[May Week One]

Take the Money and Run was one of this week’s 69 series films. I was so jealous of a group of folks at this screening — it looked like a dad & teenage son, and then two of the teen’s friends. I always am jealous when parents bring kids to revival film (or, really, anything that’s not the prepackaged cereal-and-action-figures tie-in sort of thing) because that never would have happened in my “most film is immoral and indecent and a waste of time and money” family.

They were sitting in front of me, so I got to hear their conversation: if any of them had seen any Allen before, and then it somehow drifted off into Shakespeare in Love (which one of the teens didn’t like because it was too funny & made a joke of Romeo & Juliet, which is actually my problem with Baz’s version), and then complaints about it winning over Saving Private Ryan (which entertained me, because that was a topic of discussion in a friend’s journal the day before.))

The film itself is great, one of the original mockumentaries, with a snappy script & fantastic sight gags. It’s the first film he wrote *and* directed *and* starred in, and as such is essential Allen.

Probably the best thing about State of Play was Helen Mirren; also the direction, Russell Crowe & his long hair, the Great Big Sea needle drop, and the set decoration (this is not meant to be damning with faint praise; the sets, particularly for Cal’s office & the newsroom, were fantastic). Unsurprisingly, UK miniseries is much richer & more satisfying. It’s sort of unavoidable when you take 6 hours down to 2. The film is solid, though, and Jason Bateman’s supporting turn as Dominic Foy is fabulous.

[DVD time]

I reactivated my Netflix account for a month, so let’s take the opportunity to talk about a few things that are out on dvd.

* I put The Station Agent on hold at the library after I saw Wendy and Lucy. I do not know why I don’t own it. It’s a stellar small film, and if you haven’t seen it, you should. Which reminds me, you should also see The Visitor. I didn’t post about it at the time because I didn’t see it in the theater, but it’s excellent.

* I really don’t think that Bon Cop Bad Cop played at SIFF, which is unfortunate, because seeing it on the big screen would have been particularly awesome. For all of you who think I don’t recommend enough films where things blow up, this one is for you. There are some subtitles, though, because one of the cops is from Toronto but the other is from Montreal. You’ll just have to deal.

* Rachel Getting Married is one of those films that had me whispering to myself every so often, “This is such a *good* movie”. It has some flaws, but I do not care, because it is stunningly acted & full of beautiful, heartbreaking moments. Anne Hathaway is grand as promised, but the supporting cast does marvelous work as well.

Other things I saw: Vicky Cristina Barcelona* (Penelope is, of course, fabulous, but I found the characters terribly irritating, and don’t get me started on the voice over), Role Models (a few entertaining moments, but essentially is further proof that I only love stupid comedy if Seth Rogen is involved), and Cadillac Records (a solid music-business flick with a fantastic cast. Does exactly what it says on the tin).

* I am still a Woody Allen fan, though probably the last film of his I enjoyed was Sweet and Lowdown and the last one I loved was Everyone Says I Love You. They’re showing Take the Money and Run this spring in the 69 series, and I can’t wait.

[Annie Hall]

Annie Hall is my favorite movie of all time, so obviously I jumped at the chance to see it at the Northwest Film Forum.

It’s really a perfect film. This is the first time I’d seen it with anyone else, which was great, and the first time I’d seen it big (relatively — the Film Forum is a seriously tiny venue) so there were a number of visual details I had missed before, especially with Annie’s photographs. The only quibble I had was an ongoing framing issue, but that’s the theater’s problem. It must have been an off night for the projectionist.

[Match Point] [Woody Allen DVD triple feature]

The sublet had a Woody Allen box set, and I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Annie Hall is one of my favorite movies of all time. In January I finished off the set with A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy, Zelig, and The Purple Rose of Cairo, all of which I enjoyed, that’s pretty much the order I preferred them in, too. Purple Rose I was watching for the second time. I think I might need to buy it.

Last night I caught Match Point, which was good, but I just didn’t connect with it the way I had hoped. I’ve read that it’s Woody for people who don’t like Woody, but I -do- like him, and so perhaps it was not for me. It’s always good to see Emily Mortimer, though. And the previews included one for Friends With Money, the new film from Nicole Holofcener, who wrote and directed Mortimer in a great film: Lovely & Amazing. Much with the yay.

Oh! Oh! The other thing about Match Point is that the casting was a constant reminder of the there-are-only-twelve-actors-in-the-UK thing, as it included Shaun’s mother the prime minister, Bernard Black’s summer girl, and Tubbs, etc. Odds are there were more I missed.

I should figure out what Woody I haven’t seen. It can’t be much at this point, and I could take care of it between the library and Netflix.