Most of the time I like (but don’t love) Ron Howard’s movies. They tend to seem a lot like the man comes across in interviews – competent, decent, and optimistic. For me, Cinderella Man and Apollo 13 tend to rise above the others.
Just like Spielberg films, though, I tend to find Howard’s work a little too “Hollywood” and manipulative on a fundamental level. I’m not against a happy resolution, but it’s the whitewashing effect that bugs me, a sense that circumstances and character arcs are a little too good to be true, too contrived. I crave authenticity. Even the magical can be made to feel authentic.
Funny, the biggest complaint I have about Howard’s new, often somber, film is it’s utter lack of authenticity. I didn’t believe one single moment of this film, which kept me from engaging with it.