Monthly Archives: March 2010


Ghost Writer – 7

2010-03-31T21:09:54+00:00March 31st, 2010|Reviews|

Extremely Hitchcockian music, by Alexandre Desplat, and the bleakly austere setting of "Martha's Vineyard," made one sense danger at every turn. Pierce Brosnan, Ewan MacGregor and especially Olivia Williams acted beautifully, and the pieces fit together like a Swiss watch. In short, this was a wonderfully made film. The only problem was the plot, which [...]

Oscar Review

2010-03-24T21:15:17+00:00March 24th, 2010|Essays|

No real surprises among this year's Oscar winners, although Time's prediction sheet managed 12 wrong, to 12 right. What dawned on me, however, as it must have before, is how much the Oscars are little more than a popularity contest, rather than a recognition of technical talent. I'm not referring to Sandra Bullock's win over [...]

Paris – 6

2010-03-24T20:28:44+00:00March 24th, 2010|Reviews|

A forgettable piffle, saved mainly by being a French piffle and the lovely Juliette Binoche. Saw it on the plane four days ago and have already forgotten what it was about.

A Serious Man – 8

2010-03-22T19:56:04+00:00March 22nd, 2010|Reviews|

A hilarious riff by the Coen Bros on growing up Jewish in St. Louis Park, 1967. A latter-day Job (though I should re-read the book), beset by calamity after another, with allusions as well to Sodom and Gomorrah, while Larry seeks to find out how Hashem talks to mortals, and what he is saying. The [...]

The Last Station – 6

2010-03-22T19:53:46+00:00March 22nd, 2010|Reviews|

Strangely unaffecting, in a Chekovian manner. Aristocrats stand around distraught, but we don't care. About them, the Tolstoyan movement, or Tolstoy's copyrights. The announced theme is Love, but there is no real chemistry between Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer; and the younger couple, James McEvoy and the luscious Kerry Condon, exhibit more lust, or puppy [...]

The White Ribbon – 8

2010-03-03T19:18:48+00:00March 3rd, 2010|Reviews|

Michael Haneke's meditation on cruelty, or evil?, as embedded in German culture, or humanity?, in 1914. The father figures alternated between humiliating their women and beating their children, a lesson the children had learned all too well and practiced on the weakest among them. The world at large was not much better, as we were [...]

The Blind Side – 7.5

2010-03-03T19:10:08+00:00March 3rd, 2010|Reviews|

For Hollywood cornpone, this was done well and was a lot of fun (cf. Whip It). Sandra Bullock ate up the screen, but I was just as enamored of Tim McGraw as her easygoing husband and Collins and S.J., their two age-appropriate kids. By making Michael silent and rather opaque (cf. Precious), we could focus [...]