Monthly Archives: December 2011

//December

Shame – 7.8

December 30th, 2011|

This was a minimalist movie, like, say, a Donald Judd sculpture: stark, clean lines, eerily beautiful, solid and ambiguous in meaning. The opening shot established the director’s style – monochromatic (usually blue), intense, with long, slow takes. The epitome was Carey Mulligan singing “New York, New York.” Not only did she sing at half-speed, but […]

Young Adult – 7.5

December 30th, 2011|

Charlize Theron was sensational as a case of arrested development, the fast blonde whose life peaked senior year in high school. She was also, I’m advised, a convincing alcoholic. Beyond that, there was not much of a story and only one other interesting character, Matt, the schlubby guy who viewed high school from the opposite […]

The Dangerous Method – 7

December 30th, 2011|

Most interesting as a history lesson in the lives and characters of Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud, so I hope the screenwriters did their research. Top billing, however, went to Keira Knightley, who certainly did a lot of acting, although I could have done with less jaw-jutting as a sign of repressed tension. Fassbender, Mortenson […]

My Week with Marilyn – 7.9

December 20th, 2011|

A totally sweet story, conceived in innocence and told as such. There were no villains (just some buffoons), no tension or melodrama; every character was worth the time and every scene was fun to watch. Kenneth Branagh and Judi Dench, as Laurence Olivier and Sybil Thorndike, reminded us what great actors the British are, and […]

Hugo – 7

December 20th, 2011|

A sumptuously beautiful film, but a beauty that had nothing to do with nature and everything to do with the hermetic world of the cinema. I suspect a true cinephile would have recognized an allusion in every character, every shot of Martin Scorsese’s homage to George Melies, silent film, and the French cinema. For the […]

The Descendants – 7

December 10th, 2011|

This George Clooney vehicle started slowly then gradually built to a moderate walk – an apt metaphor since the film had two scenes of Clooney running, something his agent should guard against. There were travelogue scenes of Hawaii and an unconvincing subplot about the disposal of a Hawaiian estate, but the film’s thrust was the […]