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Critiques/reviews

Message  Luce le Jeu 31 Mai 2018 - 7:25

La critique de Variety, le 30 mai 2018 Cool
Spoiler:
The mega-rich deserve just a bit of our sympathy.

At least, that’s the idea underpinning “Succession,” the new drama created by comedy writer Jesse Armstrong (the U.K.’s “Peep Show”) and executive produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay (the Oscar-winning writer and director of “The Big Short”). The show assays Logan Roy (Brian Cox), the Scottish-born head of media and entertainment conglomerate Waystar Royco, and his four children, sharp-elbowed beasts, all of whom aren’t content merely with being wealthy. They want a bit of the power that Logan is unwilling to cede, and their inability to wrest it from him is both comic and, in moments, tragic.

Any resemblances to a certain other foreign-born media magnate are likely no coincidence. (Armstrong is the author of an unproduced screenplay titled Murdoch.) But the family dynamic, at least, feels original. Along with a hippie-ish son from a first marriage (Alan Ruck, neglected by his family but given some of the best material by his show), the Roys comprise Kendall (Jeremy Strong), reasserting his birthright as a corporate superstar after having been derailed by addiction; Roman (Kieran Culkin), who hides sharp ambition behind diffident, dissolute wit; and Siobhan (Sarah Snook), striking out on her own as a political consultant but still entangled in the family’s drama. That drama comes fast and furious, as the show transpires largely in the wake of a medical incident that sidelines Logan, even as he remains the head of a corporation that more closely resembles a cult of personality.

The show’s strengths and weaknesses come hand-in-hand; its pulpy willingness to be its silliest self can be great fun, but can also transport a show that often tries to say something real about the hazards of generational wealth into too-easy comedy, or fantasy. I admit I rolled my eyes whenever someone referred to Siobhan by her family nickname, “Shiv.” (It’s too on the nose for a sharp competitor who plays by prison-yard rules.) And Roman is a character of whom we likely see more than we need; his relentless bon mots begin to feel curdled after a while. The point, that a certain kind of blase, seen-it-all rich kid can too easily confuse cruelty for wit, is amply made. But others of the family’s interactions are stilted in a manner that serves the show. That no character seems to understand how to talk to any other makes sense; their discomfort with one another is the result of a climate of mutual suspicion and antipathy.

Generally, though, the show delivers on its promise of soapy interactions between family members for whom money has complicated everything. Kendall holds his siblings — his competitors — at arm’s length, while Siobhan’s impending marriage to a fast-climbing Waystar executive (Matthew Macfadyen, a sleazy standout) is haunted by the question of whether it’s a love match or a mutually beneficial corporate merger. Aspects of the show play a bit like the high-finance camp of Showtime’s “Billions,” but reinterpreted through HBO’s prestige-y filter; the show has the skittering camera movements and the pounding, inescapable score of a show with greater ambitions than just documenting one clan’s ludicrous devotion to making one another unhappy.

“Succession,” indeed, is at its best, and its most purely enjoyable, when it pushes past the temptation to be fun alone. The leonine Cox, for instance, sets a tone of family ferocity that’s engaging because it’s great, not just indulgent. Each family member follows his lead in their own deranged way, particularly Macfadyen, who brings into each scene an aura of menace and the stench of impostor’s flop sweat. This show’s core audience, those who thrill to the misdeeds of the powerful, is likely to find and embrace it, as “Billions'” has. But I wish this season had delivered a bit more nourishment at the banquet. One thread, not yet fully developed, involves Roy’s control of his assets’ political messaging; we see protesters raging against the dissension he sows and a bit of his own hard-right views. I craved a further sense of what it means to have his kind of power — and why the succession matters for all of us, for reasons beyond which character gets to lord over the rest.

What we see of the Roys’ power tends to come through their interactions with functionaries and underlings, whom they boss around and maltreat in ways that bring to mind how thrilling and how wearying “Game of Thrones” would be if it only featured the Lannisters. In the first episode, at a family softball game, Roman offers the gamekeeper’s young son a million-dollar check should he make a home run; once he’s tagged out by the adults, the scion tears the check up in front of him. It’s not easy being rich, sure, but it’s a lot easier than not being rich — or than caring about the travails of the wealthy, spoiled, and ultimately unpleasant.

TV Review: 'Succession' on HBO


Sur Matthew Macfadyen, visiblement remarqué par l'auteur de l'article Very Happy

the show delivers on its promise of soapy interactions between family members for whom money has complicated everything. Kendall holds his siblings — his competitors — at arm’s length, while Siobhan’s impending marriage to a fast-climbing Waystar executive (Matthew Macfadyen, a sleazy standout) is haunted by the question of whether it’s a love match or a mutually beneficial corporate merger.
“Succession,” indeed, is at its best, and its most purely enjoyable, when it pushes past the temptation to be fun alone. The leonine Cox, for instance, sets a tone of family ferocity that’s engaging because it’s great, not just indulgent. Each family member follows his lead in their own deranged way, particularly Macfadyen, who brings into each scene an aura of menace and the stench of impostor’s flop sweat.
Cannot wait ! Wink
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Re: Critiques/reviews

Message  Luce le Ven 1 Juin 2018 - 4:28

La critique de Indiewire (1 juin 2018)
‘Succession’ Review: Adam McKay’s Big Business HBO Drama Steadily Develops Into Black Comedy Gold
Come for the incisive takedown of white collar culture, stay for Matthew Macfadyen's brilliant (and bizarre) comic turn
.
Very Happy

...But the real scene-stealer is Tom, played by the always great Matthew Macfadyen. As Shiv’s longterm partner and an employee at the Roy family company, Macfadyen gets not only a comedic turn, but a bizarre comedic turn. Tom is a different person to everyone. At work, he’s a people pleaser to his bosses, who are also his would-be father- and brothers-in-law. Macfadyen maintains a “I can take anything with a smile” look for such dismissive assaults it’s impressive he can make it convincing — but he does. With those underneath him, mainly a new-hire (and family cousin) named Greg (Nicholas Braun), he’s as cruel and rude as his bosses are to him (the “Chain of Screaming” from “How I Met Your Mother” comes to mind). With his girlfriend, he’s silly and romantic; he’s charming, even.

So, which one is the true Tom? Is he a company climber, only in his relationship for its connections? Or is he a St. Paul simpleton, in love with a woman but corrupted by her family? Or is he a mix of the two? Similar questions can be asked of the series itself: Is it a condemnation of corporate greed and its pervasive destruction of America, or is it an engaging family story about children extricating themselves from a toxic upbringing?

It could be both, and often is. After six episodes, “Succession” stops feeling like chunks of it are working and starts churning out more and more addictive content. Mysteries are building over time, but there are immediate conflicts that work just as well in the show’s present. The humor starts to spring up unexpectedly, enlivening the narrative instead of saving it. So rather than wish for something to be cut down and fit into an old box, delight in watching this witty drama or black comedy grow into something new.

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Re: Critiques/reviews

Message  Luce le Mar 5 Juin 2018 - 13:52

Vulture (NY Mag) (3 juin 2018)

Even characters who seem extraneous develop more and more layers as the series progresses. Shiv’s fiancé, Tom (Matthew Macfadyen), seems at first like a sycophantic bonehead. And he is. But as played by Macfadyen, he also reveals more sinister ways of using people: He’s a coward who can suddenly shock you by turning into a snake, as seen when he worms his way into a bigger title at Waystar Royko.
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Re: Critiques/reviews

Message  Luce le Mer 13 Juin 2018 - 13:56

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Re: Critiques/reviews

Message  Luce le Sam 16 Juin 2018 - 22:15

The Wall Street Journal (31 mai)
‘Succession’ Review: A Family at War
Shiv has her fiancé, Tom, hugely ambitious—he’s been given a job at Waystar—intelligent, and utterly craven in the presence of the illustrious Roy family, including his future wife. Matthew Macfadyen is impeccable as Tom—at once innocent and manipulative, pathetic and vindictive, and the source of some of the show’s most delectable humor as he grovels his way into the bosom of the family.

He feels secure only in the presence of another peripheral character bent on making his way into the Roys’ enterprise.

The New York Times (1 Juin 2018)
Review: In HBO’s ‘Succession,’ the Family That Preys Together
Meanwhile, a second set of performers, in their own connected but distinct plots, provide the comic relief: Alan Ruck as the oldest sibling, son of Roy’s first wife, who makes a show of staying out of the business while sticking his nose in wherever he can; Nicholas Braun as a bumpkin cousin who stumbles into a role at the company; and especially Matthew Macfadyen as the sister’s fiancé, a feckless suck-up out of a Waugh novel who’s Mr. Armstrong’s most original creation.
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