11/4 Movie Trip

Paul McGuire Grimes from Paul’s Trip to the Movies sat down with the cast of the new Netflix movie, The Good Nurse.

THE GOOD NURSE (Netflix)

Jessica Chastain plays Amy Loughren, a single mom and night nurse who is dedicated to her family and her patients. It’s 2003 in New Jersey and she works at an understaffed, under financed hospital taxing her every step of the way. What complicates her life further is a heart condition but getting a transplant and taking time off work jeopardizes her family needs. A little bit of relief comes when the hospital hires Charles Cullen. He’s a soft-spoken, gentle man who says he’s been all over going from one hospital to the next. They become good friends, as he supports Amy at home and helps whenever he can. Seven weeks later, the police start investigating a suspicious death and believe Charles may have been involved in this and hundreds of other hospital deaths over the last few years.

-Starring: Jessica Chastain, Eddie Redmayne, Nnamdi Asomugha and Noah Emmerich

-Adapted it from the book of the same name by Charles Graeber, although the film primarily focuses on the final third of the book regarding the friendship between Amy and Charles.

The Good Nurse could have played out like your standard serial killer movie full of grisly images and shocking twists. Director Tobias Lindholm bucks that route by focusing on the relationship between Amy and Charles and the ultimate sacrifice she had to make between her new friend and the patients who could become his next victims.

-You might expect a fast-paced medical drama like Grey’s Anatomy, but The Good Nurse is a darkly lit and quiet movie. Even the sparse outbursts of anger seem sharply heightened and out of place. 

-There’s a slow burn here, and I was waiting on some urgency at capturing him in order for the film to pick up the pace. You could feel the roadblocks presented between the cops and the hospital staff as both systems are working against each other as his victims pile up.

-The performances by Eddie Redmayne and Jessica Chastain are compelling, rich in vulnerability to keep you interested. Redmayne plays completely against type as he treats Charles Cullen like that quiet, helpful, neighborly demeanor. He shies away from any tendency to play him as a diabolical or manipulative. Jessica Chastain knows Amy is a very empathetic person and makes that her driving force. You can feel her resisting that conflict of trust and deception that is happening to her.

– It seems less concerned with the overall number of victims and the specifics of Charles’ crimes but rather the fractured places we find both Amy and Charles in and the affect he’s had on her.

RATING: 3 out of 5 TICKET STUBS

ENOLA HOLMES 2 (Netflix)

The hit Netflix sequel finds Millie Bobby Brown back as detective Enola Holmes who follows in her brother, Sherlock’s, footsteps by starting her own detective agency. Business is slow given people would rather work with her well-known older brother. He’s drowning in cases, and their mother is still on the run. Just as Enola is about to pack up on the new business, a young girl stops in pleading for Enola’s help to find her older sister. The sister works at a matchstick factory but is leading a secret life as a stage actress and dancer.  At first, it looks like maybe the missing sister ran away or left with a fan of hers. The mystery becomes a larger case than Enola can solve, and turns into a family affair as it may be connected to a separate case Sherlock is working on.

-Starring: Millie Bobby Brown, Henry Cavill, Helena Bonham Carter, David Thewlis, Louis Partridge

-Based on the Enola Holmes Mystery series by Nancy Springer

-The sequel still finds Enola breaking the fourth wall by addressing the audience mapping out her thought process on the mystery. Sherlock Holmes fans should be happy this still has the classic hallmarks of a Sherlock Holmes mystery with 221B Baker Street, Sherlock’s pipe, but a new take on the character of Moriarty which becomes a big twist in the movie.

-The character of Enola is just as ingenious, clever and forward thinking as she was before but with even more confidence now that she has a case under her belt. It’s a very appealing character for young audiences.

-Millie Bobby Brown gives Enola the spunk, personality, and attitude to stand apart from her work as Eleven on Stranger Things. Expect some humor with the sibling banter/rivalry between her and Henry Cavill as Sherlock.

-The director and writing team know how to write for the target audience to make sure the mystery of the case is not too convoluted to follow. They know a sequel should up the ante and push the boundaries of the character. It becomes bigger than she can solve with plenty of twists and turns along the way. It’s surprising relevant to today when Enola finds out the victim knows a deep dark secret about the matchstick factory and is then in turned being silenced by the older men in power about what she knows.

-David Thewlis plays a cocky constable that tells Enola, “It only takes one flame to start a fire.” The themes of bravery and speaking out are powerful and the character of Enola Holmes helps kids think outside the box in new and creative ways

-Inspired by the real matchstick strike in London in 1888

RATING: 4 out of 5 TICKET STUBS

CAUSEWAY (AppleTV+)

Jennifer Lawrence stars in the new AppleTV+ streaming movie, Causeway. Her character, Lynsey, is a military vet who suffered a severe accident while serving in Afghanistan. She needs assisted living for the time being as she goes through physical therapy and cognitive rehabilitation. Leaving the transitional care becomes challenging as she returns home to her mother’s house. It’s a very lived-in, run-down place in a blue-collar community in New Orleans. She gets some easy work cleaning pools, and a trip to the body shop with her truck leads to an unlikely friendship with James, a mechanic, who comes with his own past trauma.

-Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Bryan Tyree Henry, Linda Emond, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Jayne Houdyshell

-Quiet, slow character study driven by Lynsey’s return home to a place she doesn’t want to relive but one where she must acknowledge her past in order to start life all over again. There are a lot of moments of internal reflection that carry this movie and the character.

-Lynsey and James are two strangers who need each other, both for companionship and trust.

-The details of Lynsey’s life are slowly revealed as she opens up about her past to James. The film starts with her rehab stint but it’s unclear what caused this accident until later on. She’s a character that’s guarded and needs to feel a connection with someone else if she’s going to be vulnerable.

-There are smaller themes regarding the link between PTSD and trauma. Lynsey struggles with taking prescriptions for her mental health and thinking that deploying again will be her only way out of her hometown.

-It’s a refreshing career move for Jennifer Lawrence to take on an introverted character like this. There’s a stripped down, subtlety in her work as opposed to her work in The Hunger Games, X-Men, Silver Linings Playbook or American Hustle which found her in physically and mentally demanding roles.

-Bryan Tyree Henry is is always captivating on screen and this film is no different. There’s an easiness and authentic nature to what he brings to James as he opens up about his past.

RATING: 3 out of 5 TICKET STUBS