Film Review: Gleason

Sometimes moving and sometimes amusing, director Clay Tweel’s Gleason is an absorbing portrait of life.

Former professional American football player Steve Gleason is diagnosed with motor neurone disease before the birth of his child. He starts to make a video diary for his unborn child, whilst his family and friends raise money for other MND patients…

Clay Tweel’s film works towards two parallel themes; the portrait of a man and his family, and a portrait of the effects of MND. Both of these focuses work very well in Gleason. The film is told through home video filmed by Steve and his family since receiving the diagnosis. This gives both an amazing level of access, and an intimacy which is important to the authenticity of the film.

The film concentrates on its protagonist as person rather than a former American football star. Whilst his career does play a part, what dominates is his relationship with his family. Particularly interesting is his relationship with his father. Tweel’s film shows the development of this relationship, through both the interviews conducted by Steve and other footage. It provides a different perspective to the support of other friends and family. Moreover, as the film is a letter to Steve’s son, the father-son dynamic is critical, and gives a greater understanding of both individuals.

Steve’s relationship with his wife is sometimes lovely to watch, at other times the strain in apparent. The most striking thing about the film is its authenticity. The effects of MND are apparent through Steve’s decline. Also revealing to those less familiar with the condition are the procedures which are available. Fundraising and charitable activity appears to be key to Steve’s drive. His desire to help others with condition is commendable, and this facet reveals a lot about his character.

Gleason is an engaging documentary; the authenticity it conveys makes for a strong film.

Previews: The House Trailer, Get Out, More!

Plenty to see in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including The House trailer, Get Out, Aftermath, and more…

The House Trailer

This new The House trailer depicts an unusual way for parents to pay for their child’s tuition fees. Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler are the parents who decide to operate an underground casino to ensure their daughter can go to university. The comedy is the directorial debut of screenwriter Andrew Jay Cohen (responsible for the scripts of Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates and others). The House is set for release in UK cinemas on 30th June 2017.

Kong: Skull Island Image

Here is anew image for the upcoming Kong: Skull Island. The film features a stellar cast that includes Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, and John C. Reilly. The film reimagines the origins of the mythic Kong. Kong: Skull Island launches on to UK screens on 9th March 2017.

Aftermath Trailer

Here is the trailer for thriller Aftermath. Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as a husband and father who hunts down the air traffic controller who he holds responsible for the crash that killed his family. The film also stars Scoot McNairy and Maggie Grace, and is produced by Darren Aronofsky. Aftermath will hit UK cinemas on 7th April 2017.

Catfight Trailer

Catfight is a comedy about two old college friends who meet again years later. When wealthy housewife Veronica and struggling artist Ashley clash, their rivalry lasts years. The film stars Anne Heche, Sandra Oh, and Alicia Silverstone. Catfight is out in cinemas and on VOD in 10th March 2017.

Get Out Poster

Get Out is a thriller about a black man who visits his white girlfriend’s family estate. Worried that her family don’t realise he is black, the reality is about to get much worse. The trailer can be viewed here. The film is written and directed by Jordan Peele, and stars Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams. Get Out hits UK screens on 17th March 2017.

Logan Clip

Above is footage of Laura, a new character from the upcoming Logan. It reveals a little more about the young character who seems to have the same condition as the title character. Starring Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, and Dafne Keen. Logan is out in UK cinemas on 1st March 2017.

Life Poster

Life is a new sci-fi thriller about a group of scientists who discover a new life form is space. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, and Ryan Reynolds. Directed by Daniel Espinosa, Life will be released in UK cinemas on 24th March 2017.

Everything Everything Trailer

This is the new trailer for Everything Everything, based on the best-selling novel of the same name. The film is about Maddy, a teenage girl with a condition that means she can’t leave her house, and her neighbour Olly who wants to be with her. Starring Amandla Stenberg and Nick Robinson, Everything Everything is coming to cinemas soon.

Gleason Trailer

Here is the trailer for documentary Gleason. The film is about Steve Gleason, an American football star who is diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) at the age of 34. The documentary is directed by Clay Tweel. Gleason is out in UK cinemas from 17th march 2017.