Venice Film Festival day eight reviews: Spring Breakers and The Company You Keep
On the last day of the 69th Venice Film Festival, two very strong films are presented: outrageous Spring Breakers by Harmony Korine (in competition) and classic political thriller The Company You Keep by American legend Robert Redford (out of competition).
Spring Breakers by Harmony Korine
Spring Breakers is pure visual enjoyment. Shot with exceptional technical skills and visionary flair, this movie is like an 88-minute R-rated MTV video with artistic personality.
Four high-school girls rob a food shop to raise the money for their spring break in Florida.
In between drugs, alcohol and sex parties, the teenagers get arrested and owe a favour to local gangster Alien (James Franco), who bails them out.
Faith (Selena Gomez) comes from a very religious background, but she wants a chance to feel free, to understand if that life is meant for her.
Cotty (Rachel Korine) likes excitement and sexual abandon, but violence still scares her.
Candy (Vanessa Hudgens) and Brit (Ashley Benson) are the wild ones, totally reckless and fearless. They find in Alien the soulmate they were looking for, forming a close threesome bond.
Take Rihanna’s latest music video and mix it with the quality and boldness of Drive: this is Spring Breakers.
The Company You Keep by Robert Redford
Political issues and intrigue are Redford’s territory.
Ben Shepard (Shia LaBeouf) is a young investigative journalist from the Albany Times. Tired of the lack of cases, he gets the chance of a lifetime when ex-activist Sharon Solarz (Susan Sarandon) from the 70s rebel group Weather Underground is arrested over the murder of a security guard.
Widower and local lawyer Jim Grant (Robert Redford) is somehow connected to Sharon’s crimes and runs away to prove his innocence, worried for the life of his daughter.
Ben digs faster and more efficiently than the FBI, frustrating special agent Cornelius (Terrence Howard).
This is a deep and classic thriller that will entertain and instruct from the beginning to the end. The great cast also includes Nick Nolte, Chris Cooper, Stanley Tucci, Anna Kendrick, Brandan Gleeson and Julie Christie.
Filippo L’Astorina, the Editor