WILDLIFE***** Don’t Miss

THE METICULOUSLY CRAFTED images from Paul Dano’s outstanding debut movie Wildlife (from the book of the same name by Richard Ford) are a combination of Edward Hopper and Life magazine. Like the protagonists of the story, they are images of emptiness, loneliness and desolation.

This is the beginning of the sixties. And once again, the Brinson family (Jerry -Jake Gyllenhaal-, Jeanette -Carrie Mulligan – and Joe – Ed Oxenbould – their fourteen year old son) have moved in search of work. The job Jerry’s managed to land, as an obsequious attendant at a golf club, won’t last long. And once again, he – too proud to ‘allow’ his wife to work, or even for the kind of job he’s prepared to accept – is in need of a job.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. He joins up as part of a crew of equally desperate men, willing to risk their lives for $1.00 and hour, fighting wildfires that are raging somewhere upstate.

She, left to manage on her own, must, like the wildlife threatened by the fires, learn how to adapt or die. Carrie Mulligan (Mudbound, Far From the Madding Crowd) is such an extraordinary actor that really she needs no script to convey her feelings. Her face tells all; every slight hint of emotion is writ large there. And it is a face that slowly changes from one of gaiety and sympathetic support to joylessness and despair. The actor seems to grow increasingly haggard as the story unfolds…as her character tries to find whatever means she can, to retain at least the veneer of middle class “respectability”.

Her innocent, uncomprehending son, Joe, through whose bewildered eyes we see much of the action tries to help out by getting a part time job. He’s a photographer’s assistant…taking the portraits of people eager to strike a pose, a pretence, of happiness. He’s uncomprehending when his mother, decked out in a flashy yellow dress, her “desperation dress”, takes him along to have dinner with the town’s elderly, rich car franchisee, Mr. Miller (Bill Camp: Red Sparrow, The Looming Tower, Molly’s Game)

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

The bigger portrait we’re seeing is of the archetypal nuclear family crumbling before our eyes. Jerry, the father, feeling lessened by his inability to provide flees to face up to his own hell; Jeanette, the mother throws all caution to the wind, shucks off her maternal role and gives in to her circumstances. It is the son, Joe, shorn of parental guidance and responsibility that has to manage somehow.

Dano’s world is the part of America that, unlike Mr. Miller, has somehow been left out of the upwardly mobile post-war boom. They are the people Miller describes with typical capitalist indifference as too incompetent to grow rich. These are the ones fighting their own internal wildfires and learning how best to adapt or die; and perhaps not knowing the difference between the two.

This is a small movie (At times it feels like an adaptation of a play) with a huge emotional footprint. It’s a thoughtful, intellectually rich story, co written by Dano’s accomplished partner, Zoe Kazan (Ruby Sparks). Gyllenhaal, subtle and outstanding as always, was its co producer. They’re a formidable team. As the lost, nerdy, surprisingly strong son, Ed Oxenbould (The Butterfly Tree) is compelling…un-intimidated by the acting firepower around him.

Wildlife is probably not show-ey enough to get an Oscar nod. But this, along with The Wife and American Animals are among the best of this year.

So far


WILDLIFE Dir/writer: Paul Dano (as an actor: 12 Years a Slave. TV: War and Peace). Co-Writer: Zoe Kazan. With: Carey Mulligan, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ed Oxenbould, Bill Camp. Production Designer: Akin McKenzie. Cinematographer: Diego Garcia





IN THE SAME way that the movies have co-opted gangster stories and Westerns to offer deeper insights into themes of identity, loyalty, masculinity etc. there’s no reason to believe why the heist movie couldn’t also evolve away from the enjoyable nonsense of say, Ocean’s Eleven, into something more profound.

Steve McQueen’s new movie, Widows, sorta succeeds in doing this. But often it feels like two stories, each one restraining the other’s full potential.

The plot involves the collusion of three, newly impoverished, widows, along with a single mom hairdresser (Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki and Cynthia Erivo). Their gangster husbands have all been killed (in a tremendously exciting shootout). Led by Veronica (Davis), the wife of the (deceased) ringleader (Liam Neeson), they plot the theft of some five million in cash, following the careful plans he’d left behind.

So far so good.

McQueen then builds his story – the lead up to the heist- on parallel tracks: one track follows their, initially stumbling, but growingly confident progress as they case the joint and map out their larcenous steps. The other track unfolds their relationships with their partners. Theirs have been lives shadowed by deceptions and the fragilities – physical, emotional and financial – of accepting their roles as the weaker, supporter sex.

Their need (McQueen’s anthem) is to shrug off their past vulnerabilities…to find strength where there was weakness, to empower themselves…newly dependent on no man; and to use their perceived weakness as a mask behind which to hide their plans.

Here are four women getting back against the serial misogynist abuses of their past…or on another level, here’s an archetype of every woman’s need to assert herself against generations of indifference and abuse.

McQueen offers us a world of stark contrasts; one rooted in corruption. The word of God is proffered by a power seeking preacher, praying for love; a murderous enforcer (terrifyingly played by Daniel Kaluuya) is working out of a church; the cathedrals of the rich butt up against the novels of the poor; the platitudes of stumping politicians (spearheaded by Robert Duvall and Colin Farrell) hide millions in kickbacks and graft; the life of love and friendships are all buried under transactional arrangements.

And the women live in a self-imposed bubble. The money, the lifestyle, the potential of security is all that matters. It’s a gilded cage shielding them from the full reality of the sordidness.

Until they’re shielded no more. In a world of transactions, where money and people are bought and sold, stolen loot may be the only route to the uncompromised life. The past must pay for the future.

This more profound area is clearly where McQueen is keenest.

But as heist movies go, the wheels come off the bus (or the getaway car). This is a far cry from the dreadful, cynical Oceans Eight. But McQueen works so hard to convince us that it’s “true”, that ordinary women really could pull it off, that the improbable cleverness we’ve come to expect from heist movies from The Sting to Insider Man just isn’t there…even though there are some wild improbable coincidences. The entire build up is tension-free and feels flat-footed. There is one massive twist, which, along with various political sub plots, feels unnecessary to his themes of empowerment and deception. Even his four main characters feel underdeveloped.

This is a two hour movie in search of ten hours of Netflix.

It’s an enjoyable enough film. The ensemble cast are at the top of their game, especially Elizabeth Debicki as the proto prostitute trying to rise above her past. And Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn adds some snappy dialogue

But it’s a long way to go after the high of Twelve Years a Slave.


WIDOWS. Dir: Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave; Shame). Writer: McQueen and Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl). With: Viola Davis, Liam Neeson, Michelle Rodrigues, Elizabeth Debicki (The Night Manager), Liam Neeson, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo (Murder on the Orient Express; Sicario 2: Soldado), Robert Duvall, Colin Farrell, Cynthia Erviro (Bad Times at the El Royale). Cinematographer: Sean Bobbitt (On Chesil Beach)



PETERLOO** Leigh’s Waterloo

THE MASS MARKETED history of England has pretty much only focused on the high and the mighty. Kings, colonialism and, mainly, Churchill.

Here’s a much needed antidote.

Peterloo was the massacre of the innocents. In 1819, a vast crowd of peasants and workers, many unemployed, many starving and bent under the yoke of recently passed Corn Laws, gathered together peacefully in St Peters Field in Manchester. They’d come together to listen to radical orator Henry Hunt (Rory Kinnear) and to press for better Parliamentary representation. Their lords and masters, contemptuous and threatened by the fear of a French Revolution on English soil, unleashed the 15th Hussars to scatter the crowd. These sword-wielding, bayonet-piercing, possibly drunk Hussars charged the crowd like the wolf unto the fold and wrecked havoc.

Director Mike Leigh (Mr. Turner, Vera Drake) seeks to make the obvious point that, to a certain class of people (i.e the present British government) the ordinary folk continue to be feared and demonised. Peterloo’s “unruly mob” is today’s “hoard” of benefit abusing shirkers…to be put down at any cost.

This is an important side of the rich tapestry of the English identity that needs to be a part of the national conversation. But Leigh isn’t the person to do it. Here the story has overwhelmed its teller. Leigh’s ideological passion is so strong that this shoddily told tale never rises above the level of a well-illustrated History Channel lesson.

We expect art…our artists… to engage and transform us through credible characters that make us give a damn, and through the selection (and omission) of detail whose careful storyline construction forms a dramatic arc that has the power to seduce us into the heart of the artist.

No such luck with Peterloo. We’re offered a series of strident speeches by various, often anonymous, talking heads, many of whom never reappear. (A small mercy). These “good guys” are contrasted with the “bad guys”: nasty boo-hiss villains, dripping with contempt and malevolence. Their ultimate leader and moral force is the prince regent. He’s clearly the symbol of the Royal family, the upper class and ALL THAT’S WRONG. He’s fat, effete and degenerate.

Maxine Peak as an archetypal downtrodden but unbowed woman trying to earn a few extra shillings for her destitute family, and Kinnear as the pompous, vain Hunt try their best to bring some humanity to the history lesson. But even their skills are overwhelmed by Leigh’s thudding self-righteous solemnity.

This is Leigh’s undigested history: it’s about the French Revolution, The Napoleonic War, the Corn Laws, the dark Satanic cotton mills, capitalism, the feckless upper classes, working class nobility v upper class entitlement, starvation, unemployment, and more. The rich look pampered and powdered. The poor all look dumb and degenerate. All in six hours (OK, it’s only two hours but it felt like six). Six pounds of stuff in a two pound bag!

And nary a thread to knit it all together seamlessly

Now, let’s be clear, I’m on Leigh’s side politically.
But as art, this movie’s a dud.


PETERLOO. Dir (and writer): Mike Leigh. With: Rory Kinnear, Maxine Peake, Neil Bell. Cinematographer: Dick Pope (Mr. Turner). Production designer: Suzie Davies (On Chesil Beach)




A STAR IS BORN***** It Sure Shines Bright!


FOR SO LONG, we’ve marvelled at the whizzbangerie, the pomp and glittering theatricality of Lady Gaga. But who knew she could evoke such raw, honest passion in a song? Who knew she could act as well as she did? Bradley Cooper (for me) cemented his A-class acting chops on American Hustle; but who knew he too could belt out a melody like this? (And not the half-assed pass-for-singing Ryan Gosling offered in La La Land). Who knew he could direct?

A Star is Born (version 4) has offered us two new stars, reborn in a new light in this immensely likeable movie. We witness the downward spiral of Bradley’s character, Jack, a charismatic rock star cowboy who falls head over heels for Ally, (Gaga), a waitress moonlighting as a singer in a Trans club. His search one night, after the adrenaline and energy of a concert, for a drink finds him both the drink and the woman he’ll shepherd to stardom and fall in love with.

The drink becomes his demon; the woman becomes for a while, his saviour.

As his star declines and hers rises, the story examines the delicate balance between artistic authenticity and commercial image making. Both Jack and Ally are fighting against their own personal imperfections: he has to fight his way past his failing hearing and his tinnitus; she has to overcome her looks. To Jack, she’s beautiful; to her, her nose is too big; to the industry she’s just not right.

Jack’s intention is for Ally to be the master of her own story, her own voice. He tries to shape her to always remain authentic to herself. But it is the shaping influence of her manager that succeeds. She is turned into brand and that creative soulful honesty is reshaped by her manager (Rafi Gavron) who turns her into a mix of Madonna and Beyoncé. A star may have been born, but marketing has determined its make up.

Jack however remains the tortured hard drinking cowboy, untamed by success. The last twenty minutes of the movie focuses on him, the doomed existential hero destined to ride out into the sunset. Perhaps it’s an ironic comment on America itself

In a sense, Ally the person remains a tender, loyal loving partner, and caring daughter (much is made of their contrasting family histories) still capable of finding something worthwhile to say. Ally the Star is a success but an unreal creation moulded to please a fickle crowd.

So though it’s a story about creativity, fame, success and music, perhaps it’s also really a sly and cynical look at how we all curate our own inner stars: either stay authentic and court, at best, modest success or be the brand you need to be. Screw authenticity. Your star is waiting to be born.

The chemistry between the two principals is tangibly strong. The directing really lulls you into the feeling that the intensity between the characters is shared by the actors. Only just acting folks. Maybe.

Bradley Cooper’s directing feels exciting and fresh. Certainly the opening scenes (some actually filmed live at Glastonbury) drops the viewer into the energy, sweat and sexuality of rock star performing. Cooper (who co-wrote) develops his story through a series of contrasts that build the tale. We shift from his ear-bursting sell-out stadium crowds to her quiet performance in the sleazy Trans club. He’s singing of his life; she’s singing a French pre war tune…too shy to sing from her heart. As she becomes more and more surrounded by handlers, he becomes more and more alone. And yet, though these two lives really operate on increasingly different planes, the love that binds makes nonsense of the differences.
The music is tremendous. Cooper and Lady Gaga are credited with writing most of the songs (along with a suite of others). So along with directing and singing, Bradley Cooper can now also add song writing, and screenplays to his CV.

Take a bow Bradley


A STAR IS BORN. Dir: Bradley Cooper. With: Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, , Sam Elliott, Greg Grunberg, Dave Chapelle, Cinematography: Matthew Libatique (Mother!), Writers: Eric Roth (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) , Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters


THE WIFE*****Outstanding

THE SCRIPT (from Jane Anderson) is word perfect: that balance between the convincing conversations of fully realized people and philosophical, thematic heft. The acting (especially between the two principals Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce ) is peerless. Indeed the nuances of Close’s portrayal of Joan Castleman, the eponymous wife – restrained, agonised, celebratory and finally steely determined and angry – is probably a career best and, thus far, the Oscar shoe-in. Interestingly the role of Joan as a young woman is beautifully played by Annie Starke, Ms Close’s actual daughter. And Swedish director, Bjorn Runge’s directing is for the most part unobtrusive (though he can’t resist amping up the score at times to underline the drama); it allows his actors room to shine.

This would not be the movie to miss this year.

The very complex story, from the book by Meg Wolitzer centres around the awarding of the Nobel prize for literature to Joe Castleman (Pryce). He is lionised and feted by the awarding committee as the man whose genius and emotional insights have reframed the idea of the novel.

But, as one investigative biographer (Christian Slater as Nathaniel, the faux charming snoop) seeks to discover, is this true? For a medium that presents its truths through ‘lies’, what really is the truth to this much celebrated genius? Certainly Joe has created a neat narrative, a sort of self-hagiography, that he presents to the world. But it’s, mainly, a lie. The Wife presents a world in which there are self-protective fictions we wrap around ourselves. These necessary shields mask the deeper truths about our real, and private, selves.

The truth Nathaniel, the biographer, feels he’s unearthed is really the wife’s story: Here’s a woman who was herself a talented writer – a woman writer in a male, misogynist literary club – who has been shunted aside; whose public role is to be the -unrecognised, almost anonymous – adoring supporter in chief, a woman who has chosen to ignore his serial affairs and must forever “stand by your man”.

It’s a revelation worthy of a hit book.

Joe, the man she stands by certainly is a shit. He humiliates her publicly (snidely noting to one group that “my wife doesn’t write”); he’s a dismissive father (possibly threatened by his son’s literary talents) and is really only focused on himself.
But the truths of the tale are far deeper than the clichés of “self obsessed shit marries long suffering wife”. They go to the heart of identity and our sense of self…the real truth of who we really are, who we’re acknowledged to be and how much of ourselves we need to keep private.

As Joan herself observes to Nathaniel, “I am much more interesting than you think”. The only further ‘reveal’ she’s prepared to acknowledge publicly, aggrieved by her husband’s grovelling praise of her supportive role, is her enigmatic comment to her Nobel host that she’s “a kingmaker”.

For really, despite the (public) sense that she’s been hard done by, she’s (privately) been able to find genuine artistic fulfillment and private self worth in ways that remain forever closed to public consumption.

The story cleverly fools us into thinking we’ve figured her out, but its real ‘reveal’ is one of those that delivers that satisfactory “aha!” to drive us into reconsidering all that’s gone before.

A second or third viewing is definitely called for.


THE WIFE. Dir: Bjorn Runge. With: Glenn Close, Christian Slater, Jonathan Pryce, Harry Lloyd, Annie Starke. Written by: Jane Anderson (screenplay); Meg Wolitzer(novel). Cinematographer: Ulf Brantas. Composer: Jocelyn Pook


Glorious Ireland. A Short Visit

SO, MAINLY IT rained; dull, light-absorbing veils of fine, misty rain that would occasionally belch a heavier downpour, spritzing any hope for a glorious view. It was as though the entire world had turned glaucomic. Then again, this was Ireland. And this was late September.
You takes what you gets!

And then, occasionally, announcing the ‘better’ days to come with an unexpected glare of what could be Nabokov’s “brief crack of light”, the curtains would part, and a glorious, glowingly green world of rolling pastures, calm unhurried ports and lolling cows would reveal itself to skeptical eyes. It is not the green of vernal English pastures; this is a green undercoated with bright photons of yellow and blue. The result is a singular kind of luminescence…Irish emerald.

Kinsale, our first stop, is a small pretty village that embraces a crowded armada of yachts. Too small to boast its own cinema (yikes). But large enough for the three book-jammed bookshops and a full blown literary festival. This presence of a literary love spilling out into the hurly-burly of everyday life was something we came to recognize (appreciate?) as quintessentially Irish. All that and a belly-full of tempting restaurants would deny any categorization that Kinsale is a mere tourist seaside resort. (Though from the vantage point of our holiday villa felt it very much like that)

Cinema lacking, notwithstanding, the place is rich in history. Created in 1223, it’s the site of a famous battle (of Kinsale) in 1601. Here, a mongrel army of Spanish and Irish soldiers were defeated by the English. The Spanish went back home to their tapas. And the old Gaelic culture of Ireland died on the battlefield.

But this would not be the first attempt of the Irish to wrest themselves free from their colonizers. Four hundred years later (in 1921) after sporadic battles and never giving in to the English yoke, Ireland was partitioned and became an independent republic.

Blarney Castle, home of the Blarney Stone and mythical heart of Irish eloquence, is not far away. It’s a stunning castle hewn out of a mountain rising into a cloudy sky, framed by a necklace of blossoming flowerbeds and undulating brooks. If you’re prepared to queue for an hour and hang upside down suspended by belts, you can kiss the stone. You don’t need to. Get in to any taxi and experience the ongoing one person stand up (or sit down) routines of endlessly engaging storytellers.

Pubs, penance and palaver. Ireland in four words.

Of the surrounding towns, Clonakilty, birthplace of Michael Collins (commander in chief of the Irish Free State movement) is a pleasant, if forgettable market town. It does have one grand claim to fame though: it’s the home of world famous (they claim) Clonakilty black pudding…which certainly deserves its fame.

It is the even smaller town nearby – Timoleague – that’s more interesting. Here, legend has it, beekeeping and honey had its beginnings in Ireland. But more dramatically, this is the location of the grand, dark, ruined majesty of Timoleague Abbey. Founded in 1240 by Franciscan monks, by 1620, it was a centre of European learning; a hub of visiting philosophers. Twenty years later, Cromwellian soldiers – a rapacious nasty lot – sacked it and burned it down.
It’s not only ignorant ISIS jihadists who, fearing knowledge seek to destroy history.

The centre of the attractive city of Cork, famed for its rebels and its harbour, boasts a magnificent airy local marketplace on one side (the English market) and a fascinating art museum/opera house/theatre on the other. Food and culture. They represent one dimension of the city. But the web of stores that knit these two places together – Boots, WH Smith, Next, Top Shop, Fat Face, Starbucks, H&M etc – are another dimension; they suggest that a hundred years after the victory for independence, England and global businesses have once again colononized the place.

For all it’s attractive architecture (and there’s a gasp inducing cathedral – St. Fin Barre’s – at the far end of town) the heart of the city looks just like any other town made faceless by globalization. It is the little cobbled back streets that give it its soul.
Cork seems poised between a little city that could and a little city that could have been.

The graceful river that threads its way through the town (with the wonderful name, the Lee) is not embraced by the city; it seems more a problem to be overcome (build bridges) than an asset to be celebrated (build boardwalks). But follow it Eastward and the girdles that hem it in soon loosen and at Cobh (pronounced Cove), the river exhales into an expanse of cold clear water flowing toward the sea. It was from here that the Titanic set sail; as did almost three million citizens, bound (mostly unwillingly) for brave new worlds.

It’s a pretty little town easily reached by a short train ride.

After all those martial shadows, nice to arrive at this elegant, humming city of literature. Dublin (from the Viking, “Dyfflin”) is birthplace to Yates, Joyce, Wilde, Shaw, Beckett, Goldsmith, Stoker, Swift, O’Keefe, Sheridan. Oh, and Bono too. An entire Eng. Lit. 101 born in a single city. The place simply reeks of culture. It must be the water…and the way they distill it here with hops and barley.

No wonder the city revels in its literary traditions. There are statues, an entire museum dedicated to its writers, murals, landmarks and, it seems, daily celebrations of its gorgeous, mellifluous reinvention of English. How nice it is to bump into a statue of Joyce and not some obscure slave-owning colonial overlord. Trinity College Dublin boasts a library that holds over 200,000 rare manuscripts including the famous Book of Kells, an illustrated bible that dates back to 800ACE. A limited edition copy is yours for a mere £22,000.

This pub-dense city is split down the middle by the River Liffey.

Each side of the divide considers their side best. The choice seems to be between the style and erudition of the South v the polyglot proletarian energy of the North. The genteel v the gritty. Of course, in this island, there are more profound North/South divides. But we won’t go there.

And, to us wandering strangers, apart from the liveliness of the touristy Temple District, there are two landmarks that seem to visualize the South: The rarefied academia of Trinity College Dublin, founded by Elizabeth I (and resolutely Protestant since then) and the hallowed Guinness brewery (attested here by this delightful park: one of the man public spaces donated and created by the Guinness Foundation), an alcoholic shrine to the black stuff

The North felt like a place of transformations: a marsh turned into a village, a church turned into a pub, a maternity hospital turned into a cinema, a cinema turned into a McDonalds, a Street turned into a boulevard…

and best of all for both North and South, a colony turned into a Republic.






HERE’S ANOTHER coming of age drama; this one with the added trendy frisson of SSA (same-set attraction) to give it “edge”. Set in the 90’s, Chloe Grace Moretz is the eponymous Cameron Post, a quietly rebellious teenager, whose lesbian relationship with a fellow schoolmate is unmasked by her (male) Prom night date when he comes upon them making out. It’s a nice touch that this inversion of (the then) accepted code of heterosexual attraction would occur during the very night meant to underscore American coupling: the bizarre tribal mating ritual of Prom Night.

Cameron is promptly dispatched by her troubled aunt (For some reason that really has no relevant reason, Cameron’s parents are both dead) to God’s Promise. This is a place of Christian fellowship where the aim – of its brother/sister team (John Gallagher Jr and Jennie Ehle) – is to forcefully pray away the gay of its small group of troubled teens. These spiritual leaders are really a stand-in for the mores of the broader society that, based upon the scriptures, has deemed homosexuality a sin (like murder).

What the movie never interrogates is the extent of their honesty or cynicism. What it does make clear, is that sexual choice is an integral part of who we are. We exist as sexual beings. So any attempt to deny this, to change it, is an inevitably doomed enterprise. The teens at God’s Promise (all seen through the prism of their sexual “deviance”) are faced with the stark choice of self-loathing (and in one case, traumatic self-harm) pretense or rebellion. But in the end, no amount of self-righteous bullying or piously mouthed prayers will contain natural desire. We all need the freedom to be who we are (duh!)

The movie certainly offers enough flashes of shouty self-hate drama to give an impression of real people in the throes of identity loss and confusion. But essentially the narrative arc of the movie goes nowhere very slowly. Cameron morphs from gay teen to…gay teen, during which time her expression changes from pouty rebel to… pouty rebel.

Chloe Grace Moretz has masses of on-screen presence. We want to be on her side. But that’s it. (Compare her one note performance with the magnificently moving one by the young Angelina Jolie in Girl Interrupted). Ms Moretz lacks the nuanced ability to take us into her internal drama. The result is a movie that feels curiously flat.

Gay conversion is as laughably as it is frighteningly absurd. But The Miseducation of Cameron Post has nothing new – no new insights, no new ways of seeing – to add to our understanding (and collective liberal rage). It merely confirms what “we” already knew. It’s a movie smugly happy to have a conversation with itself.

(That said, the Miseducation of Cameron Post this is one of those rare movies driven by a strong cadre of outstanding women: director, writer, editor, cinematographer, art director, costumer director etc. A small crack in the Hollywood glass ceiling)


THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST. Dir: Desiree Akhavan (Appropriate Behavior).. With: Chloe Grace Moretz (The Equalizer), Sasha Lane (American Honey), John Gallagher Jr (TV: The Newsroom), Jennifer Ehle (TV: The Looming Tower). Writers (from the novel by Emily Danforth): desiree Akhavan, Cecilia Frugiuele (Appropriate Behavior). Cinematograher: Ashley Connor (First Match). Composer: Julian Wass (Tangerine)