Who We Are Now (2017)
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Beth is on the rebound after a long prison sentence and attempting to regain custody of a young son from her sister. Jess provides discount legal counsel to those who otherwise could not afford it. Her antagonists include hot-headed clients, a haughty judge and, most notably, a disapproving mother. Peter is discovering that the war in Afghanistan was just the beginning of his world being turned upside down. Each character grapples with temper, temptation, the cruelty of others and the cold, vice-like talons of judgment. To get the results they deserve and achieve harmony from dissonance, Beth, Peter and Jess may need to lighten their reactions, or to strike fast and hard. Justice in any case is a fragile balance.
Who We Are Now is totally enthralling. It manages to be witty without being pretentious. The characters, aided by fine acting, defy expectations and are suitably multi-faceted and intriguing. The film offers profound insight into the American justice system as well as the human heart, the foundation and life line of the entire system. Underlying the film is the belief that we are capable of change. It will keep you thinking long after the screen dims.
Highly recommend seeing this.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Zachary Quinto. He says these words with such haunting conviction, such a quiet ache, and I look into those glistening dark eyes of night sky that I love, and I believe him, every word. I see an angel that's been through hell, a man that hasn't stopped fighting to survive, returned from the oblivion, victorious, and yet he has still lost....... everything.
I also see an actor, an ARTIST, who deserves so much more than these peculiar productions he keeps finding himself in, whose mesmerizing talent far exceeds the confines of these obscure titles. In an otherwise convoluted, mind-numbingly dull, frustrated, overly vulgar non-starter, Zachary SHINES as a charming, witty, sweet young soldier, whose handsome smile, and playful demeanor, almost hide the bruises of a tortured soul, a fractured man haunted by a horrific war, and even more by his desperate desire to return to it. What he does with his sorely scant amount of screen time is phenomenal, and with every painful secret revealed behind those genuinely tender eyes, I found myself so feverishly wishing he were the main focus instead of Julianne Nicholson's appallingly abrasive, immoral, flippant ex-con character, Beth. In the 95 minute screen time, which for the most part seemed torturously slow, I felt like I knew Zachary's character, Peter, so much more intimately, than I ever got to know her. If they had made him the main character, given him the spotlight, this would have been a much more intriguing, emotional film, with an actual beating heart.
The premise itself, sounds so compelling! A mother returned from prison, fighting for custody of her son, who falls for a soldier, traumatized by the horrors of war. She's aided by an idealistic young attorney, played adequately by Emma Roberts. But while I should be championing this woman for wanting to get her life together, and get her son back, I don't. She hasn't changed, she's a HORRIBLE person, devoid of any sense of morality, or even one remotely likeable trait. She's vile! She shouldn't have her son back, and while I'm happy she does find love, it's obvious, she doesn't deserve Peter, and could potentially be more harmful for both him and her son, than good. There isn't even an ending! She just gives up.
Zachary's beautiful performance excluded, this movie felt empty. With such a promising, and thought-provoking title like, "Who We Are Now," I wanted more. I wanted to feel inspired by this mother's love for her son, and I didn't. I did however, feel so moved, and drawn to Zachary's character, who literally carried this movie on his back, and almost made it worth watching. We need more of him, we need to hand over the spotlight to HIM, he needs more opportunities for his ohhhhh so obvious destiny as the lovely, leading man. I needed more from this movie, but more importantly, HE needed more, he deserved more. I love you, Zachary, I love who you are now, and who you've always been, and Hollywood is failing you, not understanding the absolute GEM they have!!! Somebody give this man a role worthy of his unique, absolutely transfixing, visceral, infinitely faceted talent! I need more movies that see him for who he truly is, that just let him step out of the supporting actor shadow, and be ELECTRIC!!!!! I'm so proud of him, and even though I did not like this movie, I adored his role, and how he brought such depth to a truly dismal story.
<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
The character of Jess irks me in another, more general way. Emma Roberts, besides being a talented actress, is a woman of exceptional beauty and skin complexion. In America, girls with such physical qualities almost never have as their career goal to be lawyers helping the lower strata of society. They either choose more snazzy and lucrative professions or at least try to get a job with major law firms that provide more career exposure, a better pay, and better marriage prospects. But, this is nothing new. One of the reasons movies, even when they deal with serious subjects, lose some of their verisimilitude is the fact that most actors look much better than common people in the street they're supposed to portray.