A BIG, BIG "thank you" Mllemass for your honest and yet enthusiastic report about the premiere. It's nice to hear from someone who has actually seen the film and who appreciates BC and the movies he does as much as I do. I am glad you enjoyed the film too!
Despite some of the negativity about this movie (and some of his other films and trailers), I am looking forward to seeing this for myself when the wider release comes out.
"You're going into the water... short-arse!" - Sherlock
I agree broadly with what everybody was saying here: 1. Still gonna see it. 2. Possibly style over substance, but I'll judge it myself. 3. So what if it's bad. Won't effect much on BC, and he's hardly the only actor with stinker(s). It's definetely not as bad as TFE (I don't remember any positive tweet on that one). And I don't think it's the worst of TIFF (shut up, Erlich!). I know a Alicia Vikander and eva Green movie got worse reception than TCW.
1. There is a LOT of talk. Talk about copper wiring, talk about dynamos, talk about types of electrical current. Does that make it dull? It depends. Does the thought of owning a backup generator get your blood flowing? 2. Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and cinematographer Chung-hoon Chung compensate for all the gab by incorporating an off-kilter visual style that manages to maintain some visual nourishment 3. Yes, Cumberbatch and Shannon deliver fine work. 4. But they only have one scene together. And like most of the movie, it's dramatically inert. 5. The movie's Oscar chances are iffy at best, though with the many and varied mustaches, maybe it could land a hair and makeup nod. (And you may be left wondering if Cumberbatch secretly wishes Edison went through a facial hair phase.)
I don't think TFE was that bad, even if it has been a disastrous flop: B. shone in the role of JA and was completely transformed. I suppose the worst problem with this film could be that it is just average, not giving B. enough material to show his full potential - like it happened in BM (of course, he was just supporting character there). The only film with B. in it I haven't seen was Zoolander II (he was a genius in his 1 minute scene, though) so of course, I am going to see it, no matter what the reviews say.
Thank you, mllemass for the first impressions, waiting for more!
Yes, I just wake up and reading the very few reviews (I was hoping there were more actual reviews that stupid Twitter reactions by mini-critics, for the short of the reviews, of course 😉 but I ended reading those, too!). It's very mixed but believe me it's not TFE and that's good!!! They are nice with the actors but not with poor Alfonso Gomez-Rejón how I feared in the worst case scenario. I really felt for him! He is good with technique but he is always working for a vision of someone else. It's not *his* material and I'm not talking about him being the writer but there is something (Richard Brody felt the same with his last movie) and I thought it was because he worked for a powerful TV producer and adapted a popular teen book with the novelist script and somehow he was influenced too much by those men. It seems it happened the same here with Weinstein. Some people are saying the visual aspect is actually too much, others that the narrative is too conventional.
Also two things, one fan said the script is almost totally changed (just 20% of the one we read) and Gomez-Rejón actually said in the presentation that there are edits to do so surprisingly (or not considering it's Weinstein), is not a finished product!!! It doesn't mean it would change and people will love it but that maybe the producer were hurrying the movie, probably because the suddenly change of the date! That could explain why it wasn't included in more festivals (that and apparently because it's not enough good).
The good thing is that there are more chances that Weinstein will let BC do his work for Patrick Melrose without calling him to do some random event in LA. I hope!
Also we need a super great movie with him in the main role (his best are still in supporting characters or TV series/movies and I'm not ever thinking in Sherlock) and he need to work with a great director so I really hope for the Guadagnino movie. A great director even when it's not great it's good!
Guardian's review - not that bad, but rather tepid - I do prefer when they hate Benedict, because it's usually means the film is very good: when it isn't they are more graceful. review
I brought the review to this new thread.
This a watchably stylised period film, with interesting visual setpieces and faces looming up at us out of intricately contrived backgrounds. Gomez-Rejon’s style reminded me a little of Paolo Sorrentino at times, striving for something mythic or operatic. The performances from Cumberbatch and Shannon are workmanlike and serviceable, but with perhaps fewer sparks flying than they usually get from their roles. Overall, the voltage isn’t as high it might have been.
The Gonzales Iñárritu comparison is interesting because I have always think he is style over substance! Maybe Gomez-Rejón, his protege, should choose a darker theme with cartoonish but sordid characters and he will be acclaimed as a great filmmaker!
There is a rather positive review from Jeffrey Wells where he praises Gómez-Rejón and Chung Hoon-Chung.
Thomas Gomez-Rejon‘s The Current War (Weinstein, 11.24) is an eccentric, visually unconventional period drama — that much is certain. It’s basically about an AC/DC thing — direct vs. alternating currents of electricity in the late 1880s and early 1890s, or a stab at creating compelling drama out of a battle of opposing modes and strategies for providing electricity to the public. That in itself, especially in an era of increasingly downscale if not submental approaches to mass entertainment, is highly eccentric. But the tone of inspirational strangeness doesn’t end there. The DC team was led by genius inventor Thomas A. Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch) while the AC approach was steamrolled by engineer-businessman George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon) with a late-inning assistance from genius Serbian inventor Nikola Tesla (Nicholas Hoult).
This is fine as far as histrionic line readings, personality conflicts and eccentric facial-hair appearances are concerned, but an especially striking visual style from South Korean dp Chung Hoon-Chung (It, The Handmaiden, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl) compounds the fascination.
In an attempt to reflect the unusual, headstrong mentalities of Edison and Westinghouse, Gomez-Rejon and Chung have gone with a kind of early ’60s Cinerama approach to visual composition — widescreen images, wide-angle lenses and a frequent decision to avoid conventional close-ups and medium shots in favor of what has to be called striking if not bizarre avant-garde framings in which the actors are presented as smallish figures against dynamically broad images and vast painterly landscapes.
The look of The Current War, in short, closely resembles the extreme wide-angle compositions in 1962’s How The West Was Won.
This visual signature will constitute a huge draw for cinema dweebs, who will no doubt celebrate the audacious yesteryear novelty of such an approach, but average popcorn viewers are probably going to feel a tad confused and disoriented as they try to process what boils down to an experimental arthouse approach to shooting a movie, and a curious historical biopic at that.
Gomez-Rejon and Chung deserve approval for choosing a highly unusual method of telling a story that — be honest — your average American moron is going to have very little interest in to begin with.