Captain Fantastic Directed and written by Matt Ross USA, 2016 …
Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell are ostensibly co-stars on The Americans, but, increasingly, the former’s character has become the more interesting one. While Elizabeth’s unceasing dedication to the USSR has become a bit one-dimensional (despite her taking Paige to church), Phillip’s conflict between his commitment and his growing embrace of American life makes him a more dynamic and complex personality. Her steeliness makes her a fascinating “straight man” to his less disciplined self, but it’s his lack of self-control that makes for the more human and fascinating conflict. This week’s episode, “Salang Pass,” amplifies the compelling nature of his character by testing the limits of the viewer’s sympathies through having him act abhorrently without completely severing our connection with him.
A passionate starving artist is at the center of The Time Being, an overly portentous new drama that doesn’t see such a central figure as being too stereotypical. No, this is a movie about how Art is Serious, so serious, in fact, that focusing entirely on one’s work trumps trivial matters like work, family, friends, and more. Though the movie is packed with pretty images, thanks entirely to the skill and craft of its fairly overqualified cinematographer, The Time Being is a mostly limp portrait of the artist as inwardly selfish and ambitious.