Vallée’s film is tasteless. He has no gift for framing, timing, movement, or the choreography of actors, and his sense of performance runs toward the obvious, toward the easy scoring of simple and unequivocal emotion. That may be why he’s an Oscar-maker. Witherspoon is a fine actress who, here, never seems to cut loose—either from the overly limiting script or from Vallée’s monotonous direction.
December 05, 2014