Andrew Sullivan has restored my faith in him by:
a) Finally seeing "Zero Dark Thirty" and then giving his opinion.
b) Reading the film correctly.
Here's an excerpt from his blog item "Kathryn Bigelow: not a torture apologist:"
"A word about the acting. Chastain is completely
believable. Given the extremes to which this character is exposed, that is an
acting feat of stupendous proportions.
Not a moment too soon comes Terry Zwigoff's sublimely black
comic and cynical Bad Santa (2002) to
cut through the obligatory holiday cheer and treacle. In it Billy Bob Thornton
plays the title role of a department store St. Nick who sidelines as an asshole
and a thief. Best movie Santa since Dan Aykroyd donned a beard and a salmon in Trading Places (1983).
What happened to independent cinema? It's alive and well at
Focus Features, which has kept the indie torch alive with films such as Cary
Fukunaga's Jane Eyre (2011; noon and
5 pm), Joe Wright's Atonement (2007;
2:30 + 7:30 pm), and Rian Johnson's Brick
(2006; 10 pm), all screening Saturday, December 22 at the Brattle as part of their Focus
Features 10th Anniversary Retrospective.
Two trademarks of Michelangelo Antonioni's career, obscure
plots and visual beauty, reach their peak in his penultimate film, Identification of a Woman (1982). Oh,
and beautiful naked women, too. It's got a lot of that.
Harvard Film Archive, 24 Church St,
Cambridge :: Friday, December 14 @ 7 pm :: $9; $7 students, seniors :: 617.
Though I was lukewarm about the film, you've got to be impressed with the way Spielberg's "Lincoln" uncannily
mirrors the political situation today.Two warring parties, a lame duck congress, incendiary issues - the
Constitutional amendment franchising the former slaves versus a compromise to
avoid a fiscal cliff - and presidents who have presided over four years of national
The tony, uppercrust ambiance of Downton Abbey comes to the big screen, as does one of the show's
stars, Elizabeth McGovern, in Donald Rice's Cheerful
Weather for the Wedding (2012). Set in a British country manor in 1932,
it's a drawing-room comedy in which McGovern plays the mother of a bride
(Felicity Jones) who is having second thoughts.
Usually people from the right are the ones who attack films
they haven't seen yet. So I find it a refreshing show
of bipartisanship to see similar outbursts from the left. In the "Guardian," Glenn Greenwald, admitting he didn' t see "Zero Dark Thirty," cites and
interprets the responses of other people who have seen the film.
Take a look at the giant shoes that Elton John wears as the
"Local Lad" singing "Pinball Wizard" in the movie version of Tommy (1975), and you get an idea of
what a loss the death of director Ken Russell last year was to the movie world.
His joyously kitschy and surreal excess nearly upstages the Who's
groundbreaking 1969 rock opera.
Has anyone been paying attention to the rapid approach of
the end of the world on December 21, as per the Mayan calendar? The Brattle
has, and they're celebrating the impending event with Cinemapocalypse, which
screens what they claim to be three of the best doomsday movies ever. It starts with a film we're not sure qualifies, Roland Emmerich's 2012 (2009; 8:30 pm), followed the next day
by one we definitely agree belongs on the list, Terry Gilliam's 12 Monkeys (1995; 4:30, 7, 9:45 pm).
Before his magic act of turning The Dark Knight Rises into cinema gold, Christopher Nolan made The Prestige (2006), the story of two
rival magicians in Victorian London and their relationship with wizard Nikola
Tesla (David Bowie), the eccentric genius who invented pretty much everything
Watch this space for the latest results in the Boston Society of Film Critics vote for the Best of 2012!
!!!IN REAL TIME!!!
(more or less)
BEST USE OF MUSIC:
Runner up: "Django Unchained"
"The Master" (Mihai Malaimare, Jr.)
It's 1980 in pre-fall-of-the-Wall East Germany, and the eponymous
character in Christian Petzold's Barbara (2012),
a pediatric surgeon in a backwater hospital, makes plans with her West German
beau to escape to freedom. But then there's Horst, the appealing head of her
department - is he wooing her or spying on her, or both? Top-notch suspense and
melodrama from one of Germany's
It's not as good as George Romero's 1978 original, but it
does have Sarah Polley blowing away zombies with a shotgun and one of the last
uses of found-footage horror that actually is scary. Zack Snyder's Dawn of the Dead (2004) uses the same
premise as Romero - a random group of strangers holed up in a shopping mall
fending off hordes of zombies - except here the zombies are superfast and the
cultural commentary minimal.
Even dog lovers have a hard time with unattended, yapping
canines. This is one of the nagging problems observed in Kleber Mendonça Filho's
much lauded debut feature, Neighboring
Sounds (2012), in which a security surveillance company descends on a
paranoid community in the city of Recife, Brazil.
It's at the MFA Wednesday through December 9.