nacho Vigalondo’s Colossal

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Toronto Film Review: Nacho Vigalondo’s Colossal

Toronto International Film Festival

Toronto Film Review: Nacho Vigalondo’s Colossal

Nacho Vigalondo has a knack for making movies that feel simultaneously apiece of their attendant genres while flush with mordant, if not schizoid, self-awareness. So it goes with Colossal, which stars Anne Hathaway as Gloria, an alcoholic writer who somehow finds herself telepathically linked to a scaly monster on the other side of the world, laying waste to Seoul and killing hundreds of innocents during one blacked-out evening.

Gloria has relocated to her tiny hometown after bottoming out in her posh New York life (SoHo apartment, Brit boyfriend, infinite chances to screw up), putting her childhood friend, Oscar (Jason Sudeikis), in position to help her get things back in order again—and, predictably, make good on his unconsummated lifelong crush. After she’s shared her secret with him, he steps onto the same patch of earth (an innocuous playground) and finds himself controlling a towering kaiju right beside her. For much of Colossal’s runtime, the symbolism is irresistible: Vigalondo archly deploys a bogus premise to interrogate alcoholism and entitlement, making the monster and robot into stand-ins for the long post-9/11 hangover of the American id.

Tribeca Review: Sleeping with Other People

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Tribeca Review: <em>Sleeping with Other People</em>
Tribeca Review: <em>Sleeping with Other People</em>

As in her debut feature, Bachelorette, writer-director Leslye Headland again manages to find some edgily intriguing ways to refresh a somewhat familiar rom-com setup in Sleeping with Other People. With its New York-based central male-female pair confiding in each other about their love lives and basically attempting to maintain a platonic friendship, the film sounds like a modern-day variation on When Harry Met Sally… But unlike Harry and Sally in the Rob Reiner film, the central relationship begins with sex, as Jake (Jason Sudeikis) first encounters an angry, horny Lainey (Alison Brie) in college in 2002 and ends up being her first. The next time they encounter each other, however, is roughly 12 years later—at a meeting for sex addicts. As we get to know them better, we discover that it isn’t necessarily sex addiction that fuels their behavior, but a deeper series of fears and hang-ups. Refreshingly, though, the film doesn’t offer any pat psychologizing in order to try to explain their neuroses. It may all have something to do with that one fateful night in college during which they hooked up, but Headland doesn’t belabor the point, instead preferring to leave that possibility hovering in the background, hanging over their every fraught interaction as they attempt to carry on a friendship without succumbing to sexual desire.