Woody Harrelson: Artiste Extraordinaire

scenelost-in-london
A couple of best friends making a movie like no other

Woody Harrelson is a pioneer! On Friday, January 19th at 9 PM EST, he livestreamed his movie, Lost in London, in 301 movie theaters, as it was being filmed! It was like live theater, except that the action is in 14 different locations around London. The 100-minute movie was made in one shot with only one camera. It was livestreamed in 300 cinemas in the US, except for one, which was in London, where it was the wee hours of the morning, when its streets were most hospitable to a movie crew.

Woody Harrelson wrote, directed and stars (as fictional Woody Harrelson). Such innovation…yet there are only three reviews on Rotten Tomatoes!

Did critics have better things to do on a Friday night? Did they boycott Woody Harrelson for his well-known lifestyle of pot smoking? Or was it because this innovation was not purveyed by a master auteur of cinéma?

No matter. I had google to back me up and found plenty of reviews.

LOST IN LONDON

 
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Plot:
With a subtitled preface that reads, “Too much of this is true,” Harrelson’s film is a dramatization of the events of a horrible night he experienced in 2002 when he was living in London while starring in a play on the West End. He thought that all of the events of  that night would make for a great  comedy.  He rounded up a cast of 30 that includes Owen Wilson and Willie Nelson, and an additional 320 extras.
Even more ground breaking: SPOILER FREE PREVIEWS! (OK, not so astounding, given there are no filmed scenes to preview.) I saw three previews: one way too long (celebs, ad nauseum tells him he can’t do it), one a tad long (just him holding up silly photos), and one just right (just him).

[Apparently I now have to pay WordPress to embed videos, so I can only give you links.]

The Telegraph 

review by Tim Robey
woodydirectsSpoilers Skimmable: yes. There were very, very few!
Bottom line:  I’ll let the title of the review say it:
Woody Harrelson breaks boundaries with supercharged
Allen-esque live film. 3/5 stars
More: it was very funny!
One thing though: the filming is in real-time, but the story is not. At one point we are asked to believe that a couple of hours have passed. Kind of hard to do when the whole thing is live in one shot.


Vulture (American)

I love this review by Jackson McHenry!!
Spoilers skimmable? Yes. There are many, but you can skim over them.
Bottom Line: It was just OK, but the spectacle was great.
When perfect is boring: McHenry thought it would be cool if there was a mistake in the acting or filming because it would be fun–probably because the audience would be in on it. But it went off without a major hitch, and was even boring in places! When he was bored, he focused on the artistry: “single take films [like Birdman], have been shot before, but Lost in London had to get everything right live.”


Evening Standard (British)

review by Nick Curtis
Spoilers skimmable? No. The whole review is spoilers, except for the subtitle.
Bottom line: movie is meh, but technological livestream accomplishment is “astounding.”
Expectation: Lost in London was better than we could expect a movie from a first-time pot-head-hippie director.

Can’t put this any better: A daft idea, the kind of mad, experimental challenge dreamed up by stoned film nerds after a Hitchcock all-nighter, but one he pulled off with considerable wit and brio.

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WIDE RELEASE

Although there have been no announcements about a post-live release, says The Hollywood Reporter, the filmmakers “are in discussions” about releasing the movie.