Film This Weekend at the Movies
posted by December 21 at 13:43 PMon
Terribly exciting news from the last two weeks:
Lists and awards!: LA Film Critics weighed in last week, and included a passel of special citations; New York Film Critics Circle parried with a stripped-down list. This week: indieWIRE publishes critics’ secret passions (confidential to BM, who’s apparently hurting for municipal scandals: Don’t you think no longer working as a film critic warrants a recusal?); the Screen Actors Guild goes mad for all kinds of boring sap. It’s a sad year when Marion Cotillard’s patchworked slump-and-tremble in La Vie en Rose counts as the frontrunner in lead performances by women. She was all right, but the way that movie was put together, the character had no room to change over time. It was all makeup and posture. As for Angelina Jolie—let’s not even go there.
Tied to the mob!: Paramount exec gets wiretapped.
Censored!: The MPAA doesn’t want you to see this poster:
Dan Savage dismantles Sweeney Todd! (It’s perfectly fine for you horror fans, though.)
I review the excellent The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. I’ll have you know in an earlier draft of this piece I compared the movie to Barack Obama. Thank god I restrained myself, but the point I was trying—feebly—to make is that this movie is grave and utterly buoyant at the same time. Even its gimmicks are fascinating.
Here’s my interview with the director, the eccentric Julian Schnabel.
Lindy West destroys National Treasure: Book of Secrets, making delightfully gratuitous use of historical allusions. Oh, Calvin Coolidge.
Speaking of the awesome Lindy West, did you know she has a new column of her very own? It’s called Concessions, and can be found in Film Shorts in the print edition every week. This week: Lindy attends the Northwest Film Forum Holiday Party, where she sees invisible people and out-dreidels the Jews.
Bradley Steinbacher takes on the latest from Francis Ford Coppola: the crazily ambitious Youth Without Youth.
And in On Screen this week: the talky yet boob-littered Charlie Wilson’s War (Andrew Wright: “True to form, the Aaron Sorkin-penned Charlie Wilson’s War features miles upon miles of speech-clogged corridors. Thankfully, the combined efforts of a top-tier cast, an undeniably relevant mid-’80s storyline, and a director who does this type of highbrow stuff better than anyone manage to punch a breezy hole through the ever-present chattering din”), the stupid P.S. I Love You (Lindy West: “Hilary Swank—dead of husband, pointy of spine (‘You make a ravishing widow, sis!’)—is just so, so unappealing as a romantic-comedy lead. She’s annoying. She’s a snooze. And, like I said, she looks like a fucking stegosaurus”), and the good-natured Johnny Cash roast Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (Megan Seling: “It’s really, really funny (if you like dick jokes), and it’s still funny even if you love Johnny Cash”).
Limited Runs and Movie Times can be found at Get Out. This week: From Here to Eternity, It’s a Wonderful Life, Bad Santa, Rope, and more. There’s tons of great stuff in theaters this weekend—you’ll be kicking yourself if you don’t go to the movies.
Looking for reviews of Christmas releases like The Savages, The Water Horse, and The Great Debaters? They’ll be up at thestranger.com/film promptly on December 25.