I came out of Spotlight with one of those headaches that you get for trying not to cry for two hours. I’d expected it to be maybe not the most uplifting night out at the cinema, but I hadn’t expected to be so torn up emotionally by a movie that’s in a lot of ways an ode to journalism. But as I sat there watching the credits scroll up, I was glad I had gone alone. This was definitely not a movie I wanted to talk about on the walk home.
* Carbon Nation is a fun but slight documentary on climate change. I liked that it was the sort of movie one could plunk their Tea Party parents down in front of (Who cares if climate change is real or not? There’s money to be made!), but it came at the expense of showing why these positive changes aren’t happening (there’s more money to be made — at least for a select group — by preventing it).
* I’m a huge, vocal fan of Moon, so I was perhaps unduly excited about director Duncan Jones’ follow-up feature, Source Code. And then it let me down, perhaps inevitably, by cheesy dialogue and a pasted-on romance. However, Gyllenhaal & Monaghan are both damn pretty, Vera Farmiga is always great, and the more you think about it, the more depressing the ending *actually* is. So, perhaps, hooray!
* My other highly-anticipated film of March, however, did not let me down. Sure to earn a spot in my Best of 2011, Win Win was another perfect small film from Tom McCarthy (The Station Agent, The Visitor). Seeee it. See all of them. All three feature characters who could so easily veer into stereotype under another director, but which remain firmly, fully real and true people in the worlds created by McCarthy.
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.