Monday, June 30, 2008

Not a Review: Late and Brief Impressions on Two Indie Films

A Mighty Heart: Honestly, it’s just so good to see Angelina Jolie in something other than a tabloid or a big-budget, broad-stroke, hopeful blockbuster. This movie allowed her to interpret a character with some depth, and it was a nice reminder that she is—whatever else she may or may not be—a woman of acting talent. It reminded me of why I fell in love with her in Girl Interrupted. A far overdue pleasure. (And of course a sad and tragic story)

The Year of the Dog: Here, Molly Shannon gets to demonstrate the deeper ranges of her talents. This is a strong performance that may force us to think differently of her, although I’ve always sensed a certain tragic understanding beneath many of her SNL characters. She gets something. This is Mike White’s directorial debut. (He also wrote it.) Some of his previous work is pretty lackluster in my opinion, but he was also a writer on Freaks and Geeks, the quickly canceled and now—in my opinion deservedly--uber-appreciated television series. I have an annoying habit of, three minutes into a film, listing the three possible plot outcomes with a self-satisfied roll of the eyes. The Year of the Dog made me look stupid. If possible, go into this one cold. Don’t even read the DVD cover.

2 comments:

Ace said...

My late review of two independent movies I saw this weekend: "Notes on a Scandal" and "History Boys." Both were on HBO this weekend. Both are about teacher/student whoopie (to keep it PG). The latter blew because it trivialized the hell out of it (and was also pretentious and boring). The former was awesome because of Judi Dench. It was pretty pervy though...Oh, and only watch "Lucky You" if you want to bleed at the ears with the awfulness of Drew Barrymore and get a healthy dose of poker/relationship metaphors at the same time. "I'm making a good fold!" she says as she walks away from hot Eric Bana just cuz he keeps stealing her money or something. Whatever.

P.S. I did not see the movies you mentioned. I'll take it under advisement.

Ace said...

Oops, I just realized it's bad to criticize art so harshly (or so I've heard). I will say about "History Boys" that my mom and sister liked the play...except my sister nearly died of embarrassment at all the pedophilia references she had to endure in front of my mom.

I won't apologize for what I said about "Lucky You" though. I just won't.

Anyway, carry on!