Another Earth

My Bad! Yesterday I was filled with despair about the lack of women candidates for the 2012 Spirit Awards, but I just watched Another Earth (co-written by Brit Marling–the only woman to receive a nomination yesterday), & I loved it! What took me so long? Well, Another Earth was marketed as a SciFi film (which…

ANTON CHEKHOV'S THE DUEL

Chekhov novella adapted by Dover Koshashvili  with screenwriter Mary Bing. Intensely dramatic battle between science & art played out in a Black Sea resort in Imperial Russia sometime around 1890. Von Koren (Tobias Menzies) sees Laevsky (Andrew Scott) as the epitome of aristocratic decadence, & the intensity of this hatred mystifies both of them. Intellectually…

AMELIA

Easy to like but impossible to love, this is a surprisingly conventional BioPic about a very unconventional woman: aviatrix Amelia Earhart (played by Hilary Swank). Film has some very poetic flight scenes and you can feel the world get smaller as Earhart’s planes grow bigger & ever more sophisticated, but on the ground everyone is just…

BABY MAMA

Rich hated this RomCom about a successful businesswoman (Fey) who hires a surrogate (Poehler) when she’s unable to conceive, but Jan enjoyed the multidimensional world created for the Fey character, & thought the relationship between the two lead characters worked fine. Click HERE for FF2 haiku.

AMERICAN TEEN

Burstein undoubtedly got remarkable footage of a year in the life of Warsaw [ Indiana] High School, but alas, she lost her way sometime in the editing room. Did marketing play too a big role here — the obsessive need to create archetypes in order to hook audiences by recreating THE BREAKFAST CLUB poster??? Click…

ACROSS THE UNIVERSE

We agree that UNIVERSE is an operatic, ebulliently effective look at 60s icons; we disagree about heft. Rich thinks it perfectly captures its moment, whereas Jan also finds compelling anti-Bush, anti-Iraq War agenda. Excellent performances from mostly-novice cast. Soundtrack proves genius of Beatles simpliciter as well as this specific incarnation. Click HERE for FF2 haiku.

Film Review: AWAY WE GO

I really wanted to like this film written by husband/wife team Dave Eggers & Vendela Vida, but alas.  Road trips are always choppy but this one is totally sliced & diced.  Were filmmakers so bored by back story clichés that they couldn’t bother constructing any personal histories?  If we don’t believe any of these characters…

Film Review: A THOUSAND ACRES

Adaptation based on Jane Smiley’s Pulitzer Prize-winning meditation on KING LEAR. This searing film rages against residents of an Iowa town for averting their eyes while a power-mad tyrant (Robards) abused his daughters. Pfeiffer’s ferocious as the middle daughter. Cast totally against type, it’s the best performance of her career. More on A THOUSAND ACRES.