Saturday, September 3, 2011

Life, Interrupted

Beginners begins with an end. (How's that for a sentence?) Oliver Fields's father, Hal, has just died. Three years earlier, his mother passed. In the interim, Hal had announced to Oliver that he's gay (and secretly had been his entire life) and thus proceeds to frequent dance clubs, join gay social groups, and even get a much younger boyfriend. He's finally living the life he never had the chance to do openly.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

We're no angels.

Are our lives made up of completely random moments, chance encounters and happenings motivated by nothing but our own choosing? Or is there some greater plan we must inexorably follow to its predetermined conclusion--a fate? It may be impossible to know (though I do have my theories), but in the world of The Adjustment Bureau, it is certainly the latter--and then, well maybe, the former.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Shiny, happy people...

You want your Oscar picks? I got your Oscar picks. (Along with who I think should win.)

The Illusionist... will not win.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Once, twice, three times a lady.

Or:  Three Weddings and No Funeral

It may be either in spite of or because of his status as Hollywood's most loveable curmudgeon that Paul Giamatti has turned into a bit of a national treasure.  While movie everymen throughout the years--whether it be Jimmy Stewart or Jack Lemmon or Tom Hanks--have displayed the ideal that exists within all of us, the externalizing of the leading men we all think we might be, Giamatti shows us the flaws we all actually have.  He often aims for melancholy before gregariousness.  He's a bit schlubby and walks too hunchbacked.  His characters don't always treat women well, but in their heart of hearts they certainly mean to, though weakness and selfishness often get in the way.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The butter wouldn't melt, so I put it in the pie.

Seemingly, at the end of every year, I hear how poor a year it was at the movies.  From diminishing box office returns to a mere dearth of quality cinema, it's been a sad refrain that 2000-and-whatever was a down year for the industry.  And each year, at least from a critical standpoint (box office performance means little to someone who is spending his own money actually going to all these movies), I'm incredulous at the assertion.  When it comes time to make my year-end list(s), I often find myself sad at the exclusion of certain films because I can never find enough room for them and excited at the prospect of exploring the movies on other writers' 10-best lists that I hadn't had the pleasure (and opportunity) of seeing.

But as 2010 wound down, it seemed apparent that it actually was a weak year for movies and only slowly was I able to compile a list of movies I thought fit to include on such a list.  Make no mistake, the movies that did finally end up earning their way onto the list are all terrific films and I'll stand by all of them, but on the whole, I would describe the 2010 movie year as... "Meh."