I haven't been to the theaters much lately, but I did see one out there recently...Life as We Know It is a really funny movie about two people who don’t really like each other, but are mutual friends with this other couple. When the couple dies and leaves their daughter for the two of them to raise, they are forced to take good hard looks at themselves, as well as each other. It stars Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel, and while it is not Oscar-worthy, it is very good.
I got an iPad for my birthday and have been watching some movies via the Netflix app. I highly recommend it!
Please Give, with Catherine Keener, Oliver Platt, Rebecca Hall, Amanda Peet and Ann Guilbert, is an interesting character driven Indie. Keener and Platt play a couple of successful antique store owners who live next door to Guilbert, a cranky old lady whose apartment they want to buy when she dies. They intend to expand their living space. Hall and Peet play the old lady’s granddaughters. It was interesting. On a side note, Ann Guilbert played Millie on The Dick Van Dyke Show, and more recently (for you younguns), she played Yetta on The Nanny. It was pretty good, and a little bit quirky.
Mid-August Lunch is another character driven movie, this time from Italy. It is subtitled in English. It is about a middle-aged man who is still living with his mom. They owe money for the rent and probably have a tab for most of the goods and services they consume. His landlord and his physician decide to collect, by bringing their mothers by for him to watch while they go off to celebrate the midsummer festival of Ferragosto. It was quite entertaining to watch this guy try to keep up with four cranky old ladies who were each set in their ways. Also entertaining was how entitled Gianni and his mother are, despite living on the good graces of others. I really liked it.
Alexandra is about a woman who visits her grandson in the Chechen army. In Russian, with English subtitles…It is a character-driven story, but slower than most. It was alright.
Broken Embraces, in Spanish with English subtitles, and starring Penelope Cruz and Lluis Homar, is about an actress and director who start an affair. Unfortunately, the actress is the producers mistress, and when he finds out what is going on, he plans his revenge. It was alright.
The Soloist is based on a true story about Nathaniel Ayers, a talented cellist who ended up on the streets after his second year at Julliard due to his mental illness, and Steve Lopez, a journalist who happens upon Ayers and attempts to help him get his life together. Jamie Foxx does an excellent job portraying Ayers and Robert Downey, Jr. plays Lopez. Catherine Keener also stars. It was good.
A Secret, in French with English subtitles, is a character driven Nazi story. It is about Francois, who was a sickly little boy and who grew up feeling that he is a disappointment to his parent. One day, he finds an old toy in the attic, and eventually finds out secrets that his family never wanted discussed again. It was very good.