Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson star in Pirate Radio, based on true events. It’s the sixties in England, and the BBC is not keeping up with the times. The only way the Brits can listen to rock and roll on the radio for more than an hour a day is through ships that set up off the coast to broadcast it. This movie shows what it may have been like. It was pretty good…and it doesn’t hurt that they played some really good songs from the era.
Mo’Nique, Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz and newcomer Gabourey Sidibe all give good performances in Precious, about an African American teenager from Harlem who is given a second chance to improve her life. It's based on the novel Push, by Sapphire, and it gave a powerful view of the types of struggles that many people in America face daily – way out of my comfort zone – but something that more of us need to realize. It was very good.
Everybody’s Fine stars Robert De Niro, Drew Barrymore, and Kate Beckinsale. De Niro plays a man whose wife has recently died, and whose adult children are scattered around the country. He realizes that the glue that kept them all together is gone, and now he must be the person to keep the family connected. It was good.
I was disappointed with Up in the Air, starring George Clooney as a guy who lives out of his suitcase, as his job keeps him traveling around the country. Since he shuns deep relationships and tries to keep his life as free from people and responsibility as possible, he rather likes his impersonal and artificial life. In comes a new, young intern who tries to show him that relationships are important in life. The trailers lead one to believe that the movie is more of a comedy than it in fact is. I thought it dragged in parts, and the story ended abruptly – without resolution one way or the other…Oh, and it was rather without point.
It’s Complicated, with Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin, is about a couple, Jane and Jake (Streep and Baldwin) who have been amicably divorced for a while. Many years ago, he had left her for a younger woman, to whom he is now married. At their son’s graduation, they discover that there are unresolved issues that they would like to explore, and they start having an affair – just about the time that she meets Adam (Martin), the architect helping her with the addition to her house, and decides she likes him too. It was pretty funny. I liked it.
There are so many good actors in this movie – Sophia Loren, Judi Dench, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, Kate Hudson, Marion Cotillard, Fergie and Daniel Day-Louis - but the screen adaptation of the musical Nine is a mess. It was kind of boring, actually. I found myself fighting sleep – and it’s.a.musical People!!! It was loud, with many scenes of song and dance. Day-Lewis plays a famous filmmaker who is having trouble putting together the concept for his latest film, while dealing with all the women in his life. I found myself not caring.