Fading Glamour and Psychological Grit in ‘American Hustle’

Who’s the criminal in a thieving system? In a band of uglies, who’s the worst? We audience members love watching horrible people make bad choices. The length of the average feature length film gives us just the right amount of time to decide who we feel sympathy for, who did the darkest deeds, who deserved…

The Primordial Darkness of ‘August: Osage County’

An alternative tagline for the screen version of August: Osage County could be “Streep and Roberts go darker than ever, fist in fist”. The thriller angle of this drama is seeing these two women, who have stunned audiences in award-winning biopics and the like for decades, revel in portraying what turned out to be possibly…

The Beautiful Evil: Hitchcock’s ‘Shadow of a Doubt’

‘Shadow of a Doubt’ is a beautiful example of the study of Evil. We are constantly confronted with images and descriptions of violence, and in these accounts of atrocious acts we rarely get a chance to consider the criminal from any angle beyond criminality. Where evil meets innocence, and where it wins over good people,…