What's a fellow to do?
The weather is terrible! It's freezing and snowing! Going into Manhattan to see a show has its negatives. Driving and parking in the city is quite a chore. The ticket prices of most theaters are over $100 and the streets are icy and slippery. I have an old-fashioned idea. "Let's go to see a movie!"
The films this winter run the gamut. While Broadway emphasizes musicals and fluff, the movies are dealing with "real life issues." I will attempt to give mini-revues on some of the movies we watched this stormy winter.
- Revolutionary Road - Kate and Leo do it again. The chemistry is still there, even 10 years after Titanic. It is the tale of a Bohemian 1950s couple who do all the right things. They marry and move to the suburbs. They have the obligatory two children (one of each) and life should be grand, but it is not. The daily grind of life and conventionality in the Connecticut suburbs undermines their once beautiful marriage.
- Slumdog Millionaire - This four-star blockbuster arrives from India's Bollywood. The colorful life in the slums of Mumbai (Bombay) is tied together with two orphaned boys and the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? It has depth and excitement and love.
A little sadness but mostly fun.
- The Reader - Hello, Kate Winslet again. Nudity and sex are seen in the first portion of the movie. Postwar Germany is the venue and the time frame. Kate seduces a teenaged boy and makes him read stories to her. It is a double character study rather than a Holocaust remembrance. The acting is superb but there are lapses in the story. Worth seeing.
- Gran Torino - Clint Eastwood holds the viewing audience in his masculine grasp. His facial expressions and body language are riveting. He is a bigoted, Korean War veteran, who eventually becomes a protector of his Asian neighbors.
- Rachel Getting Married - Wide-eyed and gorgeous Anne Hathaway is an addict who returns home for the interracial marriage of her sister. She acts out her personal problems with her unusual family. Interesting situation.
There are many movies I wish to see and if the weather keeps up with cold and snow, I will see them all.
- Doubt - A story set in a Catholic school.
- Milk - The story of Harvey Milk who is elected to a high government position in San Francisco as a gay man.
- Valkyrie - The attempted assassination of Hitler.
- The Wrestler - Mickey Rourke in the title role.
- Last Chance Harvey - Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman. Two of my favorite actors in a romantic comedy.
- Defiance - Three brothers fighting the Nazis in the forests of Belorussia.
- Frost/Nixon - Frank Langella as Nixon on the Watergate issue.
- Happy-Go-Lucky - A Mike Leigh study of an optimistic woman.
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - For all you Brad Pitt fans. Reminds me of The Picture of Dorian Gray, an Oscar Wilde story. Brad ages backwards. How interesting!
There you have it, readers. The Stanley Greenberg book of Winter Cinema, circa 2009.