Monthly Archives: November 2009

//November

Precious – 7

November 22nd, 2009|

A Rorschach blot of a movie: Is the depiction of Precious’s life courageous or demeaning? Is she a winner, for overcoming obstacles, or still a loser, facing life as a grotesquely overweight HIV-positive unwed mother of two (one with Down’s Syndrome)? Is her rescue by a special-ed teacher thrilling because it is so unique, or […]

Sin Nombre – 7.5

November 12th, 2009|

A harrowing portrait of a poor Mexican girl who happens to be an illegal-immigrant-to-be. The story doesn’t emerge as hers until after a first half that is caught up in gang violence and initiation. Echoes of other Latin American stories – Amores Perros and Maria Full of Grace in particular – are unavoidable, with Gomorrah […]

This Is It – 7

November 12th, 2009|

You don’t have to be an admirer of Michael Jackson or his music – and I am neither – to be awed and amazed at the level of professionalism that was going into his comeback concert, and has now been preserved in this skillful film by concert director Kenny Ortega. If you thought MJ weird […]

Damn United – 7

November 6th, 2009|

Timothy Spall is not your normal love interest, in a buddy pic no less; nor is it usual to find a biopic about a soccer coach failing big-time, although the film adds a true-life documentary PS that shows everything coming out right. After portraying Tony Blair and David Frost in somewhat similar equivocal roles, Michael […]

An Education – 6

November 2nd, 2009|

Carey Mulligan was charming and believable (cf. Ellen Page in Whip It) as a 17-year-old who is wise beyond her years, but still a few years short of what is needed. The older man who picks her up, played by Peter Sarsgaard, had a corresponding charm, but there was a hole in the character’s credibility. […]