Little Miss Sunshine * * *
A horribly dysfunctional family takes their unique little girl to a beauty pageant cross country. Or, you could simply think of it as Weekend at Bernie’s on crack. Or Vacation on acid. There were so many fabulous actors in it, and each one gave a really good performance. Toni Collette (a fave), Steve Carell, Greg Kinnear, Alan Arkin… individually, they were great. Together… I dunno. They were strange. When the little girl starts her dance routine to Superfreak, I just kept saying, “Oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no. It will definitely make you feel better about your own dysfunctional family, though.
Charlotte Gray * * * *
Cate Blanchett and Billy Crudup star in this heartbreaking WWII film. There was some violence that I had to turn away from, a little romance, as well (I didn’t turn away from that). Hubby and I both liked it– a rarity for a non-comedy. An added bonus? Billy Crudup is smokin’ hot. Rupert Penry-Jones isn’t so hard on the eyes, either. Michael Gambon is a wonderful crotchety old man; I didn’t buy him as Billy’s father, though. Happy ending, mostly.
Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock play two would-be lovers separated by time. Literally, two years. It’s okay if you don’t think about it too much. If you think about it, it’s over, though. Suspend your disbelief beforehand or you’ll think my two stars are waaaaaaay too generous.
Keanu should not try to act. He has come this far in his career without doing so, and for him to try now is just silly. He should just sit there and look pretty like he’s supposed to. Sandra was bland and a monotone. Her last solo scene was good for her, though. I thought I was clever and waited through most of the movie for a moment that never occurred. Kudos on the ending, loved that.
I took off one whole star because Keanu tried to cry. I wanted to walk over to him with a rolled up newspaper and hit him on the nose, saying, “Bad Keanu! No! We don’t try to be dramatic!” Tsk. Silly Keanu.
A Good Woman * * * ½
This film is based on the short story by Oscar Wilde entitled Lady Windemere’s Fan, which is fabulous. I’m a Wilde fan, which is why I picked this up. Soooooo, this film stars Scarlett Johansen (doing her Scarlett Johansen thing, which is poking out her breasts, mostly) and Helen Hunt (who oh, my heavens is looking OLD!). Mistaken identity, gossip and misunderstandings are what keep this movie going, as well as funny one liners penned by Oscar Wilde. It has fabulous scenery, as well as some eye candy in Stephen Camden-Moore and Mark Umbers, and a fabulously funny (erm, quirky?) supporting cast. Helen Hunt, though? Argh. I liked Mad About You. I did. She was pretty and funny, but she has this horrid sing-song quality to her voice where every line she delivers is the same. The same rhythm and cadence, the same inflection and tonality. As an actress, that’s maddening! She went to Yale, for crying out loud! (No, no she didn’t. I just Googled her and she went to UCLA for one month. That explains a lot. Wonder who I was thinking of?) So I took a half a star off just for that. (Maybe I should give back the half a star…. Naaaa.) She should try harder. Surely someone in her life has told her that by now.
Ladies in Lavender * * * ½
Well, I just loved this movie about two sisters befriending a mysterious foreigner who washes up on the beach of their 1930's Cornish seaside village. Judi Dench gave a heartbreaking portrayal of a woman in love while knowing it can never be. Maggie Smith was all awesomeness, as usual, and Miriam Margoyles (Professor Sprout!) was hysterical as the maid/housekeeper. I giggled at her all through the movie. These actresses did not overshadow the characters or the story of this movie. And Daniel Bruhl was very good, too. The fact that he’s a cutie did not hurt his case. Hubby fell asleep through this one… it did move kind of slow in places, but overall, a great film. Very sweet.