June 07, 2006

Movies I've seen lately

Enron; The Smartest Guys in the Room - This was one of the best documentaries I've seen (and I've seen a lot). It was particularly impressive for the way it put complex economic concepts into the grasp of the general viewing public. And they got right to the core of what every movie should be about: humanity. It's a pretty overwhelming morality tale that starts with good intentions and ends in what few people would hesitate to call absolute villiany.

Proof - The best of the bunch I've seen of late. This one is based on a very good Pulitzer-prize winning play I'd read recently. This is the story A Beautiful Mind should have been. The cast is the real story of the film, however. Gyllenhall is impressive and Paltrow reminds us she's more than just beautiful. And Hopkins refuses to be categorized as a one dimensional grizzly bear. Fantastic dialogue and powerful questions raised.

The Family Stone - This film felt like the first movie by a good writer (after some reserach it is in fact, the second). It's got some flaws, including some painful cliche's and unbelievable "love connections", but there's a certain aroma about this film that gives the authentic impression of family. The inside jokes, the knowing glances, and the roles of each sibling in the family have the smell of a real Christmas at home. I'm not sure I'd want to spend two more hours watching the movie again, but I might be willing to spend Christmas with the Stone family.

The Man on the Train - A clever and reflective little french film that quietly asks all the questions we're too afraid to utter aloud. Questions about the directions of our lives and the people we might have been. The cast, specifically Rochefort is impressive and the movie's tone can't help but make you want to sit under a night sky and ponder the past that never was.

The Squid and the Whale - This film that's a disscetion of a 1980's Manhattan divorce has moments of tenderness and human frailty but it is largely a heavy handed treatment of an over treated subject. There are nicely treated elements of the story, inparticular, the mother's culpability or lack thereof. But the characters are painted with broad strokes, especially the father.

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