Max Rose (2016)
what a joke
I cannot think of one single thing that I would change about this film. The acting is incomparable, the directing deft, and the writing poignantly brilliant.
The acting in this movie is really good.
Exactly the movie you think it is, but not the movie you want it to be.
I hate this sappy, wrist-slit of a bore. A sad old man learns that his late, beloved wife was cheating on him, and he spends the movie getting sadder. Sure it's authentic, but to what end? What is the message here that serves any sort of meaningful purpose? An empty downer and a tonal mess.
Jerry Lewis was cast in this slobbering bore-fest about an old geezer whom has recently lost his wife.The most sore-thumb quality about this tripe is the fact that it has no point except to prop up Lewis as a kindly old load whom we're supposed to find irresistible..... I did not. Hopefully this will be his swan song as an actor (by the way, he was NEVER an actor).Lewis was a comedian, nothing more -- and even then, he was funny only when he was funny, which wasn't very often. His pathetic films (especially the ones he directed) have proved that.If nothing else, Lewis' movies over the years (most notably in the 1960's) can be viewed as a poignant exercise in self-aggrandizement, similar to the way he conducted himself on the Labor Day telethons where he always said things like, "What 'I' have tried to do here....". Always "I", not "We".... "My kids", not "Our kids", etc.And for those who are too stupid to realize it (and there are many), Lewis cannot act, he cannot direct, and he certainly cannot sing. Just like any other mediocre performer, Lewis lucked into the position to do whatever he wanted to do in the entertainment industry, so he thinks he's a singer. Having fun in your little fantasy-life there, Jerry? In his lame attempt to feel superior to others, Lewis has never possessed the cognizance to understand that other people (even if they're not 'famous') are worthwhile human beings. Being famous, trying to be humorous, or owning a yacht, is not what makes the man. That comes from the inside. Being a loving person comes from an amiable heart.Most of all, love comes from sincerity which allows a person to accept and help others. Jerry didn't get that, he just never got it. Not when he was pan-handling for nickels on those telethons, and certainly not in 'Max Rose'. The audience is only offered a character filled with syrupy vomit which Jerry was hoping would be construed as "charm", an obvious failure.No doubt Lewis was expecting a 'deserved' Oscar for this.... deservedly, he didn't get it.
Memory is a funny thing, it ebbs and flows with one's mood and circumstances and so does perspective. In Max Rose, we meet a recent widower (played by Jerry Lewis), who finds reason to believe that his wife of 65 years, Eva (Claire Bloom) was in love with another man. He declares at her funeral that the marriage "was a lie." Max, who is already a cantankerous old man, becomes even more recalcitrant after his loss and engaging in a revisionist journey wherein he lets his own demons pollute his mind. Lewis, in his first feature role in more than 20 years, does well in presenting the depression and anger that Max suffers, and it is perhaps the most redeeming quality of the film because something else is still missing. Read more of my review here: https://indieethos.com/2016/09/23/max- rose/
Greetings again from the darkness. It's pretty rare that an actor goes twenty plus years between lead roles, but such is the case for the legendary comedian and Muscular Dystrophy telethon host Jerry Lewis. Writer/director Daniel Noah's film was shown at Cannes Film Festival in 2013 as part of the tribute to Lewis, but it's taken about three years for it to gain any type of United States distribution.The film begins with a grief-stricken Max Rose (Lewis) dealing with the death of Eva, his wife of 65 years (played by the great Claire Bloom). We see Eva in flashbacks to little life moments, and also as an apparition and conversation partner as Max tries to solve the mystery of a 1959 make-up case it's a mystery that could destroy Max's memories and the accepted version of his life.Max is being looked after on a regular basis by his doting granddaughter (Kerry Bishe) and periodically by his son (Kevin Pollack), who has more than enough stress in his own life. Max, a retired jazz pianist, has clearly never been the warmest or most open of gents, and the eulogy he delivers at Eva's funeral can best be described as self-centered.Soon enough, Max has moved into an assisted-living facility and the best scenes of the film find him re-discovering life with the likes of Rance Howard, Lee Weaver and Mort Sahl. Unfortunately this sequence is short-lived and Max is back on the trail of the mystery make-up case which leads him to the mansion of a movie producer named Ben (or BS, if you're looking for a punchline). Dean Stockwell and Jerry Lewis are two screen veterans who know how to work off of one another, but just aren't given much to work within their time together.And that's probably the film's greatest weakness it leans heavily on nostalgia. Seeing Jerry Lewis (age 90 today) back on screen generates a warm feeling – as do Ms. Bloom and the other old-timers, but the story is just too simple to provide any real insight or commentary on aging, loss, or family stress or secrets. The combination of nostalgia and sentimentality can work provided there is more depth – something that's simply lacking with our story and characters.Mr. Lewis gamely plays an unsympathetic character, and does capture the cantankerous nature that we've all witnessed in some elderly folks. There is even a laugh out loud moment featuring knitted pot holders, and we do get Lewis in a red clown nose – fortunately without his "Hey Lady!" voice. What's missing is the depth required if one plans to tackle a theme like making peace with the past especially when the past isn't there to defend herself.