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February 19, 2012

The Artist: No Spoilers Possible

We saw The Artist tonight. Disappointing.

I’m not getting what people are seeing in it. Yes, the hero (Jean Dujardin) is very charming, and there are a couple of laughs. It’s not a terrible movie. But best picture of the year? Really?

It is utterly predictable. It’s message, such as it is, is shallow. The characters are one-dimensional, and sometimes less: the hero’s wife (Penelope Ann Miller) has only one point to make. The female lead (Bérénice Bejo) to me was unappealing and even a little creepy. The dog, about which everyone raves, could have taken lessons from Frasier’s dog.

Taken together, “The Artist” was pretty much the definition of meh. I don’t see why it’s been nominated for Best Picture, much less why it’s being treated as a shoe-in.


February 12, 2009

Two reviews

We saw Slumdog Millionaire last night. Excellent. Going in, you should maybe know that it’s more about slumdogs than about millionaires and “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” The non-linear narrative style is the opposite of a gimmick; it makes total sense as a style. The narrative itself is oddly 1930s/1940s-ish, which is not a strength. On the other hand, it shows you something we in America don’t get to see much of.

Best movie of the year? Tough one. I thought Milk was terrific, with some great performances. Between Milk and Slumdogs I think I’d have to say that we have an example of the ridiculousness of trying to pick a single best movie. I mean, Wall-e had some pretty great filmmaking in it, too.

I’ve been reading Gone Baby Gone by Dennis Lehane thinking that it would be more than a good crime novel. I’m actually finding it to be less, with too many wince-worthy sentences, and too many characters written from their quirks outward. I’m only half way through so maybe it picks up, but since my problem is with the writing, I doubt it. I may not even finish it. Too bad. It’s the first Lehane book I’ve read, and I was looking forward to having a new author to enjoy.

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January 1, 2009

On the other side of the ledger

1. Heath Ledger for Best Actor Oscar? Not once you’ve seen Milk.

2. Trying to rank superb actors in vastly different types of roles is pretty ridiculous.

Please pick #1 or #2. They’re inconsistent, but I’m pretty sure one of them is right.

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