Monthly Archives: December 2013

//December

The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza) – 8.3

December 30th, 2013|

I could be wrong, but I found this Proustian: a famous writer who never produces a second book until, at last, he sees his aimless life as the subject. His madeleine? the naked breasts he is shown by a great beauty when he is 18. Maybe this is a stretch, but it fits the course […]

Inside Llewyn Davis – 6.5

December 30th, 2013|

It’s hard to be excited about a movie, however well-made, about such a loser. He looks depressing to begin with, his songs are depressing, and he constantly makes bad decisions – starting with taking his host’s escaped cat downtown on the subway instead of negotiating with the building’s super to keep the cat or let […]

American Hustle – 7.9

December 30th, 2013|

A very fun caper movie, with an all-star David Russell-led cast: Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence. The plot alternated moments of excruciating tension and hilarity, the latter mostly coming from Lawrence. Bale was unrecognizable as the guy from Out of the Furnace, and Adams conveyed a vivid intelligence and a spectrum […]

Out of the Furnace – 7.5

December 23rd, 2013|

Another exercise in style from producer Ridley Scott – not as extreme as The Counselor, but in the same vein. Our hero, played by Christian Bale, was the personification of Good: we didn’t see him reading to blind children in his spare time only because, between working two shifts in the steel mill, tending his […]

Promised Land; Not Fade Away

December 17th, 2013|

I caught up with two movies that had escaped me when I flew to and from New York after Thanksgiving. Both were fine airplane movies, largely because they had subjects of inherent interest to me: fracking and rock’n’roll. The former featured star turns by Matt Damon and Frances McDormand, excellent as always, and nice support […]

Captain Phillips – 8.4

December 1st, 2013|

A remarkable film that involved me intellectually and emotionally from start to finish. Director Paul Greengrass set up an equality between the American captain and the Somali pirate at the outset, by showing both men leaving family and embarking on their collision course. Muse, in an Oscar-worthy supporting role, was never a bad guy: every […]

Wadjda – 7.8

December 1st, 2013|

A sweet film about one spunky girl’s efforts to break through the repression of women in Saudi Arabia. By making her statement an attempt to acquire, and ride, a bicycle, the director kept the rebellion personal, low-key, understandable and touching. And by making the repressers women, not men, there weren’t villains to root against, just […]