Archives for November 2011


The Descendants

Taking inventory of hard-earned lessons
George Clooney, Shailene Woodley and Beau Bridges
Directed by Alexander Payne

Pauline Kael famously stated that great films are rarely perfect films. Do we ever wonder about the opposite? Are perfect films rarely great films? As the ultimate easy swallow, The Descendants, the latest release from Sideways writer/director Alexander Payne, has been practically pieced together by magical gold statuettes in the advanced laboratory of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and ... more >


LVT's best? Quite possibly so.
Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Kiefer Sutherland
Directed by Lars von Trier

Lars von Trier doesn’t like his film Melancholia. He says he is actually a little ashamed of it, finding it bombastic, slick, and Wagner’s music overwhelming. That is just the von Trier way. After the fact, he only sees problems, as he did at the last Cannes Festival after his much reviled pro-Hitler rant of which he still feels the sting despite having apologized a hundred times. Regarding his ... more >


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Another Happy Day

Plenty of bang for your buck: come one come all
Ellen Barkin, Ezra Miller and Kate Bosworth
Directed by Sam Levinson

How complicated is the back story for Another Happy Day, you ask? So complicated that the first five minutes of the movie consist of one character filming an “interview” of another character about it, for no apparent reason (beyond lack of a better way to clarify it to an audience). And I'm still not sure I followed it all. But I'll give summarizing it a shot... Middle-aged, high-strung ... more >

Like Crazy

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Like Crazy

First love hurts don't you know
Felicity Jones, Anton Yelchin and Jennifer Lawrence
Directed by Drake Doremus

I don’t think I’ve seen anything lately quite like the ending of the 2011 Sundance Jury Prize winner Like Crazy. Spending time watching the rise and disintegration of a marriage, I wondered, is there really a moment when a romance ends? When the present becomes irretrievably the past? If so, then we’ve already passed it, and tied no cloth around a tree to mark where we left the main road. The ... more >

Mozart’s sister

French period piece is in theatres now
Marie Féret, Marc Barbé and Delphine Chuillot
Directed by René Féret

Mozart’s elder sister had French director René Féret wonder: what if Maria Anna Walburga Ignatia, affectionately called Nannerl, been as gifted a musician as her younger brother, Wolfgang Amadeus? A product of her time—second half of the eighteenth century—she grew up on music as did her entire family, goaded by the formidable Leopold Mozart. She played the harpsichord, the piano, and almost ... more >