Blue Caprice

BC3

Editor’s Note: Kevin’s review of Blue Caprice originally ran during this year’s Sundance Film Festival, but we’re re-posting it now as the film opens in limited release. The Beltway Snipers captivated the country’s attention and established a shroud of fear for people living in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia back in October of 2002. Blue Caprice is loosely inspired by that story, keeping some of the key players and events while changing backgrounds and actions significantly. Director Alexandre Moors (Cruel Summer) wanted to focus on the relationship between the elder John Allen Muhammad and the younger Lee Boyd Malvo rather than making the film about the actual murders themselves. Fiction diverges from reality right from the beginning of the film, with Lee (Tequan Richmond) first encountering John (Isaiah Washington) in Antigua after his mother leaves him to fend for himself. In reality, John met and knew Lee’s mother. For those familiar with the backstory of the actual Beltway Sniper attacks, this signifies that the film takes its own path. But for people unfamiliar with the particulars, this might be a case of fiction becoming a false reality. It’s more very loosely based on a true story than it is meant to be historical fiction.

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tim blake

The first three weeks of October 2002 was a tense time for anyone living around the Nation’s Capital. Living in Maryland I vividly recall the amount of fear the Beltway Snipers created, leading to special precautions at schools and people avoiding crowded areas. The movie that tells the story of those two snipers, Blue Caprice, captures that uneasiness with slow-building, methodical filmmaking. There’s a few familiar faces in Alexander Moors‘ film, including Tim Blake Nelson, playing Ray, an “unwitting accomplice” to one of the snipers. While he’s most famous for playing one of the many lovable morons in O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Nelson has been working successfully as a writer, director, and, for the past year and a half, a member of James Franco‘s camp. Nelson has now acted in two of Franco’s films, As I Lay Dying and Child of God, making for a collaboration that has put a pep in Mr. Nelson’s step. We discussed that artistic partnership with Nelson, as well as Blue Caprice, humanizing transformations, and why an actor always needs to have their antennae out:

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Rush

With the mega popcorn movie season over we’re starting to see summer recap articles flooding in, and so far, most have painted summer 2013 as underwhelming or downright horrible. Maybe some of those writers just didn’t see White House Down. But, in general, this past season was packed with a variety of good-to-terrific options, from the likes of Frances Ha, Only God Forgives, and The Way, Way Back to The Great Gatsby, Fast & Furious 6, and This is the End. There were a lot of gratifying offerings. There were letdowns, too, but what summer doesn’t have a few disappointments? The same will go for this fall movie season, which, as of right now, is looking excellent. Here are 10 movies that should make going back to school, work, or whatever else you got going on a little more tolerable:

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Blue Caprice

As soon as the words “based on a true story” pop up on the screen during the trailer for Alexandre Moors‘ Blue Caprice, you know it’s about to be a bumpy ride. Based on the horrific Beltway sniper attacks that terrorized the Washington, DC area in 2002, the film follows the strange quasi-father and son relationship between two men who become killers. It’s the quiet, casual nature of the way in which they do so that makes the trailer so unsettling. As John Allen Muhammad, Isaiah Washington (of former Grey’s Anatomy fame) has the glint of a madman in his eye, and that  false brand of kindness that will crumble at the first hint of anything not going his way. Tequan Richmond, as Lee Boyd Malvo, has the shaky assuredness of a teen trying to please his father by just doing the best he can, even if in this case it means being a sniper instead of, say, a star baseball player. But what happens when the relationship in question isn’t truly father-son, and the power dynamics in play are leading to innumerable murders? Check out the chilling trailer after the break.

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