Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Film Festivus

So the New London Winter Film Festival has been going on all weekend, and so far we've made it to four out of seven films (I am hoping to make it to one more tomorrow). My thoughts on what we've seen (may contain spoilers):

Into the Wild: Excellent, but kind of a downer. I knew that Chris McCandless died but I guess I was under the impression that he did something stupidly dangerous (like that guy who got eaten by grizzly bears a few years ago), not that he was one step short of totally deranged from being hungry and alone and ate a poisonous plant that weakened him to the point he could no longer forage. And the moose scene - so sad (NOT even because he kills a moose, but because he is so upset that he wasted the moose). Fantastic acting - and props to the casting director (hey, anyone remember when Emile HIrsch and Jenna Malone acted together in The Dangerous Lives of Alter Boys? No? I didn't think so.)

Juno: Already saw it and already loved it, but had to take Noe to experience the magic. My personal favorite characters are actually Juno's dad and stepmother, played to perfection by the excellent character actor JK Simmons (the obnoxious newspaper publisher from the Spiderman movies) and Alison Janney. And Paulie Bleeker played by anyone other than Michael Cera would have just been a nerd (as opposed to a completely appealing nerd).

Michael Clayton: I have taken a beating over the years for my Clooney love. Let me just state that I love the man and NOT necessarily all his movies (although cut him slack - he turned out way better than anyone thought he would when he left E.R. And even he admits he nearly killed the Batman franchise.)I have really enjoyed most of his recent films, particularly the ones he directs and plays supporting roles (hmmm....that could be rather telling). He's back in front of the camera in Michael Clayton and truthfully...it's just kind of boring. Nothing ever really happens. His car blows up. That's more or less it for action. I can't really figure out where the best actor nod is coming from. Clooney is by no means bad in this film, but I don't really think he is flexing his acting muscles too much.

Lars and the Real Girl: This may be my favorite of the whole bunch. I've been a Ryan Gosling fan since Murder By Numbers (fairly terrible Sandra Bullock movie, but Gosling's performance as a teenage killer is mind boggling) and also enjoyed him in (I can't believe I am going to admit this) The Notebook. He's not going to sweep any girls of his feet as Lars Lindstrom, but with his super-sweet '80's mustache and Mr. Rogers cardigans he might just make you cry. I left this movie believing that if I were a citizen of Bad Sweaterville, Minnesota (or whatever small northern midwestern town this was set in) that I would have gone along with the whole doll thing, too. Heck, she probably would have ended up as my knitting buddy.

One more thing: I would like to offer an apology to those seated near us at the Garde this evening for A) All the noise Punky and I made opening the Diet Cokes we snuck into the theater B) All the giggling as we poured airplane bottles of booze into the Diet Cokes and C) My phone ringing the annoying Nokia ring during a pivotal scene. See, I didn't think to turn my phone off (or select a normal ringtone) because no one ever calls me. Oh, and let us not forget D) The airplane-taking-off noise my phone makes when I turn it off. My most sincere apologies.

1 comment:

Alison said...

Have you read the book Into the Wild? If not, you need to. It explains way more than the movie...and when it ends, you really do think Chris McCandless was just as crazy and stupid as the grizzly man. The movie does a horrible job of portraying that.

Totally agree with you on Lars...my favorite movie of 2007, hands-down.