Film Review: Frustrating Distance Travelled by ‘Blue Caprice’

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – Alexandre Moors’ “Blue Caprice” presents no easy answers to a situation that likely doesn’t have any. I get that. I don’t need a traditional, TV-movie dissection of the D.C. sniper. However, Moors’ complete refusal to give the viewer anything substantial to hold on to in this stylish telling of a dark story pushed me out of the film both times I saw it, first at Sundance and then again more recently. Both times, I found the film as surface-level as its title, the description of the vehicle driven by its villains. The movie never gets beyond the most iconic image that gives it a name; never digging deep enough into these characters to register as something human instead of a filmmaking experiment. Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

It’s not for want of trying by the great Isaiah Washington, the best reason to see “Blue Caprice.” The controversial “Grey’s Anatomy” star does the best work of his career as John Allen Muhammad, a charismatic ex-con who increasingly believes that the world is conspiring against him. He’s a classic paranoid, starting with criticisms of his ex-wife and moving to obsession with all forms of a society that he feels has kept him down. He’s not just unlucky. He’s not to blame in any of the failures of his life. The world is literally working against him. Washington brilliantly conveys this kind of mental decay in a way that doesn’t feel exploitative or exaggerated. It’s captivating.

StarRead Brian Tallerico’s full review of “Blue Caprice” in our reviews section.

Muhammad’s magnetic personality drew in the young Lee Boyd Malvo (Tequan Richmond), who saw the elder gentleman as a missing father figure. Muhammad poisoned Malvo’s mind to the point that he saw no flaws in his increasingly deranged worldview, one that led to a series of sniper attacks in the DC area. The story went that the attacks were designed to hide the execution of Muhammad’s ex-wife. She’d be seen as one more victim of the madmen. But Muhammad and Malvo’s distrust for authority could have led to many more victims and true anarchy in the nation’s capital.

StarContinue reading for Brian Tallerico’s full “Blue Caprice” review.

“Blue Caprice” stars Isaiah Washington, Tequan Richmond, Tim Blake Nelson, and Joey Lauren Adams. It was written by Ronnie Porto and directed by Alexandre Moors. It opens at the Music Box tomorrow, September 27, 2013, in Chicago and is now available On Demand.

Blue Caprice
Blue Caprice
Photo credit: IFC Films

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