Dallas Movie Screening

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Sunday, March 4, 2018

The Red Sparrow

She can do almost no wrong.

I, of course am talking about Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence, whose only minor blunders were the ridiculous teen suspenser “House at the End of the Street” (grade: D-) as well as the very mediocre “Passengers” (C-) from 2016.

In “Red Sparrow,” she is ballerina Dominika Egorova, an elite ballet dancer whose career is cut short due to an understudy’s jealousy streak.

Because of this, the Russian government really has no use for her, but under her uncle’s (Matthias Schoernats) tutelage, she still has value. She goes undercover as a sparrow, an assassin without a conscience or memory of what is right or wrong.

This shift sets up the majority of the two hour plus running time. The exact running time is 2 hours, 19 minutes, which is about the running time of Lawrence’s previous flicks, since all “The Hunger Games” entries ran over 2 hours.

The supporting cast all give the necessary turns. This includes Joel Edgerton’s foreign spy Nate Nash, who is working undercover for the C.I.A.

Also important in the storyline are Charlotte Rampling and Oscar-winner Jeremy Irons. Rumpling’s part is that of a Soviet higher-up simply referred to as Headmistress. Her part is that she has no real emotion, just an observer sans concern.

Irons plays another understated turn as General Korchnoi, who claims to be a key asset in determining Egorova’s fate. It is not a showy performance like “Live Free or Die Hard,” but it does what it needs to in setting up the storyline.

In a small supporting role is Mary-Louise Parker. She plays an American diplomat who has a drinking predicament.

My only problem was that the majority of the time, Lawrence has the Russian accent down pat. I noticed, however, that a couple of times it faltered and her native Kentuckian accent slipped through.

Edgerton gives another great turn as Nash, always displaying and emoting the care he has for Lawrence’s Dominika Egorova.

As with either director David O. Russell, Lawrence seems to know where to steer Jennifer Lawrence and her performance. She knows her characters and motivations within, and it shows in every single frame of her performance.

It is hard to say, but I did not dislike this movie too much. It worked as a good old modern pretzel-twisting tale that contains a decent twist ending.

Grade: B+
(Review by Ricky Miller)

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