"The Canyons" Movie Review: 2 Stars
by Michael Phillips
Already trolling for customers online, "The Canyons" is a four-auteur folly of considerable interest despite its badness.
Consider "The Canyons" a miniature variation of those pictures.
Beginning with an opening montage of still photographs depicting abandoned, decrepit multiplexes and single-screen movie houses, everything in "The Canyons" refers directly or indirectly to the death of movies. The Deen character is soulless depravity in good-looking threads. Throughout the film, narratively in the style of
How's Lohan? Here and there, not bad, though separate from her characterization, her performance is a study in anxiety. Certainly there's an extra level of suspense going on each time Lohan's character gets behind the wheel of her car and hits the LA streets. Her co-star is Deen, the veteran porn star (some nudity here, but it's in the bounds of an outlying R rating) with the pouty, Valley Boy line readings that scream, "You'll see soon enough why I wasn't hired for my line readings." He's weak on screen. But Schrader probably knew that. He has referred to "The Canyons," already a legendarily tricky and difficult shoot, as an exemplar of "discard casting."
Ellis is a pluperfect hypocrite, decrying all the objectification and venality afoot in L.A. while mining it for all he can. Yet Schrader, against the odds, manages a few good shots, even a scene or two that holds together and imparts the right sort of uneasiness. My favorite bit -- a throwaway, really -- finds the two female leads having lunch at a sidewalk cafe near a busy intersection. The way Schrader sets up one of the angles, it's as if the women are about to be creamed by an oncoming UPS delivery trunk. "The Canyons" may not work, and the sex (as well as the synthesized glop on the soundtrack) may be tragically unhip, but it was made by a director who still cares.
"The Canyons" Movie Trailer
While young movie producer Christian makes films to keep his trust fund intact, his actress girlfriend, Tara, hides an affair with an actor from her past
No MPAA rating: (nudity, violence, language).
Running time: 1:40.
Credits: Directed by
Article: Copyright © 2013 Tribune Media Services, Inc.
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