Freddie Highmore, Clive Owen and Dominic Cooper don’t really have anything in common and neither would rank among my favourite actors (even if I'm hopeful that Cooper will get a brilliant role soon-ish to prove my belief that he’s a great actor in waiting). I will say, though, that my interest in each of the three films was buttressed by the inclusion of each of the three actors. For Highmore and Cooper it was a chance to see if either had matured enough to be the lead in a film. Highmore is that odd time in life for child actor, and it’s anyone’s guess if he’ll be as interesting as an older teen actor as much as he was a child. And, Cooper’s shown up in countless films giving good supporting turns (Mamma Mia, Captain America, An Education) so the prospect of him holding down a film was a big draw. Owen is another story, I intimated recently that my favourite performance of his was Shoot ‘Em Up but he’s never really a draw for me. He seems to act so rarely, though, Trust drew my attention. Three reviews follow, 200 words or less....
The Art of Getting By directed and written by Gavin Wiesen
The Devil’s Double directed by Lee Tamahori
Art in its many forms has long had proclivity to delve into the concept of the mirror image – twins, doppelgangers, clones – all of them resting on the two parts of a purported whole with conflicting sensibilities. Tamahori is given the opportunity to examine the motif in an adaption of somewhat realistic proportions in the form of Sadaam Husein’s son Uday and his reluctant body double Latif. The film, never completely adhering to a tenets of a biopic – not even a pseudo one – does not utilise the concept of the double image that well, either. What we have is a story of the near sadistic Uday and opposing, and impossibly arid Latif and the eventual parting of ways between the two. Considering the overflow of baggage which accompanies a story about Husein, even peripherally, the film falls decidedly limp in that aspect, too.Uday is so demonic he gives Cooper a chance to be gripping but never poignant and our double Latif is too stoic to be interesting to watch, which means the concept of the polar opposite doesn’t really work as well as it could. Cooper is surrounded by actors given even less to do, which renders essentially useless. In terms of delivering on visceral thrills Tamahori gets a number of things right, but in terms of actual narrative and character insight he mostly fails.
Trust directed by David Schwimmer
Trust B (Clive Owen in Trust B+)
The Devil’s Double C- (Dominic Cooper in The Devil’s Double B)
The Art of Getting By C- (Freddie Highmore in The Art of Getting By B-/C+)
Did you see any of the three?