Written by Stanley Greenberg Friday, 04 December 2009 00:00
Just about a year ago, in my humble opinion, there was not a worthwhile movie to view. Lorraine and I would cover the cinema pages and find nothing. We do not agree often on movies but we did agree the movies were a zero. We are avid movie-goers and for months we did not attend a movie theater. The movies presented were either childish, horror flicks or science fiction with too much fake special effects.
In the last two months our minds have changed. I will list four good, solid recent films and give a capsule opinion of each. Again Lorraine and I agreed and disagreed.
A Serious Man - The Coen brothers are at it again. They portray a Jewish physics professor who suffers a serious amount of blows that have the audience reeling with pity for this good-natured schnook. It is set in a Minneapolis suburb in 1967. Some reviewers deemed this film unwatchable as the Job-like professor goes through hell. As we were viewing his trials and tribulations Lorraine popped up and left the movie.
“I’ll meet you in the lobby,” were her parting words. I stayed until the ending. The Coen brothers seemed to be acting out against their own growing up in a Jewish environment.
The Blind Side – This is the true story of a white southern couple who adopt a poor black son. They accept this 6’ 9” hulk into their family and raise him. He becomes a football star at Ole Miss and eventually a professional on the Baltimore Ravens. Sandra Bullock steals this movie. Not only is she sexy as a blond but her lines crackle with truth and motherhood. The football scenes are really good.
An Education – Remember when British films were true to life and hardnosed in the 1950s and 1960s? This film is set in 1962 when the war mentality was winding down. London was alive and people were seeking pleasure from many sources. Peter Sarsgaard, a Jewish hustler, meets Jenny (Carey Mulligan), a 16-year-old student from a girls’ school. There were many reminders of The Prime of Miss Brody. Their affair is lovely to watch but it ends in a mini-disaster. Two wonderful roles were Alfred Molina as her unrealistic, comedic father and Emma Thompson as the cruel school mistress.
The Private Lives of Pippa Lee – Robin Wright Penn takes time out from her own real-life divorce to give a startling performance from painful adolescence to her marriage to Alan Arkin (with hair) as an aging book editor who refuses to grow old. She takes care of him and nurses him until he grows weary of it and rebels.
This film is written and directed by Rebecca Miller, daughter of famed playwright Arthur Miller. Flashbacks between her adolescence (played by beautiful Blake Lively) and the present are used to deepen the plot. Keanu Reeves enters and brings off a Hollywood ending. Lorraine and I spoke about the meanings and subplots for a long time.
There you have it. Four movies to see. Enjoy!