Monthly Archives: October 2011


Margin Call – 8.5

2011-10-30T14:59:21+00:00October 30th, 2011|Reviews|

This is, I suspect, as good a movie as we will get about the financial meltdown of 2008. While not an accurate picture of any one company or situation, there seem to be real-life precedents for almost everything in the film, starting with the basic dilemma: do I have any moral obligation not to sell [...]

The Way – 6.5

2011-10-22T10:12:43+00:00October 22nd, 2011|Reviews|

A most pleasant walk, with beautiful scenery and some interesting characters, especially (for me) Joni Mitchell-lookalike Deborah Kara Unger. Martin Sheen is always good company, too, and the searching for his son in a movie directed by his real-life son Emilio Estevez added poignancy. While there were a number of unlikely melodramatic incidents to keep [...]

The Big Year – 3

2011-10-21T09:11:08+00:00October 21st, 2011|Reviews|

As a birder, I felt compelled to watch this film, to see what the rest of the world was learning about birding (although only two other people were in the theater with me). The good news is that "competitive birding" takes a big hit: it comes across as obsessive, unseemly and not a whole lot [...]

The Mysteries of Lisbon – 7

2011-10-17T20:31:01+00:00October 17th, 2011|Reviews|

One take is that the entire movie is the coma-induced imaginings of Joao, an abandoned bastard longing to know his real parents. That would explain the fancy balls, the imprisoned duchess, the Dickensian coincidences and the consistent world view of nobles flirting, seducing and changing identities. Another take: let's make a movie that animates all [...]

The Hedgehog – 7.8

2011-10-17T20:08:06+00:00October 17th, 2011|Reviews|

A very French look at existence through the eyes, and videocamera, of 11-year-old Paloma, brilliantly acted by one Garance Le Guillermic, a "child actor" in physique only. Just as wonderful is the title character played by Josiane Balasko, a frumpy concierge who reads Tolstoy in private. While the ending alludes to Anna Karenina, I'm sure [...]

The Mill and the Cross – 8

2011-10-08T13:22:44+00:00October 8th, 2011|Reviews|

A tableau vivant in which 'reality' is a painting - specifically, Pieter Breugel's "Road to Cavalry." The movie obscures Jesus's crucifixion amid 16th-century Flemish peasants and red-tunicked Spanish soldiers, just as Breugel did in his metaphor-filled canvas. With minimal soundtrack and even less dialogue, watching this film becomes an intense experience, and trying to piece [...]

Moneyball – 7.5

2011-10-08T13:16:36+00:00October 8th, 2011|Reviews|

By treating baseball players as commodities - to be coldly evaluated, drafted, traded and released - Moneyball has made the players I watch nightly on television seem more human than I have regarded them before. I can't, however, share in the general adulation accorded Brad Pitt. He floats above the locker room more movie star [...]

The Guard – 7.5

2011-10-08T13:12:05+00:00October 8th, 2011|Reviews|

A deft amalgam of rowdy humor and murderous criminality, this dramedy rode the broad back of Brendan Gleeson to a wistful conclusion that made you mourn the end of the story, and perhaps the character. Unfortunately, both were let down by Don Cheadle's unbelievable American counterpart, more Stepin Fetchit than crime-stopper. What a lone FBI [...]